Switched at Birth (TV series)
|Switched at Birth|
|Created by||Lizzy Weiss|
D. W. Moffett
|Theme music composer||John Swihart|
|Country of origin||United States|
American Sign Language
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||83 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Lizzy Weiss
Becky Hartman Edwards
Russ T. Alsobrook
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Pirates' Cove Entertainment
Suzy B. Productions (from "This Is The Color Of My Dreams")
ABC Family Original Productions
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Original channel||ABC Family|
|Original release||June 6, 2011– present|
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. 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 the affluent suburb of Mission Hills, Kansas, and the other in working-class East Riverside, Missouri. 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)".
The show's debut was ABC Family's highest-rated series debut to date. 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. On August 13, 2014, ABC Family renewed the series for a fourth season, which premiered on January 6, 2015.
Bay 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 parents John and Kathryn. Genetic testing confirms she is not the Kennishes' biological daughter, which leads in turn to the revelation that the hospital mistakenly switched her with another newborn, Daphne Vasquez, who lives with 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.
- Bay Madeline Kennish was born to Regina Vasquez on October 22, 1995, at 1:22am, but was mistakenly given to Kathryn Kennish by the hospital. She was raised in Mission Hills, Kansas as the legal daughter of Kathryn and John Kennish. She is a passionate, talented artist, traits which she learns she inherited from Regina. Initially a student at Buckner Hall, Bay rebels after learning of the switch. In later seasons, she joins Carlton School for the Deaf as part of a pilot program integrating hearing kids. Bay has an on-off relationship with Emmett, Daphne's best friend whom she fell in love with in the first season.
- Daphne Paloma Vasquez was born to Kathryn and John Kennish but raised as the legal daughter of Regina Vasquez in the working-class neighborhood of East Riverside, Missouri. She inherited red hair from her biological mother. Daphne lost her hearing after a battle with bacterial meningitis at age three. She wears hearing aids, which give her some sensation of ambient noise but not the ability to hear speech. She attended Carlton School for the Deaf, and communicates using both lip reading and American Sign Language (ASL). After the switch she must deal with the return of Angelo, the legal father who abandoned her after she lost her hearing. After being sentenced to community service at a free clinic following a blackmail scheme, Daphne decides to pursue a career in medicine.
- Kathryn Kennish is the biological mother of Toby and Daphne and the legal mother of Bay. At the beginning of the series, Kathryn is a housewife and gifted cook. Upon learning of the switch, she and John open their home to Daphne and Regina and Kathryn begins learning ASL. Angry at the hospital upon learning of her daughter's switch, she pursues a lawsuit with her husband. She decides to help herself deal with the switch, and also to counteract a yellow-journalist treatment of the story, by writing her own book about the switch. Later in the series, Kathryn decides to write another book, a novel.
- Regina Vasquez is Bay's biological mother, and Daphne's legal mother. Puerto Rican on her mother's side, she has raised Daphne as a single mother since her daughter was three. Regina, like Bay, is a talented artist. Once an active alcoholic, Regina sobered up following Daphne's battle with meningitis. It is later revealed that Regina had known about the switch since the girls were three after her husband Angelo obtained a paternity test and accused her of having an affair with another man. After Angelo returns, the two slowly reconnect. Regina even agrees to a sham marriage to prevent his deportation due to charges he faces in Italy. After reuniting with an old male friend, Regina briefly relapses to her alcoholism, and spends some time in a rehabilitation program.
- John Kennish is the biological father of Daphne and Toby and the legal father of Bay. John is a former MLB Baseball player who now owns a chain of car washes. In the second season, John becomes a Republican State Senator. After learning of the switch, John is initially cautious of and resentful towards Regina, especially after it comes out that she knew about the switch. John later suffers a stress-related heart attack, and eventually comes to understand that it wouldn't have been better any other way. John then struggles with his wife's attempts to regain control of her own life.
- Toby Kennish is John and Kathryn's son, the biological brother of Daphne and the legal brother of Bay. Over the course of the series, Toby struggles with an occasional gambling addiction. Toby is a talented musician. During the first season, he was the lead guitarist of Guitar Face, a band that included Wilkie and eventually Emmett. Toward the end of the season, Toby meets a girl, Nikki, at a local church and, together with Emmett, they form a new band. Eventually, Toby and Nikki elope but their marriage is short-lived as Nikki leaves soon after to volunteer overseas with her church for six months. Upon her return, she informs Toby that she has found her place in Africa and invites him to join her. Toby refuses and the marriage breaks down. Initially, Toby regrets the breakup and wants to follow Nikki where she goes, but realizes that would not be fair to either one of them. He takes a trip to Iceland and feels renewed upon returning with new prospects. He then works as a DJ and develops a relationship with a teacher at Carlton School for the Deaf.
- Angelo Sorrento is Bay's biological father, the legal father of Daphne and the boyfriend (and later husband) of Regina. After finding out that three-year-old Daphne was not his biological child, he left Regina, believing she had been unfaithful to him. He spent most of the intervening thirteen years in Italy. He returns after learning of the switch in order to meet Bay and reconnect with Daphne and Regina. He joins the Kennish family in their lawsuit against the hospital and is awarded $5 million. However, he loses this after a bad investment. In the second season, it is revealed he fathered another daughter before coming back to Kansas City. After his second daughter is born, he tries to raise her before giving her up into an open adoption. Angelo dies in season 3, episode 16, apparently from a cerebral hemorrhage suffered in a car crash following an argument with Regina. It is subsequently discovered Angelo had a brain aneurysm which ruptured.
- Emmett Bledsoe is Daphne's childhood best friend and in an on-off relationship with Bay. He inherited deafness from both his parents, and initially does not communicate verbally. He had a childhood crush on Daphne for eight years, but gives up shortly after the beginning of the show when he sees she doesn't return his feelings. He tends to be mistrustful of the hearing world until he meets Bay. They also bond over their mutual love of the graphic arts and begin a relationship. This motivates him to to take speech therapy. His parents are divorced; he lives with his protective mother who tries to shield him from his permissive father and father's girlfriend. While upset over his parents' custody arrangements, he has a desperate one-night stand with Toby's girlfriend, which causes Bay to end the relationship. Later they get back together, only for Emmett to leave for California in order to attend film school. The long-distance relationship suffers through their separation and issues with Bay's ex-boyfriend Tank.
- Melody Bledsoe is Emmett's mother and Regina's best friend, and also a guidance counselor and substitute basketball coach at Carlton School for the Deaf. Proudly deaf, she is protective of her son, in contrast to his father's permissiveness. Mistrustful of the hearing culture, she initially sees Bay as a bad influence on Emmett, but gradually warms up to her as she discovers Bay genuinely cares for Emmett.
- Adriana Vasquez, Regina's Puerto Rican mother and Bay's biological grandmother, lives with Regina and Daphne in the Kennish guest house, and speaks ASL fluently. Fiercely supportive of Regina and Daphne, she doesn't approve of Regina's sporadic relationship with Angelo.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||30||June 6, 2011||October 22, 2012|
|2||21||January 7, 2013||August 19, 2013|
|3||22||January 13, 2014||December 8, 2014|
|4||20||January 6, 2015||October 26, 2015|
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. The series began airing the remaining 8 episodes of its first season beginning September 3, 2012. On August 17, 2012 , ABC Family renewed Switched at Birth for a second season; it premiered on January 7, 2013 . After the spring finale on March 11, 2013 , the second season resumed on June 10, 2013 . On July 30, 2013, ABC Family renewed the show for a third season to premiere on January 13, 2014.
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.
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 with few spoken lines at the end, after the protest is over.
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. There are scenes filmed in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena.
- Vanessa Marano as Bay Kennish: the biological daughter of Regina Vasquez and Angelo Sorrento.
- Katie Leclerc as Daphne 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 given a cochlear implant.
- Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish: Daphne's biological mother, and Bay's legal mother. Thompson directed two episodes: "Prudence, Avarice, Lust, Justice, Anger" in season 2, and "Your Body is a Battleground" in season 3.
- Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez: Bay's biological mother, and Daphne's legal mother.
- D. W. Moffett as John Kennish: Daphne's biological father, and Bay's legal father.
- Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish: Bay's and Daphne's older brother.
- Gilles Marini as Angelo Sorrento (recurring season 1, regular season 2-3): Bay's biological father.
- Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe: Daphne's childhood friend and Bay's Ex-boyfriend.
- Marlee Matlin as Melody Bledsoe, Emmett's mother.
- Ivonne Coll as Adriana Vasquez, Regina's mother. It is a running gag on the show that Adriana likes to watch telenovellas, and she quips that they cannot compete with the real-life drama caused by Angelo.
- Austin Butler as Wilkie, Toby's best friend.
- Maiara Walsh as Simone Sinclair, Bay's nemesis.
- Blair Redford as Ty Mendoza, Bay's ex- boyfriend.
- B.K. Cannon as Mary Beth, Bay's and Ty's friend.
- Anthony Natale as Cameron Bledsoe, Emmett's father.
- TL Forsberg as Olivia, Cameron Bledsoe's girlfriend.
- Christopher Wiehl as Patrick, Regina's boyfriend.
- Tania Raymonde as Bay's friend Zarra.
- Justin Bruening as Chef Jeff Reycraft.
- Ryan Lane as Travis, Daphne's deaf friend. Lane's role as Travis earned him the RJ Mitte Diversity Award at the 2013 Media Access Awards.
- Max Lloyd-Jones as Noah, Bay's hard of hearing friend. The character parallels the real-life situation of Katie LeClerc, with hearing loss due to inherited Meniere's disease.
- Annie Ilonzeh as Lana, the mother of Angelo's second child.
- Cassi Thomson as Nikki Papagus Kennish.
- Stephanie Nogueras as Natalie Pierce, Bay's deaf friend
- Alec Mapa as Renzo, Kathryn's friend who she meets while taking tap dancing classes.
- RJ Mitte as Campbell Bingman, a wheelchair bound pre-med student and volunteer at the free clinic where Daphne is serving her hours of community service.
- Meredith Baxter appears in season 1 as Kathryn's mother Bonnie, a co-investor in John's car wash business, who turns her favor 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 screw-up son off 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.
- Rana Roy as a student, in Daphne's class.
The first 83 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
|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)
|2||Monday 8:00 pm||21||
|4||Tuesday 9:00 pm (January 6 – March 10, 2015)
Monday 8:00 pm (August 24 – October 26, 2015)
Awards and nominations
|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|
|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|
|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||Casting Society of America Award||Deedee Bradley||Won|
|RJ Mitte Diversity Award||Ryan Lane||Won|
|Peabody Awards||Switched at Birth||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|
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. 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. Additionally, each code had two letters for fans to collect and enter to win upon completion of the ten-digit code.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2011). "ABC Family Expands Schedule To 3 Nights Of Original Programming". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- Pennington, Gail (January 12, 2013). "TCA: 'Switched at Birth' goes deeper into deaf culture : Entertainment". Stltoday.com. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- Barney, Chuck (June 29, 2011). "Chuck Barney: 'Switched at Birth' another winner for ABC Family". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- "ABC Family Announces Premiere Dates for 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Twisted', 'Switched at Birth' and 'The Fosters'". TvByTheNumbers. October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ Renewed For Fourth Season". Deadline. Aug 13, 2014. Retrieved Aug 19, 2014.
- 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.
- "ABC Family Orders More Episodes of Switched at Birth". ABC Family. August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- "Switched at Birth, Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game: return." TVseriesfinale.com Retrieved 11/03/11.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ausiello, Michael (September 28, 2012). "'Pretty Little Liars' Season 3b Return Date — Plus 'Bunheads' Return Date". TV Line. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- "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 03/11/2013
- "Q & A with Constance Marie from "Switched at Birth"". modoration.com. July 14, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- Yawn, Jacquelyne (July 15, 2011). "Special Interview with ABC Family "Switched At Birth" Katie Leclerc". San Diego Entertainer Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- "ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- ABC Family, Switched At Birth - Season 1, Episode 3
- "Gilles Marini Promoted to Series Regular on ‘Switched at Birth’ - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. September 18, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
- Season 2, episode 3, Duel of Two Women
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Monday Cable Ratings: NFL Preseason Wins Night + 'RAW', 'Basketball Wives', 'TI & Tiny', 'Marrying the Game' & More". TV by the Numbers. August 20, 2013.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
- "2013 Media Access Awards". Writers Guild of America. November 1, 2013.
- Anne, Beth (May 26, 2011). "Switched at Birth Scavenger Hunt". Nice Girls TV. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
- "Switched at Birth: Hunt for the Code". Hunt for the Code Game. ABCFamily.com. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
- Official website
- Switched at Birth at the Internet Movie Database
- Switched at Birth at TV.com
- ABC Spark website