Switched at Birth (2011–2017)


Switched at Birth (TV Series 2011–2017)

Two teen girls discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing as a child after a bout with meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when the families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the girls' sakes.
IMDb   7.7 /10
TheMovieDb    7.5 /10
RottenTomatoes  100 %
TV.com  9.0 /10
FilmAffinity   5.8 /10
Creator Lizzy Weiss
Release Date2011-06-06
Runtime1h 0min
GenreDrama, Family, Romance
Content RatingTV-14 (TV-14)
Awards8 wins & 23 nominations.
CompanyABC Signature, Pirates' Cove Entertainment
LanguageEnglish, American Sign Language, Spanish
Daphne Vasquez / ... 103 episodes, 2011-2017
Bay Kennish / ... 104 episodes, 2011-2017
Regina Vasquez / ... 104 episodes, 2011-2017
John Kennish 103 episodes, 2011-2017
Kathryn Kennish 103 episodes, 2011-2017
Toby Kennish / ... 103 episodes, 2011-2017
Emmett Bledsoe 97 episodes, 2011-2017
Travis Barnes 61 episodes, 2012-2017
Angelo Sorrento 55 episodes, 2011-2017
Melody Bledsoe 44 episodes, 2011-2017

Switched at Birth (TV series)

Switched at Birth is an American teen/family drama television series that premiered on ABC Family on June 6, 2011. 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)".

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.

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


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 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.

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
130June 6, 2011October 22, 2012
221January 7, 2013August 19, 2013
322January 13, 2014December 8, 2014
420January 6, 2015October 26, 2015
510January 31, 2017April 11, 2017


Main characters

  • 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): Bay's biological father and Daphne's legal father.

Recurring characters

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Meredith Baxter appears in season 1 and 5 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. The series began airing the remaining 8 episodes of its first season on September 3, 2012. On August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17), ABC Family renewed Switched at Birth for a second season; it premiered on January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07). After the spring finale on March 11, 2013 (2013-03-11), the second season resumed on June 10, 2013 (2013-06-10). 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.

Filming locations

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. Scenes were filmed in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena.


United StatesFreeformJune 6, 2011Switched at Birth
Latin AmericaSony SpinNovember 7, 2011Cambiadas al nacer
W Network
January 16, 2012Switched at Birth
ItalyDeeJay TVFebruary 8, 2012Switched at Birth – Al posto tuo
RussiaDisney ChannelDezember 3, 2012Их перепутали в роддоме
France6terJanuary 3, 2014Switched
Disney ChannelJanuary 20, 2014Switched at Birth
IsraelYES dramaJune 6, 2011הוחלפו בלידתן (Switched at Birth)


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.


SeasonTimeslot (ET)# Ep.PremieredEndedTV SeasonViewers
(in millions)
(in millions)
(in millions)
1Monday 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
October 22, 2012
2Monday 8:00 pm21
January 7, 2013
August 19, 2013
January 13, 2014
December 8, 2014
4Tuesday 9:00 pm (January 6 – March 10, 2015)
Monday 8:00 pm (August 24 – October 26, 2015)
January 6, 2015
October 26, 2015
5Tuesday 9:00 pm (January 31 – April 11, 2017)10
January 31, 2017
April 11, 2017

Awards and nominations

2011ALMA AwardsFavorite TV Actress — Supporting RoleConstance MarieNominated
American Scene AwardsSwitched at BirthWon
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Breakout StarSean BerdyNominated
Katie LeclercNominated
Choice Summer TV ShowSwitched at BirthNominated
Choice Summer TV Star – FemaleVanessa MaranoNominated
Choice Summer TV Star – MaleLucas GrabeelNominated
2012ALMA AwardsFavorite TV Actress – Supporting RoleConstance MarieWon
Gracie AwardsOutstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series or SpecialConstance MarieWon
Outstanding Producer – EntertainmentLizzy WeissWon
Imagen AwardsBest Primetime ProgramSwitched at BirthWon
Best Supporting Actress – TelevisionConstance MarieNominated
Peabody AwardsSwitched at BirthWon
TCA AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Youth ProgrammingSwitched at BirthWon
2013Imagen AwardsBest Primetime TV ProgramSwitched at BirthNominated
Best Supporting Actress – TelevisionConstance MarieWon
Media Access AwardsCasting Society of America AwardDeedee BradleyWon
RJ Mitte Diversity AwardRyan LaneWon
TCA AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Youth ProgrammingSwitched at BirthNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV Actor – DramaLucas GrabeelNominated
Choice TV Actress – DramaVanessa MaranoNominated
Choice TV Show – DramaSwitched at BirthNominated
TwoCents TV AwardsDrama QueensKatie LeclercWon
2014Imagen AwardsBest Primetime TV Program – Drama or ComedySwitched at BirthNominated
Best Supporting Actress – TelevisionConstance MarieNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV Actor – DramaLucas GrabeelNominated
Choice TV Show – DramaSwitched at BirthNominated
TCA AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Youth ProgrammingSwitched at BirthNominated

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. 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.