The decision to cancel the family sitcom Speechless was not an easy one, Karey Burke, ABC's president of entertainment, said at the Disney Upfront Presentation in New York on Tuesday.

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Told by a reporter that there was a lot of "anguish online" from fans when the show was scrapped last week after three seasons, Burke said: "A lot of anguish for me, also, and all of us at ABC.

"We love Speechless," she added. "It was not without great, great, gut-wrenching consideration that we ultimately made that call. We looked at a lot of factors. Ultimately, primarily, it came down to numbers and feeling like we could shore up the night more strongly with Fresh Off the Boat at 8:30 leading into 20/20."

Starring Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Mason Cook and Micah Fowler, the show was about the quirky, tight-knit DiMeo family, which includes J.J. a teen with cerebral palsy.