Switched at Birth (TV series)

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Switched at Birth
GenreFamily drama
Created byLizzy Weiss
Theme music composerJohn Swihart
ComposerJohn Swihart
Country of originUnited States
Original languages
  • English
  • American Sign Language
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes103 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Frank Byers
  • Russ T. Alsobrook
  • Daryn Okada
  • Carlos González
  • Phil Parmet
  • Peter Basinski
  • Jill D'Agnenica
  • Debby Germino
  • Susan Kobata
  • Mitchell Danton
  • William Marrinson
  • Nathan Easterling
  • David Abramson
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time45 minutes
Production companies
  • Pirates' Cove Entertainment
  • Suzy B. Productions (from "This Is The Color Of My Dreams")
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Original networkFreeform
Picture format720p (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseJune 6, 2011 (2011-06-06) –
April 11, 2017 (2017-04-11)

Switched at Birth is an American teen and family drama television series that premiered on ABC Family on June 6, 2011.[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 a working-class neighborhood. 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 (later 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 Kennish, a teenage girl living in the Kansas City suburb of Mission Hills, Kansas, discovers from a school lab assignment that her blood type is incompatible with that of her parents. Genetic testing confirms Bay is not the Kennishes' biological daughter. It is revealed that the hospital mistakenly switched Bay at birth with Daphne, who has been 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 arrangement forces the girls, along with both families, to understand their differences and embrace their similarities. The girls sometimes struggle with their identities. Bay discovers that 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 the ones they raised. 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.

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)April 11, 2017 (2017-04-11)


Main characters[edit]

Constance Marie, Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett, and Lucas Grabeel
Gilles Marini
Sean Berdy
Gilles Marini and Sean Berdy
  • Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe (regular season 1–4, recurring season 5), Daphne's best friend who is also deaf. He later dates Bay.
  • Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish: Bay and Daphne's older brother.
  • Katie Leclerc as Daphne Paloma Vasquez: the biological daughter of John and Kathryn Kennish. Hard of hearing rather than deaf, Leclerc learned ASL at age 17, before she was diagnosed at age 20 with Ménière's disease which runs in her family. She developed a deaf accent for her role as Daphne, but speaks without it briefly in a scene in season 1, episode 9 where Daphne dreams the switch never occurred, and she was raised as Bay Kennish and retains her hearing. She also speaks without the accent through almost the entire episode 15 of season 2, "Ecce Mono", which is an alternative reality in which Daphne was raised by the Kennishes from age three and got a cochlear implant.
  • Vanessa Marano as Bay Madeline Kennish: the biological daughter of Regina Vasquez and Angelo Sorrento. She was raised in the wealthy neighborhood of Mission Hills by John and Kathryn Kennish. Bay is a very talented artist who has a particular love for Frida Kahlo. Bay can be very impulsive at times, and, at first, does not take the news of the switch well. However, she gradually gets better in accepting that Regina and the Kennishes are both her family.
  • Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez: Bay's biological mother and Daphne's legal mother.
  • D. W. Moffett as John Kennish: Bay's legal father and Daphne's biological father.
  • Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish: Bay's legal mother and Daphne's biological mother.
  • Gilles Marini as Angelo Sorrento (recurring season 1, regular season 2–3):[11] Bay's biological father and Daphne's legal father.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Marlee Matlin as Melody Bledsoe, Emmett's mother and Regina's friend who is also deaf.
  • Ivonne Coll as Adriana Vasquez, Regina's mother. It is a running gag on the show that Adriana likes to watch telenovelas, and she quips that they cannot compete with the real-life drama caused by Angelo.[12]
  • Austin Butler as Wilke, Toby's best friend who also dates Daphne briefly.
  • Maiara Walsh as Simone Sinclair, Bay's nemesis and Toby's ex-girlfriend, as well as Wilkie's ex-girlfriend
  • Blair Redford as Ty Mendoza, Bay's ex-boyfriend and Regina and Daphne's friend from their old neighborhood
  • Charles Michael Davis as Liam Lupo, Bay and Daphne's ex-boyfriend
  • B. K. Cannon as Mary Beth, Bay's and Ty's friend and Travis' ex-girlfriend
  • Anthony Natale as Cameron Bledsoe, Emmett's father
  • TL Forsberg as Olivia, Cameron Bledsoe's stoner ex-girlfriend
  • Christopher Wiehl as Patrick, Regina's ex-boyfriend
  • Tania Raymonde as Zarra, Bay's rebellious friend
  • Justin Bruening as Chef Jeff Reycraft, Daphne's boss and short-term boyfriend
  • Ryan Lane as Travis Barnes, Daphne's deaf friend. Lane's role as Travis earned him the RJ Mitte Diversity Award at the 2013 Media Access Awards. He is Bay's boyfriend in the final season.
  • Max Lloyd-Jones as Noah, Bay's hard-of-hearing friend (and short-term boyfriend). The character parallels the real-life situation of Katie Leclerc, with hearing loss due to inherited Ménière's disease.
  • Annie Ilonzeh as Lana, the mother of Angelo's second child
  • Cassi Thomson as Nikki Papagus (Kennish), Toby's ex-wife
  • Stephanie Nogueras as Natalie Pierce, a Carlton student who becomes Bay's friend
  • Max Adler as Miles "Tank" Conroy, Bay's ex-boyfriend and Toby's former roommate
  • Alec Mapa as Renzo, Kathryn's friend who she meets while taking tap-dancing classes
  • RJ Mitte as Campbell Bingman, a pre-med student, wheelchair user and volunteer at the free clinic where Daphne is serving her hours of community service. He briefly dates Daphne.
  • David Castaneda as Jorge, Daphne's ex-boyfriend
  • Bianca Bethune as Sharee, Daphne's friend and field hockey teammate from Carlton
  • Sharon Pierre-Louis as Iris, Daphne's hearing and signing college roommate and cousin of her pre-med interpreter
  • Adam Hagenbuch as Greg "Mingo" Shimingo, Daphne's college boyfriend and son of John's former business manager
  • Nyle DiMarco as Garrett Banducci, a Carlton student and co-worker of Travis' who takes a romantic interest in Bay. He is also deaf.
  • Daniel Durant as Matthew, a deaf boy who tries to frame hearing students at school. He is also revealed as gay and has a romantic interest in Emmett.
  • Rachel Shenton as Lily Summers, a neighbour who becomes pregnant with Toby's baby.
  • Alice Lee as Skye.
  • Kenneth Mitchell as Wes, Regina's boss.

Guest stars[edit]

  • Meredith Baxter appears in season 1 and 4 as Kathryn's mother Bonnie, a co-investor in John's car wash business, whose favor shifts from Bay to Daphne upon learning of the switch.
  • Corbin Bernsen appears in season 1 as Wilkie's father, James Wilkes Jr., who has the unpleasant task of telling Daphne he is sending his troubled son to boarding school.
  • Shelley Long appears in season 1 as Rya Bellows, a publisher who encourages Kathryn to write her own memoir of the switch.
  • Terrell Tilford as Eric, opened the coffee shop and Regina is now a partner of. The two of them are also in a relationship. Eric has a young son and mysterious past.
  • Sandra Bernhard as Teresa Ledarsky, Bay's art teacher in Season 3.
  • Davi Santos appears in Season 3, Episode 12: Love Among the Ruins as Martin, Nacho's friend.
  • Sam Adegoke appears in Season 5, as Chris Walker.


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. After the airing of the series' initial 10 episodes ended on August 8, 2011, the series continued with a winter premiere on January 3, 2012, airing an additional 12 episodes through March 20, 2012.[13][14] The series began airing the remaining 8 episodes of its first season on September 3, 2012.[15] On August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17), ABC Family renewed Switched at Birth for a second season;[16] it premiered on January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07).[17] After the spring finale on March 11, 2013 (2013-03-11), the second season resumed on June 10, 2013 (2013-06-10).[18] 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.[19][20]

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.[21]

Filming locations[edit]

The show was 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.[22] Scenes were filmed in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena.[23]


Country/Region Channel Premiere Title Ref.
United States Freeform June 6, 2011 Switched at Birth [1]
Latin America Sony Spin November 7, 2011 Cambiadas al nacer [24]
Canada YTV
W Network
January 16, 2012 Switched at Birth [25]
Italy DeeJay TV February 8, 2012 Switched at Birth – Al posto tuo [26]
Russia Disney Channel December 3, 2012 Их перепутали в роддоме [27]
France 6ter January 3, 2014 Switched [28]
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland
Disney Channel January 20, 2014 Switched at Birth [29]
Israel Yes Drama June 6, 2011 הוחלפו בלידתן (Switched at Birth) [30]


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.[citation needed]


Season Timeslot (ET) No. of eps. Premiere Finale U.S. television season Viewers (in millions)
Date Viewers (in millions) 18–49 rating Date Viewers (in millions) 18–49 rating
  • 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 (2011-06-06)
3.30[31] 1.3[31]
October 22, 2012 (2012-10-22)
1.78[32] 0.8[32] 2011–12 2.08[33]
2 Monday 8:00 pm 21
January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07)
1.70[34] 0.7[34]
August 19, 2013 (2013-08-19)
1.96[35] 0.8[35] 2012–13 1.72[36]
3 22
January 13, 2014 (2014-01-13)
1.76[37] 0.7[37]
December 8, 2014 (December 8, 2014)
1.40[38] 0.6[38] 2013–14 1.42[39]
  • Tuesday 9:00 pm (January 6 – March 10, 2015)
  • Monday 8:00 pm (August 24 – October 26, 2015)
January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06)
1.29[40] 0.6[40]
October 26, 2015 (2015-10-26)
0.83[41] 0.3[41] 2014–15
  • Tuesday 9:00 pm (January 31 – April 11, 2017)
January 31, 2017 (2017-01-31)
0.60[42] 0.2[42]
April 11, 2017 (2017-04-11)
0.49[43] 0.2[43] 2016–17

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 Breakout Star Sean Berdy Nominated
Katie Leclerc Nominated
Choice Summer TV Show Switched at Birth Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star – Female Vanessa Marano Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star – Male Lucas Grabeel 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 Constance Marie Won
Outstanding Producer – Entertainment Lizzy Weiss Won
Imagen Awards Best Primetime Program Switched at Birth Won
Best Supporting Actress – Television Constance Marie Nominated
Peabody Awards[44] Switched at Birth Won
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Switched at Birth Won
2013 Imagen Awards Best Primetime TV Program Switched at Birth Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Television Constance Marie Won
Media Access Awards[45] Casting Society of America Award Deedee Bradley Won
RJ Mitte Diversity Award Ryan Lane Won
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Switched at Birth Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor – Drama Lucas Grabeel Nominated
Choice TV Actress – Drama Vanessa Marano Nominated
Choice TV Show – Drama 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 Switched at Birth Nominated

Media information[edit]

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.[46] 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.[47] Additionally, each code had two letters for fans to collect and enter to win upon completion of the ten-digit code.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2011). "ABC Family Expands Schedule To 3 Nights Of Original Programming". Deadline Hollywood. 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. ^ a b "ABC Family Announces Premiere Dates for Pretty Little Liars, Twisted, Switched at Birth and The Fosters". TvByTheNumbers. October 21, 2013. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "ABC Family's 'Switched at Birth' Renewed For Fourth Season". Deadline Hollywood. August 13, 2014. Retrieved August 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. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. 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. ^ "'Switched at Birth' to End with Season 5". The Hollywood Reporter. March 11, 2016.
  9. ^ "Switched at Birth's Final Season Won't Air Until 2017, Says Series Creator". March 19, 2016.
  10. ^ Weiss, Lizzy [@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.
  11. ^ "Gilles Marini Promoted to Series Regular on 'Switched at Birth' – Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. September 18, 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  12. ^ Season 2, episode 3, Duel of Two Women.
  13. ^ "ABC Family Orders More Episodes of Switched at Birth". ABC Family. August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  14. ^ "Switched at Birth, Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game: return." TVseriesfinale.com Retrieved 11/03/11.
  15. ^ 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. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  16. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (August 17, 2012). "ABC Family Renews Melissa & Joey, Baby Daddy, Switched at Birth & Orders Additional Episodes of Bunheads". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  17. ^ Ausiello, Michael (September 28, 2012). "Pretty Little Liars Season 3b Return Date — Plus Bunheads Return Date". TV Line. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  18. ^ "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. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  19. ^ "Q & A with Constance Marie from "Switched at Birth"". modoration.com. July 14, 2011. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  20. ^ Yawn, Jacquelyne (July 15, 2011). "Special Interview with ABC Family "Switched At Birth" Katie Leclerc". San Diego Entertainer Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2011. Katie Leclerc
  21. ^ Lacob, Jace (February 28, 2013). "ABC Family's 'Switched at Birth' ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  22. ^ ABC Family, Switched At Birth – Season 1, Episode 3
  23. ^ "Switched at Birth - Filming Locations".
  24. ^ "Switched At Birth: nueva serie de Sony Spin". November 7, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  25. ^ "ABC Spark to launch in Canada on Monday, March 26, 2012". Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  26. ^ "Switched at birth-Al posto tuo, la serie tv sullo scambio di culle su Deejay Tv". February 8, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  27. ^ ""Их перепутали в роддоме" на Канале Disney!". YouTube. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  28. ^ "Switched at birth arrive en France dès le 3 janvier 2014". December 11, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  29. ^ "Play By Day: Deutschlandpremiere von Switched at Birth beim Disney Channel". Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  30. ^ "הוחלפו בלידתן-switched at birth העמוד הרשמי". Facebook.
  31. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  32. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  33. ^ Switched at Birth: Season One Ratings
  34. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013.
  35. ^ a b "Monday Cable Ratings: NFL Preseason Wins Night + RAW, Basketball Wives, TI & Tiny, Marrying the Game & More". TV by the Numbers. August 20, 2013. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013.
  36. ^ Switched at Birth: Season Two Ratings
  37. ^ a b Kondolojy, Amanda (January 14, 2014). "Monday Cable Ratings: Monday Night RAW & Love & Hip Hop Tie for Lead + Single Ladies, Archer & More". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014.
  38. ^ a b 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. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  39. ^ Switched at Birth: Season Three Ratings
  40. ^ a b 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. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  41. ^ a b 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. Archived from the original on October 29, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  42. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 1, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.31.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  43. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (April 12, 2017). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.11.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  44. ^ 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  45. ^ "2013 Media Access Awards". Writers Guild of America. November 1, 2013. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014.
  46. ^ Anne, Beth (May 26, 2011). "Switched at Birth Scavenger Hunt". Nice Girls TV. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  47. ^ "Switched at Birth: Hunt for the Code". ABCFamily.com. Retrieved June 3, 2011.

External links[edit]