ABC has cancelled well-received family comedy Speechless after three seasons, it was confirmed today.
The news comes as something of a surprise given the fact that Speechless is now owned by ABC after the Disney merger and is one season away from syndication. Given that the show also draws a lot of positive attention to the network and airs in a low-profile Friday slot, it seemed like an easy renewal; they’d give it a planned final season, it’d get to go out on its own terms, and they could wipe the Friday slate clean come the following season. However, with the likes of Fresh Off the Boat doing poorly in syndication, ABC likely didn’t see the upside in dragging a poor L+SD performer to the four-season mark.
What’s interesting is where this leaves Friday. Assuming Fresh Off the Boat comes back and is 22 episodes once again, something will have to move or premiere here. In the absence of a new comedy and with ABC’s disregard for syndication in the books, it might be perpetual utility player American Housewife called up to duty come fall 2019.
The series finale of Speechless aired last month on ABC.