In Speechless, Minnie Driver plays mother, advocate for son with cerebral palsy

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Sandy Kenyon has a look at the ABC show "Speechless", starring Minnie Driver.

"Speechless", which airs Wednesday night on ABC, is being hailed by the parents of children with special needs as a landmark TV show, because one of the stars has cerebral palsy.

And the solid ratings for the sitcome since its debut indicate it has found a way to make everyone laugh.

This summer when all of the ABC stars gathered to meet the press in Los Angeles, one shined especially bright.

Actress Minnie Driver plays the mother and advocate in the new ABC sitcom "Speechless" for a son with cerebral palsy.

"We're working with an amazing actor called Micah Fowler who has cerebral palsy," she said.

"There is a strange, wonderful timing in this because Micah isn't speaking his lines, and yet he has lines. They're spoken by other people."

A character with special needs being played by a performer with special needs is unusual in Hollywood where such parts are often played by able-bodied stars.

There's no excuse for that, said John Ross Bowie who plays J.J.'s dad.

"Micah has credits. Micah has a really good agent," said Bowie. "He's taken care of. So, the talent is there."

"Speechless" features a blue-collar family living in a bad house in a good neighborhood so their son can attend a great school. The fictional couple already is drawing praise from parents who've made these choices for real.

"It's really moving how grateful and supportive and surprised they are to see themselves or a version of themselves represented on television and it's also an awesome responsibility. you don't want to let these people down," said Bowie.

But there is a responsibility to a broader audience as well -- "to be something that is approachable and that people can easily laugh with," said Driver.
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