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.

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.