FROM Scott Silveri
Scott Silveri on 'Speechless' The ABC show Speechless centers on the DiMeo's -- mom, dad, and three kids. It's your standard family sitcom setup, except the oldest son, 16-year-old JJ, played by Micah Fowler, has cerebral palsy. JJ uses a wheelchair, and while he doesn't talk, he has no trouble making himself understood. The cast also includes another character who becomes like family -- JJ's aide Kenneth, played by Cedric Yarbrough. Kenneth gives voice to the words JJ spells out by pointing a laser at letters and phrases on a board attached to his wheelchair. The show recently ended its first season and was picked up for a second. It has been much acclaimed for its depiction of disability on screen--a rarity in Hollywood--and for actor Micah Fowler's portrayal of JJ. Speechless was created by Scott Silveri, who wrote for Friends and created the shows Perfect Couples and Go On -- all for NBC. He's written a lot of sitcom relationship arcs over the years, but never encountered a TV family that looked like his own, which includes a brother with cerebral palsy. When Silveri got a deal at Fox, and started thinking about what his next show would be, he decided that perhaps it was time to get personal. He tells us why now felt like the right time to create a show that openly addressed disability and family--and why he wanted it to be a comedy. He also talks about the nationwide search to find JJ, the necessity of casting an actor with cerebral palsy, and the massive amount of research and consultation that goes into the show.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.