Based on Ryan O’Connell’s book ‘I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves,’ the series centers on a gay man (O’Connell) with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his identity as an accident victim and finally go after the life he wants. Jessica Hecht and Punam Patel will return as series regulars alongside O’Connell. Netflix has ordered eight episodes for the show’s second season.
O’Connell serves as writer and executive producer on the series in addition to starring. For Season 2, Warner Horizon Scripted Television will join Warner Bros. Digital Networks’ Stage 13 and That’s Wonderful Productions as producers of the series. Jim Parsons, Eric Norsoph and Todd Spiewak serve as executive producers for That’s Wonderful, with Anna Dokoza also executive producing. The series is also produced by Campfire.
The first season of “Special” debuted on Netflix in April. The series picked up four Emmy nominations for its first season, including best short form series and best actor in a short form series for O’Connell. The show has received mostly positive reviews from critics, holding a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Speaking with Variety ahead of the show’s premiere, O’Connell said that he hoped the show would show a side of people with disabilities that is rarely seen on TV. “I think that comedy is the greatest hope to normalize disability because people don’t know how to act, they’re really nervous around disability, and I think giving them permission to laugh it makes everyone feel more at ease,” he said. “Disabled people are strong, powerful people and they need to be included in the conversation.”