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‘Speechless,’ ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Renewed at ABC

Variety logo Variety 5/12/2017 Joe Otterson
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Speechless” and “Fresh Off the Boat” have been renewed by ABC for a second and fourth season, respectively. “Speechless” star Minnie Driver tweeted the news Friday.

Set in the mid-‘90s, “Fresh Off the Boat” follows 12-year-old hip-hop loving Eddie Huang (Hudson Yang) and his Taiwanese family as they move from Chinatown in Washington, D.C. to suburban Orlando, Florida. Eddie’s father sets his sights on running a Western-themed restaurant, while Eddie struggles with assimilating into his new school and the rest of the family contends with living in an area with virtually no other Asian families.

In addition to Yang, the series stars Randall Park, Constance Wu, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen, Lucille Soong, and Chelsey Crisp. The series is based on the memoir of the same name by Eddie Huang. Nahnatchka Khan created the series in addition to executive producing. Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television.

While not a ratings breakout, the show has held up reasonably well across its three seasons. The third season is averaging a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 4 million viewers per episode.

Freshman comedy “Speechless” follows Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver), a mom on a mission who will do anything for her family, particularly her eldest son JJ (Micah Fowler), who has cerebral palsy. The series begins with the family moving to a new school that will provide JJ with an aide to speak for him, but JJ prefers the company of groundskeeper Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough). In addition to Driver, Fowler, and Yarbrough, the series stars John Ross Bowie, Mason Cook, and Kyla Kenedy. Scott Silveri created the series and serves as executive producer of the show, along with “Fresh Off the Boat’s” Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar. The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.

The show has proven popular in its freshman season, ranking as one of ABC’s top scripted shows, just behind perennial favorites like “The Goldbergs” and “Modern Family.” It is averaging a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49 along with 5.5 million viewers per episode.

The show joins previously renewed ABC comedies “Black-ish,” “Modern Family” (for two seasons), “American Housewife,” “The Goldbergs” (for two seasons), and “The Middle,” along with dramas “Once Upon a Time,” “Designated Survivor,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” “Scandal” had previously been renewed for Season 7, which will reportedly be the show’s last. The network has canceled “The Real O’Neals,” “Imaginary Mary,” “The Catch,” “Dr. Ken,” “Last Man Standing,” “American Crime,” and “Secrets and Lies.” ABC had previously canceled freshman dramas “Time After Time,” “Notorious,” and “Conviction.”

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