Switched at Birth (TV series)

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Switched at Birth
Genre Family drama
Created by Lizzy Weiss
Theme music composer John Swihart
Composer(s) John Swihart
Country of origin United States
Original language(s)
  • English
  • American Sign Language
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 103 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • David Hartle
  • Shawn Wilt
  • Sean Reycraft
  • 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 setup Multi-camera
Running time 45 mins
Production company(s)
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Original network Freeform
Original release June 6, 2011 (2011-06-06) – April 11, 2017 (2017-04-11)
External links
Official website freeform.go.com/shows/switched-at-birth

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.

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 30 June 6, 2011 (2011-06-06) October 22, 2012 (2012-10-22)
2 21 January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07) August 19, 2013 (2013-08-19)
3 22 January 13, 2014 (2014-01-13) December 8, 2014 (2014-12-08)
4 20 January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06) October 26, 2015 (2015-10-26)
5 10 January 31, 2017 (2017-01-31) April 11, 2017 (2017-04-11)[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, 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 (born Bay Madeline Kennish): 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 (born Daphne Paloma Vasquez): 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, doesn't take the news of the switch very easily. 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):[12] 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.[13]
  • 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 Bay's rebellious friend Zarra
  • 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.
  • 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 romantically interested in Emmett.
  • Rachel Shenton as Lily Summers, a neighbour who becomes pregnant with Toby's baby.
  • Alice Lee as Skye.

Guest stars[edit]

  • 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.
  • Davi Santos appears in Season 3, Episode 12: Love Among the Ruins as Martin, Nacho's friend.


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.[14][15] The series began airing the remaining 8 episodes of its first season beginning September 3, 2012.[16] On August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17), ABC Family renewed Switched at Birth for a second season;[17] it premiered on January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07).[18] After the spring finale on March 11, 2013 (2013-03-11), the second season resumed on June 10, 2013 (2013-06-10).[19] 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.[20][21]

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.[22]

Filming locations[edit]

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.[23] There are scenes filmed in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena.[24]


Country/Region Channel Premiere Title Ref.
 United States Freeform June 6, 2011 Switched at Birth [1]
Latin America (orthographic projection).svg Latin America Sony Spin November 7, 2011 Cambiadas al nacer [25]
 Canada YTV
W Network
January 16, 2012 Switched at Birth [26]
 Italy DeeJay TV February 8, 2012 Switched at Birth - Al posto tuo [27]
 Russia Disney Channel Dezember 3, 2012 Их перепутали в роддоме [28]
 France 6ter January 3, 2014 Switched [29]
Disney Channel January 20, 2014 Switched at Birth [30]
 Belgium AB3 October 31, 2016 Switched [31]


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) # 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 (2011-06-06)
3.30[32] 1.3[32]
October 22, 2012 (2012-10-22)
1.78[33] 0.8[33] 2011-2012 2.08[34]
2 Monday 8:00 pm 21
January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07)
1.70[35] 0.7[35]
August 19, 2013 (2013-08-19)
1.96[36] 0.8[36] 2013 1.72[37]
3 22
January 13, 2014 (2014-01-13)
1.76[38] 0.7[38]
December 8, 2014 (December 8, 2014)
1.40[39] 0.6[39] 2014 1.42[40]
4 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[41] 0.6[41]
October 26, 2015 (2015-10-26)
0.83[42] 0.3[42] 2015
5 Tuesday 9:00 pm (January 31 – present) 10
January 31, 2017 (2017-01-31)
0.60[43] 0.2[41]

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 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[44] 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[45] 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[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.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. ^ a b "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. ^ "Shows A-Z - switched at birth on freeform". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Gilles Marini Promoted to Series Regular on ‘Switched at Birth’ - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. September 18, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  13. ^ Season 2, episode 3, Duel of Two Women.
  14. ^ "ABC Family Orders More Episodes of Switched at Birth". ABC Family. August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Switched at Birth, Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game: return." TVseriesfinale.com Retrieved 11/03/11.
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ Ausiello, Michael (September 28, 2012). "'Pretty Little Liars' Season 3b Return Date — Plus 'Bunheads' Return Date". TV Line. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ "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. 
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ 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 
  22. ^ "ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’ ASL Episode Recalls Gallaudet Protest". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  23. ^ ABC Family, Switched At Birth - Season 1, Episode 3
  24. ^ http://www.seeing-stars.com/Locations/SwitchedAtBirth.shtml
  25. ^ "Switched At Birth: nueva serie de Sony Spin". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  26. ^ "ABC Spark to launch in Canada on Monday, March 26, 2012". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  27. ^ "Switched at birth-Al posto tuo, la serie tv sullo scambio di culle su Deejay Tv". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  28. ^ ""Их перепутали в роддоме" на Канале Disney!". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  29. ^ "Switched at birth arrive en France dès le 3 janvier 2014". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  30. ^ "Play By Day: Deutschlandpremiere von Switched at Birth beim Disney Channel". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  31. ^ "SWITCHED dès le 31 octobre sur AB3!". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  32. ^ 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. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  33. ^ 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. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  34. ^ Switched at Birth: Season One Ratings
  35. ^ 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. 
  36. ^ 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. 
  37. ^ Switched at Birth: Season Two Ratings
  38. ^ a b 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. 
  39. ^ 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. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  40. ^ Switched at Birth: Season Three Ratings
  41. ^ a b c 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. 
  42. ^ 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. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  43. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 1, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.31.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  44. ^ 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  45. ^ "2013 Media Access Awards". Writers Guild of America. November 1, 2013. 
  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". Hunt for the Code Game. ABCFamily.com. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 

External links[edit]