Tonight marks the season 3 finale of Speechless over at ABC, and due to that, now also marks the perfect time to start raising some pertinent questions regarding a season 4. Is this something that is in the cards for a family comedy?
Let’s start this piece off by just talking a little bit about what the network seemed to be going for in moving both this show and Fresh Off the Boat to Friday nights — it was an attempt to try and revive their comedy lineup there, one even with some proper TGIF branding behind it! This is something that the network first had back with their 90’s TV classics, though they did also have a successful comedy lineup going for a while back when they had Last Man Standing as a part of it a few years back.
Unfortunately, things with Speechless are not working anywhere near as well as they’ve worked with some ABC comedies of old, and because of that, we do think that there is reason for fans of this show to worry about its prospects for another year.
The reason to keep it – Most of the reasoning behind it would have to be creative as opposed to commercial. What Speechless does provide is a story that is heartfelt and meaningful, one that shows people with disabilities in favorable lives. It actually tries to showcase some of their real, everday challenges rather than just taking on the subject with kid gloves. It succeeds in showing that, while also showing a great family dynamic and people who love each other no matter the setbacks.
We know that ABC loves a good family comedy and they have one here — maybe they’re also going to be somewhat sympathetic given that this show was forced to air opposite some tough competition across other networks in a timeslot where most shows don’t have a whole lot of success in the first place.
The reason to cancel it – The ratings just aren’t great, and it’s hard to find any other way to slice this that makes things sound anywhere near favorable. This is a show averaging right around a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic and also over 2.3 million viewers. These are not the sort of ratings that you call home about with jubilation. It’s down more than 40% versus last season in both measures and while you may blame the bad timeslot for it, playing the blame game only goes so far when the folks over at ABC want to make some serious cash.
There’s also another problem here: ABC is being run by a new executive now in Karey Burke. She wasn’t here for when Speechless was first greenlit and because of this, she doesn’t have any sort of emotional attachment to the show. She may be a little more inclined to jettison it as a result of that.
Do you want to see a Speechless season 4 renewal at ABC?
Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to also vote in our poll while you’re at it! (Photo: ABC.)