Switched at Birth

Switched at Birth Information

Switched at Birth is an American television series that premiered on ABC Family on June 6, 2011, at 9:00 ET/PT. The one-hour scripted drama revolves around two teenagers who were switched at birth and grew up in very different environments. The series' debut was the highest-rated show debut for ABC Family to date. 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 ASL [American Sign Language]."

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 , ABC Family renewed Switched at Birth for a second season; it premiered on . After the spring finale on , ABC Family announced that the second season would resume on .


Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) is an artistic teenager being raised by her stay-at-home mother Kathryn (Lea Thompson) and former professional baseball player father John (D. W. Moffett), in the wealthy Kansas City suburb of Mission Hills, Kansas, along with her older brother Toby (Lucas Grabeel). After studying blood types in school, Bay questions why her type is considered impossible given those of her parents. After genetic testing that confirms Bay is not biologically related to her parents, the family discovers that the hospital mistakenly switched Bay with another newborn, Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), a deaf teen who lost her hearing as a result of meningitis, living with her struggling single mother, Regina (Constance Marie) and Puerto Rican grandmother (Ivonne Coll) in the low-income neighborhood of East Riverside Riverside, Missouri.

When the two families meet, the girls struggle with their identities as Bay relates to Regina's artistic abilities and Daphne is drawn to John's athletic skills. The Kennishes learn that Regina is facing financial woes and propose the Vasquezes move into their guest home. The new living situation forces the girls, along with both families, to understand their differences and embrace their similarities. Kathryn attempts to bond with Daphne while unintentionally alienating Bay. At the same time, Regina struggles with Kathryn's influence on Daphne and bonding with Bay.

Oscar-winning actress and Deaf advocate Marlee Matlin plays a friend of Regina's and the mother of Emmett (Sean Berdy), Daphne's best friend and schoolmate. Gilles Marini plays Angelo Sorrento, Bay's biological father. On September 18, 2012, it was announced that Marini was promoted to a series regular for the show's second season.

Cast and characters

See List of Switched at Birth characters for more information

  • Katie Leclerc portrays Daphne Paloma Vasquez, biological daughter of John and Kathryn Kennish; and legal daughter of Regina Vasquez. She was born on October 22, 1995; she was deafened at age three as a result of bacterial meningitis. She has had a series of boyfriends including Liam, Wilke, Chef Jeff, and Travis.
  • Vanessa Marano portrays Bay Madeleine Kennish, biological daughter of Angelo Sorrento and Regina Vasquez; and legal daughter of John and Kathryn Kennish. She was also born on October 22, 1995, a couple of minutes before Daphne. Bay is a passionate artist, and paints street art throughout the city. She has had a series of boyfriends including Liam, Ty, Emmett, Alex and Noah.
  • Constance Marie portrays Regina Vasquez, Daphne's mother and Bay's biological mother. She is a recovering alcoholic, having sobered up after her boyfriend walks out on her (believing she cheated on him and that Daphne is not his daughter) in order to be a better mother to Daphne. It is revealed that while Regina knew about the switch, she never came forward, fearing the possibility of having Daphne taken away from her.
  • D. W. Moffett portrays John Kennish, Bay and Toby's father and Daphne's biological father. John is a former pro baseball player who owns a chain of carwashes and deplores graffiti. He is also has a temper, and whenever something goes wrong he is quick to blame other people and make rash decisions.
  • Lea Thompson portrays Kathryn Kennish, Bay's and Toby's mother and Daphne's biological mother. Kathryn writes her own book about the switch, with Regina's eventual help.
  • Lucas Grabeel portrays Toby Kennish, John and Kathryn's son, Bay's older brother, and Daphne's biological brother. He was the lead guitarist of Guitar Face, a band that included Wilke and eventually Emmett. Toward the end of the season, Toby meets a girl named Nikki at his church, and together with Emmett form a new band. He is shown to have a gambling problem that Regina helps him through.
  • Gilles Marini portrays Angelo Sorrento (Season 2-present, recurring previously), biological father of Bay Kennish, absent father of Daphne Vasquez, and ex"?boyfriend of Regina Vasquez. Angelo, an Italian, and Regina are married, so that he can stay in the US and get to know his kids.
  • Sean Berdy portrays Emmett Bledsoe, Daphne's long-time best friend who is also deaf, and refuses to use speech to communicate, even to hearing people. He falls in love with Bay, but cheats on her in a fit of rage, causing her to break up with him. Despite this, he never gets over her, determined to win her back and prove his remorse for his actions. He loves motorcycles, photography, and is a great drummer.

Recurring cast

  • Marlee Matlin portrays Melody Bledsoe, a deaf guidance counselor and substitute basketball coach at Carlton School for the Deaf; Emmett's mother, and Regina's best friend. When Bay and Emmett begin dating, Melody disapproves, not believing deaf/hearing relationships can work due to culture differences, and strongly believes that Bay (despite being her best friend Regina's daughter) is a bad influence on Emmett. When Bay comes to her and confides in her her worries about Emmett, however, Melody finally eases up on Bay, realizing that Bay genuinely cares for Emmett.
  • Ivonne Coll portrays Adriana Vasquez, Regina's mother, Daphne's grandmother, and Bay's biological grandmother, who lives with Regina and Daphne in the Kennish guest house.
  • Austin Butler portrays James "Wilke" Wilkerson III, Toby's rich best friend and member of their band, Guitar Face. Wilke falls for Daphne, and they begin dating, but break up once Wilke goes away to boarding school.
  • Maiara Walsh portrays manipulative and selfish Simone Sinclair, former friend of Bay and Wilke's ex"?girlfriend. She forms a friendship with Daphne, which is later dissolved when she betrays the Kennish kids by sleeping with Emmett, Bay's then boyfriend and Daphne's best friend.
  • Blair Redford portrays Tyler "Ty" Mendoza, Daphne's close friend and Bay's short-lived love interest. Later, they break up shortly before he leaves for the military in episode 5. He will return in the second half season 2.
  • Sam Page portrays Craig Tebbe, John and Kathryn's newly appointed lawyer for their case against the hospital. He is shown to be slightly interested in Kathryn, but she rebuffs his advances.
  • Anthony Natale portrays Cameron Bledsoe, Emmett's father, also deaf. He is the "irresponsible" parent compared to Melody and her overprotective parenting style. He also has a girlfriend, Olivia, a bad influence on Emmett.
  • T. L. Forsberg portrays Olivia, Cameron's free-spirited girlfriend who is later revealed to be a marijuana dealer.
  • Charles Michael Davis portrays Liam Lupo, former boyfriend of Bay and short-time boyfriend of Daphne, whose father owns a local restaurant.
  • Meeghan Holaway portrays Amanda Burke, Esq., the Kennishes' friend and lawyer, helping John to sue the hospital for medical malpractice. However, John and Kathryn fire her after discovering she's dating one of the hospital board members.
  • Jason Brooks portrays Bruce, ex"?husband of Kathryn's friend and a brief love interest of Regina, until Regina realizes he still has feelings for his ex"?wife.
  • Oliver Muirhead portrays Geraldo, owner of the hair salon patronized by Kathryn and her friends. Regina later works here in order to move her business to Mission Hills.
  • Christopher Wiehl portrays Patrick, owner of a local art gallery who looks at Bay and Regina's work. He and Regina have a relationship, but it ends when he concludes that he couldn't date a married woman who was still in love.
  • Tania Raymonde portrays Zarra, a street artist befriended by Bay. She also uses the street name "Medusa".
  • Justin Bruening portrays Chef Jeff Reycraft, head chef at Maize Restaurant and Daphne's boss, with whom she starts a taboo love affair, which Daphne tries to end in order to keep his job and their relationship. Instead, they break up and she ends up without a job.
  • Ryan Lane portrays Travis, a deaf student at Daphne and Emmett's school who works at John's car wash and is said to have feelings for Daphne.
  • Max Lloyd-Jones portrays Noah, a new student at Carlton who befriends Bay. His parents are making him enroll in the pilot program because he has Meniere's disease and may go deaf. He likes Bay and they've been dating since Human/Need/Desire, only to break up after Bay learns of his kiss with Daphne.
  • Annie Ilonzeh portrays Lana, a medical student who met and had a one-night stand with Angelo, during which she becomes pregnant, and after hearing how Angelo felt he lost time with Bay, thought he would want to know he had another daughter. She gives birth to a baby girl, only to disappear with her later that same day.
  • Cassi Thomson portrays Nikki, a Christian singer who begins dating Toby and replaces Wilke in Guitar Face.
  • Stephanie Nogueras portrays Natalie, a deaf student at Carlton who does not like the hearing students in the pilot program, especially Bay. However, after tensions come to a head at a weekend camping trip hosted by Melody, the two realize that they are indeed quite similar and become close friends.


See List of Switched at Birth episodes for more information


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.

Audio editing

Scenes featuring only Deaf characters having a conversation have their audio edited to remove all background noise except for ambient noise. This is done so viewers can focus on the emotions and physical nature of sign language, while also providing them with a perspective of what it is like to be Deaf.


The show is set in Kansas City, although it is filmed in Los Angeles, California. The Kennishes reside in Mission Hills, an old-money suburb, and before moving into the Kennishes' guest home, the Vasquezes lived in East Riverside. The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Loose Park are both located in Kansas City. In addition, establishing shots used in several episodes feature video of downtown Kansas City, including a shot of Liberty Memorial in the first episode. Some scenes are also filmed in Santa Clarita, California.

Vehicles driven by members of the Kennish family bear Kansas license plates, but they appear to be the 2010 "America's Heartland" base used only for personalized license plates instead of the 2008 "Ad Aspera/State Seal" base used for standard issue license plates. In season 1, episode 5 a close up of John Kennish's license plate is clearly visible, showing a Kansas plate, but the county sticker in the upper-left corner says "SN", which stands for Shawnee County, Kansas, the county in which the state capital Topeka is located, rather than "JO" for Johnson County, Kansas, where Mission Hills is located. Another inaccuracy is the use of license plates on the front of Kansas-registered cars; Kansas provides only rear-mounted plates.


One week before the premiere, ABC Family launched the online game, "Switched at Birth: Hunt for the Code". Bay, a graffiti artist, left her signature stencil image on ten different websites and users searched for the picture and accompanying code to redeem sneak peeks and enter 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.



The show had the highest-rated premiere ever on the ABC Family network with 3.3 million viewers. When counting the repeat of the first episode later that evening, an estimated 4.9 million people saw the premiere. The first 30 episodes are available on Netflix's Watch Instantly service.

The Show is also aired in Ireland on TG4.

Season Timeslot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV Season Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
Monday 9:00PM (2011) {1A[1x01-1x10]}
Tuesday 8:00PM (2012) {1B[1x11-1x22]}
Monday 8:00PM (2012) {1C [1x23-1x30]}
June 6, 2011
October 22, 2012
1.78 2011-2012 TBA
Monday 8:00PM (2013) {2A [2x01-2x10 ]}{2B [2x11
January 7, 2013
TBA 2013 TBA


Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
Teen Choice Award Choice Breakout Star Katie Leclerc
Sean Berdy
Choice Summer TV Show Switched at Birth
Choice Summer TV Star: Male Lucas Grabeel
Choice Summer TV Star: Female Vanessa Marano
ALMA Award Favorite TV Actress - Supporting Role Constance Marie
American Scene Award Honored Switched at Birth
Gracie Award Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series or Special Constance Marie
Outstanding Producer - Entertainment Lizzy Weiss
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Switched at Birth
Imagen Foundation Awards Best Primetime Program
Best Supporting Actress/Television Constance Marie

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Switched_at_Birth_%28TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



    Page generated in 0.28060221672058 seconds