‘Speechless’ hopes to be the new family comedy that gets people talking

September 20, 2016 By LA Times TV News

Speechless : S1 : E1

When it comes to writing, people love to advise “write what you know.” But Scott Silveri, creator and showrunner of ABC’s new family comedy “Speechless,” would be the first to tell you that crafting a narrative out of your own experiences is nowhere near as easy as it seems. “It’s like where comedy meets therapy,” Silveri said of the series, based on his life growing up in a family that included his brother, who has special needs. “It's actually gotten easier and easier the farther away I've gotten from my actual experience,” Silveri said during a break in production on the Fox Studios lot. “There are things that are sacrosanct, things that I’m determined to portray, but around the margins it’s served us well to move away from my exact experience.” “Speechless,” which premieres Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m., centers its comedy around Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) and Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver) and their three children, J.J. (Micah Fowler), Ray (Mason Cook) and Dylan (Kyla Kenedy), as they search for the best possible school to provide support for J.J.’s cerebral palsy and the family as a whole. Perhaps the most important aspect of his childhood that Silveri wanted to depict accurately was the set of unique challenges facing a family that has a child with special needs. To help preserve that experience, the series brought in an expert to guide the process. Read More