...so it's time to reflect on what the series has meant to its fans. This show truly has something for everyone. For the deaf, Sue Thomas has been someone to identify with--and about ten percent of the episodes have dealt squarely with Sue's deafness, how she works around it in her dealings with "the hearing world," and how she can work effectively with deaf witnesses and even a deaf suspect. (The episode in which Sue takes her hearing roommate to a deaf club is one of my favorites, and I'm a hearing man!) For all you dog lovers out there, Levi has warmed a lot of hearts, I'm sure--like the time that Levi, under the influence of the wrong medicine, first used SA Leland's leg as a lamppost (ROFL!) and then got lost in the city. And for people interested in good crime drama--or hard-hitting treatment of controversial subjects like international terrorism--the show had that, too.
Unfortunately, the show will now fall victim to one of the hallmarks of its own success, which is the diversity of its fan base. From my personal observation, the fans of the show now seem unable to lay aside some of the differences that divide them--often bitterly, especially that old divide between the deaf and the hearing--long enough to develop a coherent strategy to save their show from the near-oblivion of syndication in obscure markets and even more obscure time slots. If that is what will happen to this show, I, for one, will deeply mourn its passing--and I will also mourn the loss of a common point-of-reference that, while it was on, allowed the deaf and the hearing to have a reason to talk with one another. (To reply to one persistent sore point with the deaf fans of this show, maybe the producers emphasized a little too much the inter-office romance between the title character and SA Jack Hudson. We all know that the real Sue Thomas did not have any such entanglement, and indeed did not stay in the FBI long enough for any such thing to develop. And maybe the show could have had more episodes in which the title character's deafness was central to the plot--and not just shows in which she uses her special skills during surveillance, interviews a deaf witness or suspect, etc. That said, any show with a team of regulars needs to focus occasionally on various members of the team, not just the title character. Furthermore, any show needs a diverse pool of script ideas, or it will die very quickly.)
I understand that Gary and Dave Alan Johnson, the producers, are trying hard to find another venue to allow them to continue to produce new episodes. I wish them every success. But if they fail, I would hope that they could try again. They are two of the finest producers that this industry has known at least since Desi Arnaz--and probably since Marconi first built his original prototype television receiver, before the Depression delayed the introduction of television to the mass market. More importantly, I would hope that new friendships that might have developed between the deaf and the hearing because of this show, do not dissolve when the show is no more.
PS: I can understand the hostility that the deaf often feel toward the hearing. Of all the handicaps that a child might get teased about, deafness is second only to dyslexia in the unmerciful quality of such hazing. If the Johnson Brothers do manage to get another lease on this show, then they ought to do more scripts showing Sue Thomas reaching out to deaf people who have had their feelings hurt just this way--and not necessarily as part of FBI "business," either. I'm sure the real Sue Thomas would definitely approve.