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CPF Joins Speechless!
Click here to watch the pilot! Or join us on the couch on Wed. Sept. 21st at 7:30/8:30c.
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) in conjunction with the new ABC series Speechless, is pleased to announce their new partnership. This innovative relationship creates a unique opportunity where a non-profit foundation and network TV show coordinate a parallel release of meaningful and informative content around a series’ story lines in order to inform and empower the disabilities community.
Set to premiere Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 8:30pm on ABC, Speechless is the network’s newest family sitcom — and the only one of its kind on the air. It follows a family with a child who has a disability.
Maya DiMeo is a mom on a mission who will do anything for her husband, Jimmy, and kids Ray, Dylan, and J.J., her eldest son with cerebral palsy. As Maya fights injustices both real and imagined, the family works to make a new home for themselves and searches for just the right person to help give J.J. his “voice.”
“Speechless” stars Minnie Driver (“About a Boy,” “The Riches,” “Good Will Hunting”) as Maya.
DiMeo, John Ross Bowie (“The Big Bang Theory”) as Jimmy DiMeo, Mason Cook as Ray DiMeo, Micah Fowler as JJ DiMeo, Kyla Kenedy as Dylan DiMeo and Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth.
Scott Silveri (“Friends”) writes and is executive producer of the show, along with “Fresh Off the Boat”’s Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar. The series is from Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation is working with the Speechless team as its technical consultant. However, what is truly unique is its additional role of Foundation Partner. Each week, immediately following each episode of Speechless, CPF will release content its website related to specific issues addressed in that week’s episode. These videos and resources will guided by input from The Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council, which includes many of the world’s most well known experts on CP. In addition to the website, information will be available through CPF’s social media channels including Twitter and Facebook, so that the Foundation can actively engage in the many conversations the show will begin.
Richard Ellenson, CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation said, “It is wonderful for our Foundation to be a part of the Speechless family. People don’t hear enough about cerebral palsy nor know enough about the condition. But if you consider the individuals in the US alone, we would be the 12th largest city in America.”
Ellenson continued, “Speechless offers an unprecedented opportunity to grow awareness and create meaningful insights about people with CP. The entire Speechless team, including ABC and Fox Studios, have been so enthusiastic about the partnership. The close relationship we’ve built is based on our shared desire that families who have experience with cerebral palsy will be able to relate, and see that they are not going through this alone.”
“We’re thrilled and honored to partner with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation on the project,” said Scott Silveri, the creator of Speechless. “Our job at the show is plain and simple: to tell good stories and make people laugh — this is no documentary about disability. That said, we’re committed to presenting a character with CP in a way that is informed, respectful and authentic. Richard Ellenson and the Foundation have given us a great gift in helping us find the path to that goal.”
This very special collaboration is providing something truly fresh: the freedom for a TV sitcom to explore a specific and compelling world of one family, while also providing a thoughtful way to address the diversity of deeply important issues it brings to our attention.