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ABC is Breaking the Mold (Again) with New Comedies

SPEECHLESS - ABC's “Speechless" stars Mason Cook as Ray, stars Kyla Kenedy as Dylan, John Ross Bowie as Jimmy, Minnie Driver as Maya, Micah Fowler as JJ and Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth. (ABC/Kevin Foley)

ABC’s upfront spectacular was held this afternoon here in NYC and as with all the other upfront shindigs ABC gathered the best and brightest of their various shows and potential advertisers into a room and pitched them hard for close to two hours. ABC execs also laid out their programming plans for the 2016-17 year including their picks for new programs.

Now it’s hard to tell what shows will actually stick without seeing them in their entirety (which I’ll do this summer) ABC did give us a decent crop of trailers/sizzle reels to get first impressions out of the way. Now I’m not going to give my first takes on the dramas as experience has taught me that I need more than 2:30s to judge those off of but out of the new crop two comedies stuck out to me for two very personal reasons.


About: Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver, “About A Boy,” “The Riches,” “Good Will Hunting”) is a mom on a mission who will do anything for her husband Jimmy, her kids Ray, Dylan, and JJ, her eldest son with special needs.  As Maya fights injustices both real and imagined, the family works to make a new home for themselves, and searches for just the right person to give JJ his “voice.”

First Impression: What first impressed me about this was ABC’s “bold” move to hire Micah Fowler as JJ DiMeo. In the show JJ has Cerebral Palsy and guess what Micah is an actor with CP. Now I call this a bold move but even though it’s 2016 I feel like most networks would still hire a non-disabled actor to play the part. This hits pretty close to home seeing as my little brother has Cerebral Palsy and he is also an actor. I feel like I’m going to watch this comedy and will be able to relate to at least a good chunk of it just based off what I went through growing up.


About: Katie Otto (Katy Mixon, “Mike and Molly”), a confident, unapologetic, plump wife and mother of three, raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with “perfect” mommies and their “perfect” offspring.  She lets us in on her deepest, most unfiltered thoughts through voiceover as the she lives her life as the second fattest housewife in Westport.

First Impression: I kinda love Mixon’s line of “I’ll be the secondest fattest housewife in Westport” because I feel that some of us just have that insecurity. As a plus-size gal working in the fashion world, trust me I get the “only fat girl in the room” feeling all the damn time. My only hope for this show is that they won’t rely solely on fat-girl/skinny-girl jokes and can maybe shed some positive life on the body positivity movement.




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