Switched at Birth (TV series)

Switched at Birth
Genre Family drama
Created by Lizzy Weiss
Starring Vanessa Marano
Katie Leclerc
Constance Marie
Lea Thompson
D. W. Moffett
Lucas Grabeel
Gilles Marini
Sean Berdy
Theme music composer John Swihart
Composer(s) John Swihart
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
American Sign Language
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 93 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Lizzy Weiss
Paul Stupin
John Ziffren
Becky Hartman Edwards
Linda Gase
Producer(s) David Hartle
Shawn Wilt
Sean Reycraft
Cinematography Frank Byers
Russ T. Alsobrook
Daryn Okada
Carlos González
Phil Parmet
Editor(s) Peter Basinski
Jill D'Agnenica
Debby Germino
Susan Kobata
Mitchell Danton
William Marrinson
Nathan Easterling
David Abramson
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s) Pirates' Cove Entertainment
Suzy B. Productions (from "This Is The Color Of My Dreams")
Freeform Original Productions
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Original network Freeform
Original release June 6, 2011 (2011-06-06) – present
External links
Official website

Switched at Birth is an American teen/family drama television series that premiered on ABC Family on June 6, 2011, at 9:00 ET/PT.[1] The one-hour scripted drama is set in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and revolves around two teenagers who were switched at birth and grew up in very different environments: one in an affluent suburb, and the other in working-class areas. According to ABC Family, it is "the first mainstream television series to have multiple deaf and hard-of-hearing series regulars and scenes shot entirely in American Sign Language (ASL)".[2]

The show's debut was ABC Family's highest-rated series debut to date.[3] The series won an honorary Peabody Award in 2013, and on July 30, ABC Family ordered a third season which premiered on January 13, 2014.[4] On August 13, 2014, ABC Family renewed the series for a fourth season, which premiered on January 6, 2015.[5][6]

On October 21, 2015, ABC Family (now rebranded as Freeform) confirmed the series had been renewed for its fifth season,[7] which was later confirmed to be the final season.[8] On March 19, 2016, it was announced that the fifth season was bumped from a March 2016 to a January 2017 premiere date.[9] In October 2016, the network announced that the final season would premiere on January 31, 2017.[10]


Bay Madeline Kennish, a teenage girl from the wealthy Kansas City suburb of Mission Hills, Kansas, discovers from a school lab assignment that her AB blood type is incompatible with her type A/O parents John and Kathryn. Genetic testing confirms Bay is not the Kennishes' biological daughter. She uses the phrase "real parents," but is informed that "biological" is the preferred term. It is revealed that the hospital mistakenly switched Bay (who was actually born Daphne Paloma Vasquez) with the Kennishes' newborn daughter, who is raised by her single mother Regina and grandmother Adriana in the low-income neighborhood of East Riverside, Missouri. Daphne is deaf, having lost her hearing as a result of contracting meningitis at age three. The Kennishes invite Daphne and Regina to their home, and after learning that Regina is struggling financially, propose that they move into their guest house with Adriana, an offer that Regina accepts.

This forces the girls, along with both families, to understand their differences and embrace their similarities. The girls sometimes struggle with their identities, as Bay discovers she has inherited her artistic talent from Regina, and Daphne discovers she has inherited John's athletic skill and Kathryn's love of cooking. Both mothers learn to bond with their biological daughters, while often unintentionally angering their legal ones. John learns to relate to his new-found daughter by coaching her deaf school's basketball team and employing her in the office of one of the local chain of car washes that he owns. Bay is driven by a need to find her biological father Angelo Sorrento, who left Regina shortly after Daphne went deaf. That causes a bond between her and Emmett that later becomes an intense romance.

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
130June 6, 2011 (2011-06-06)October 22, 2012 (2012-10-22)
221January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07)August 19, 2013 (2013-08-19)
322January 13, 2014 (2014-01-13)December 8, 2014 (2014-12-08)
420January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06)October 26, 2015 (2015-10-26)
510January 31, 2017 (2017-01-31)[11]TBA

Story inspiration

The show appears based on the real-life story of Sophie Serrano, whose daughter Manon was switched at birth due to hospital error. Unlike the show, Ms. Serrano kept Manon, while the other family kept her biological daughter, and both families received large settlements from the hospital.[12]


Main characters

Constance Marie, Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett, and Lucas Grabeel
Gilles Marini
Sean Berdy
Gilles Marini and Sean Berdy

Recurring characters

Guest stars


On August 1, 2011, ABC Family announced that they were ordering more episodes for the first season of Switched at Birth, bringing the first season to a total of 30 episodes. The series continued with a winter premiere on January 3, 2012, ending on March 20, 2012, with 12 episodes.[15][16] The series began airing the remaining 8 episodes of its first season beginning September 3, 2012.[17] On August 17, 2012, ABC Family renewed Switched at Birth for a second season;[18] it premiered on January 7, 2013.[19] After the spring finale on March 11, 2013, the second season resumed on June 10, 2013.[20] On July 30, 2013, ABC Family renewed the show for a third season to premiere on January 13, 2014.[4]

The show has an American Sign Language expert who helps make sure that the sign language used by the four fluent regulars (Katie Leclerc, Sean Berdy, Constance Marie, and Marlee Matlin) all employ a similar dialect.[21][22]

Airing on March 4, 2013 to mark the 25th anniversary of the "Deaf President Now" protests at Gallaudet University, the season 2 episode "Uprising"—which featured a similar student-led protest surrounding the closure of Carlton School for the Deaf, was produced almost entirely in sign language.[23]

Filming locations

The show is filmed in Los Angeles, California. Establishing shots used in several episodes feature video of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, including: a shot of the Liberty Memorial in the first episode; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; and Loose Park.[24] There are scenes filmed in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena.[25]


The series is first-run on the ABC Family cable channel (now called Freeform). It airs in Ireland on TG4, in New Zealand on TV2, in Australia on Fox8 & in Albania on Junior TV. The first 93 episodes are available on Netflix's Watch Instantly service.


The show's premiere on the ABC Family network was the highest-rated ever, with 3.3 million viewers. The total, including the first episode's repeat later that evening, was an estimated 4.9 million.


Season Timeslot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV Season Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
1 Monday 9:00 pm (June 6 – August 8, 2011)
Tuesday 8:00 pm (January 3 – March 20, 2012)
Monday 8:00 pm (September 3 – October 22, 2012)
June 6, 2011
3.30[26] 1.3[26]
October 22, 2012
1.78[27] 0.8[27] 2011-2012 2.08[28]
2 Monday 8:00 pm 21
January 7, 2013
1.70[29] 0.7[29]
August 19, 2013
1.96[30] 0.8[30] 2013 1.72[31]
3 22
January 13, 2014
1.76[32] 0.7[32]
December 8, 2014
1.40[33] 0.6[33] 2014 1.42[34]
4 Tuesday 9:00 pm (January 6 – March 10, 2015)
Monday 8:00 pm (August 24 – October 26, 2015)
January 6, 2015
1.29[35] 0.6[35]
October 26, 2015
0.83[36] 0.3[36] 2015

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2011 ALMA Awards Favorite TV Actress — Supporting Role Constance Marie Nominated
American Scene Awards Switched at Birth Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Show Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star — Male Lucas Grabeel Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star — Female Vanessa Marano Nominated
Choice Breakout Star Katie Leclerc Nominated
Sean Berdy Nominated
2012 ALMA Awards Favorite TV Actress — Supporting Role Constance Marie Won
Gracie Awards Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series or Special Won
Outstanding Producer — Entertainment Lizzy Weiss Won
Imagen Awards Best Supporting Actress — Television Constance Marie Nominated
Best Primetime Program Switched at Birth Won
Peabody Awards[37] Won
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Won
2013 Imagen Awards Best Primetime TV Program Nominated
Best Supporting Actress — Television Constance Marie Won
Media Access Awards[38] Casting Society of America Award Deedee Bradley Won
RJ Mitte Diversity Award Ryan Lane Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show — Drama Nominated
Choice TV Actor — Drama Lucas Grabeel Nominated
Choice TV Actress — Drama Vanessa Marano Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Switched at Birth Nominated
TwoCents TV Awards Drama Queens Katie Leclerc Won
2014 Imagen Awards Best Primetime TV Program — Drama or Comedy Switched at Birth Nominated
Best Supporting Actress — Television Constance Marie Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor — Drama Lucas Grabeel Nominated
Choice TV Show — Drama Switched at Birth Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Nominated

Media information

ABC Family promoted the series by launching an online game, "Switched at Birth: Hunt for the Code" one week before the premiere. Bay, a graffiti artist, left her signature stencil image on ten different websites, and players searched for the picture and accompanying code to redeem sneak peeks and enter a drawing to win $4,000.[39] Each weekday, ABCFamily.com posted two clues hinting at a site featuring the image, and instructed users to scan the code with a Microsoft Tag Reader for exclusive content.[40] Additionally, each code had two letters for fans to collect and enter to win upon completion of the ten-digit code.

See also


  1. Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2011). "ABC Family Expands Schedule To 3 Nights Of Original Programming". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  2. Pennington, Gail (January 12, 2013). "TCA: 'Switched at Birth' goes deeper into deaf culture : Entertainment". Stltoday.com. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  3. Barney, Chuck (June 29, 2011). "Chuck Barney: 'Switched at Birth' another winner for ABC Family". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  4. 1 2 "ABC Family Announces Premiere Dates for 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Twisted', 'Switched at Birth' and 'The Fosters'". TvByTheNumbers. October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  5. "ABC Family's 'Switched at Birth' Renewed For Fourth Season". Deadline. Aug 13, 2014. Retrieved Aug 19, 2014.
  6. Bibel, Sara (November 12, 2014). "ABC Family Announces January Premiere Dates for 'Pretty Little Liars', 'The Fosters', 'Chasing Life' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  7. Swift, Andy (October 21, 2015). "Switched at Birth Renewed: Season 5 Coming to ABC Family/Freeform". TVLine. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  8. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/switched-at-birth-end-season-874765
  9. http://tvline.com/2016/03/19/switched-at-birth-final-season-premiere-2017/
  10. https://twitter.com/Lizzy_Weiss/status/788053156701745152
  11. Lizzy Weiss [Lizzy_Weiss] (October 17, 2016). "Hey so....the premiere date of our final season of #SwitchedatBirth has been moved one lil week. (Instead of Jan 24), it will be JANUARY 31." (Tweet) via Twitter.
  12. http://www.viralnova.com/girls-switched-at-birth/?mb=aol&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl9%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D1410471933_htmlws-main-bb
  13. "Gilles Marini Promoted to Series Regular on 'Switched at Birth' - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. September 18, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  14. Season 2, episode 3, Duel of Two Women.
  15. "ABC Family Orders More Episodes of Switched at Birth". ABC Family. August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  16. "Switched at Birth, Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game: return." TVseriesfinale.com Retrieved 11/03/11.
  17. Bibel, Sara (July 10, 2012). "'Switched at Birth' to Air Its Season Premiere Monday, September 3; Season Kicks Off With All Day Marathon". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  18. Kondolojy, Amanda (August 17, 2012). "ABC Family Renews 'Melissa & Joey', 'Baby Daddy', 'Switched at Birth' & Orders Additional Episodes of 'Bunheads'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  19. Ausiello, Michael (September 28, 2012). "'Pretty Little Liars' Season 3b Return Date — Plus 'Bunheads' Return Date". TV Line. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  20. "ABC Family Announces Summer Lineup Including Premieres of 'The Fosters', 'Twisted' + Return of 'Baby Daddy', Pretty Little Liars' & 'Switched at Birth'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  21. "Q & A with Constance Marie from "Switched at Birth"". modoration.com. 14 July 2011. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  22. Yawn, Jacquelyne (15 July 2011). "Special Interview with ABC Family "Switched At Birth" Katie Leclerc". San Diego Entertainer Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2011. Katie Leclerc
  23. "ABC Family's 'Switched at Birth' ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  24. ABC Family, Switched At Birth - Season 1, Episode 3
  25. http://www.seeing-stars.com/Locations/SwitchedAtBirth.shtml
  26. 1 2 "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Pawn Stars' Tops Night; Plus 'WWE Raw,' 'Secret Life,' NHL Stanley Cup Finals, 'American Pickers' & More - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  27. 1 2 "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Monday Night Football' Triumphs + Presidential Debate Ratings, 'On The Record', 'Monday Night RAW', 'SportsCenter' & More - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. October 23, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  28. Switched at Birth: Season One Ratings
  29. 1 2 "Monday Cable Ratings: College Football Dominates Night + 'WWE Monday Night RAW', 'Catfish', 'Love & Hip Hop 3', 'Teen Mom II' & More". TV by the Numbers. January 9, 2013.
  30. 1 2 "Monday Cable Ratings: NFL Preseason Wins Night + 'RAW', 'Basketball Wives', 'TI & Tiny', 'Marrying the Game' & More". TV by the Numbers. August 20, 2013.
  31. Switched at Birth: Season Two Ratings
  32. 1 2 Amanda Kondolojy (January 14, 2014). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Monday Night RAW' & 'Love & Hip Hop' Tie for Lead + 'Single Ladies', 'Archer' & More". TV by the Numbers.
  33. 1 2 Bibel, Sara (December 9, 2014). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Monday Night Football' Tops Night, 'Love & Hip Hop Hollywood', 'The Fosters', 'Major Crimes', 'Switched at Birth' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  34. Switched at Birth: Season Three Ratings
  35. 1 2 Bibel, Sara (January 8, 2015). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'The Haves and the Have Nots' Wins Night' 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Switched at Birth', 'Dance Moms', 'The Real World' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  36. 1 2 Porter, Rick (October 27, 2015). "Monday cable ratings: 'Monday Night Football' leads the way, plus 'Real Housewives of OC,' 'Love & Hip Hop,' 'WWE Raw'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  37. 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  38. "2013 Media Access Awards". Writers Guild of America. November 1, 2013.
  39. Anne, Beth (May 26, 2011). "Switched at Birth Scavenger Hunt". Nice Girls TV. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  40. "Switched at Birth: Hunt for the Code". Hunt for the Code Game. ABCFamily.com. Retrieved June 3, 2011.

External links

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