Young Special Needs Actor Cast in Minnie Driver’s ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Speechless’

Minnie Driver Micah Fowler Speechless
Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Young actor Micah Fowler has been cast in ABC’s comedy pilot “Speechless,” which is about a family with a special-needs child.

Fowler — who has cerebral palsy in real life — will portray JJ, the family’s eldest child, who is nonverbal.

Minnie Driver will star as Fowler’s mother in the ensemble comedy that also stars John Ross Bowie (“The Big Bang Theory”) as Driver’s on-screen husband, Kyla Kenedy as the middle child and Mason Cook as the youngest. The potential series will revolve around the family as they tackle day-to-day challenges.

“Speechless” hails from “Friends” alum Scott Silveri, who created “Joey” and “Go On.” Silveri will exec produce with Jake Kasdan (“Fresh Off the Boat,” “New Girl”) and Melvin Mar (“Fresh Off the Boat”). Christine Gernon (“New Girl,” “The Real O’Neals”) will direct. Twentieth Century Fox is the studio.

Fowler made his feature film debut in Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day,” alongside Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. “Speechless” marks his first major television gig.

Fowler is repped by Paradigm.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 16

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. polly puckett says:

    I love speechless…
    My son has hypotonic cp and among other things and in wheel chair. He says some things, and we pretty much have to figure the rest out. But, this show really speaks to me.
    I realize I do some of the stuff the mom does and Wesley is the youngest from 2 sisters and a brother. I fought for the other kids as they grew up with school, clubs they were in, sports, dances.. Ect..
    With Wesley it’s how we can meet his needs and still have fun, but we are far from being normal.. Ty

  2. D L Mason says:

    We have tried, twice now, to watch this show. It’s truly awful. We had to change channels in the middle of it after giving it another chance this week. What is the reason the family was made to be such unlikeable, horrible people? Particularly the mother played by Minnie Driver? They don’t bring their trash cans in or mow their lawn? We REALLY hate this show.

  3. BD says:

    Did not like the way that the character Minnie Driver acts, cusses and if it isn’t enough of his people act in general this show highlights how it’s ok to drive reckless and thinking it’s ok to go so. This show will not last in my opinion.

  4. Joan Burrows says:

    Please do NOT say “confined to a wheelchair” He “uses a wheelchair” He is NOT confined!

  5. I don’t watch “sitcoms” and Ms. Driver seems unappealing, but I am curious to see how a mother of a special needs kid is portrayed and glad that typical viewers can see the kind of stuff we have to go through. Anyone who wants to insult or belittle CP, ASD, etc. and the people affected by them is truly evil, don’t you think?

  6. As a person with severe cerebral palsy, I am so excited to see this. Finally, a show about what it is like to be severely disabled in this society.

    • Noah says:

      Parents of disabled children are not the ones suffering. Stop pretending that you do. Disabled kids are the ones suffering from your “my kid’s disability ruined my life” bs. The parents don’t have to go through shit.

      • jayhawk37 says:

        Noah, you are clearly not the parent or other family member of a disabled child or you would not say that. Your comment is so ignorant – I’m surprised the moderators allowed it to be displayed.

  7. thisis a tough one to call. I am sure this is a lucky break for the young man who cannot talk. On the other hand, seems it attempts to make disabilities normal, which is not a good thing. The reason b eing that autism, a man made disorder has 30 percent of those diagnosed–are non-verbal. If we accept speechless as normal, we will never cure all these disabled kids.

    • Pedro says:

      It’s not like people choose to be disabled.

      • Daziedag says:

        Most parents what to have their child in a normal (everyday) environment. the more you treat your child as special, the more you do harm.. Most parent what their child in regular classes, yet when it comes to transportation, there want a tone of restrictions because they have a child with needs. The world will never have a multi million dollar company run by special needs people (not yet anyway). But you can teach your child to survive in this world. People with disabilities now are actors, models, work in everyday jobs, because their parents wanted a normal environment for their child. I like the show.. It may not be perfect, but I still like the show. Plus they didn’t hire an actor to play the kid in the wheel chair. how far we as a society have come. 20 – 30 years ago, i don’t think this should would have been accepted. WE are moving forward..

    • Maurine as the parent of a child with ASD and a teacher of individuals with special needs I find your comments highly offensive and honestly quite uninformed and ignorant.

    • In a world of endless diversity, “normal” means next to nothing. It’s too often used by idiots like you to promote “curing” (read: removing) disabled people because we make you uncomfortable and no one ever taught you science or manners. Also Autism is not man made and the vast majority of autistics DON’T WANT TO BE CURED.

      Maybe try actually communicating with disabled and autistic individuals before spewing a load of crap.

    • Caveman says:

      Who the hell taught you biology? Autism is genetic, NOT man made! In fact it’s a spectrum of varying conditions. Also the kid doesn’t have Autism, he has cerebral palsy! Fix disabilities? Disabilities will never be normal because they are disabilities. Please learn about what the difference is.

    • Kyla says:

      Autism is not a “man-made disorder”. Autism is a naturally occurring neuro-processing difference of the human! It tends to be marked by higher than average intelligence. It’s not something that needs to be cured but better understood and it’s not some new thing that is “empidemic” the way some people make it out to be either! It has been around for centuries, just wasn’t labelled or diagnosed the way it is today. There are lots of adults with austism who were never diagnosed with such because it wasn’t a recognised thing in their childhood. Many great thinkers/artists/scienists of the past would actually fall under today’s criteria as being autisitc!

      Just because in some individuals there is a neuromotor disconnect that makes verbal communication something they can’t do doesn’t mean that they can’t communicate at all given the proper support and it doesn’t mean that those individuals are inferior or feeble-minded or incapable of learning or any such thing!

      Yes, there are lots of co-conditions that often occur along with autism like dyspraxia and IBS but those aren’t defining of autism itself, just often interconnected with it. Support and treatment for the comorbidities is important, for sure, but to say that Autism should be eliminated is to say that a normal variation in the working of the human brain is invalid and to eliminate and integral part of society! You would be crippling the advancement of science and technology and art!

    • Kathy Klassen says:

      Clearly, Maurine, your exposure to children and adults with disabilities is limited. In our world the word “NORMAL” is not used but instead the word is Typical. My grandson is 17 and lives with Autism and is non-verbal. He is a wonderful young man, He uses his iPad to type out what he needs to say, because he can read, write, and spell. We won’t judge you if you don’t judge us.

More TV News from Variety