ABC Family has given a back-season order of 22 episodes to the network’s one-hour original drama, “Switched at Birth,” giving the break-out series a full first season order, Michael Riley, President, ABC Family has announced. ”Switched at Birth,” premiering Monday nights at 9:00PM ET/PT, will air its summer finale on Monday, August 8th. The series, which premiered this June with a 10-episode episode order, is scheduled to return in early 2012.
“Viewers have fallen in love with this show, just as we did when we first saw it,” said Riley. “We set out this year to bring viewers more original content than ever before, all with the trademarks of our bright, authentic, quality storytelling. We’re so thrilled to see this series become a break-out hit this summer and become a key component of our programming lineup into next year.”
“Everything about this ground-breaking show speaks to our Millennial viewers,” said Kate Juergens, Executive Vice President, Original Programming & Development, ABC Family. “It has heart, humor, drama and an incredible cast that has brought beautifully nuanced performances to every role. To see it resonate so deeply with audiences is just fantastic.”
“Switched at Birth” was recently honored as the recipient of AFTRA’s (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) 2011 American Scene “Crystal” Award®” — the top individual television program honoree in this year’s competition — “for its groundbreaking and seamless inclusion of performers with disabilities, storylines that showcase new assistive technologies, and ethnic diversity.” The series has also been nominated by the Teen Choice Awards in the “Choice Summer TV Show” category; Katie Leclerc and Sean Berdy have been nominated in the “Choice TV: Breakout Star” category; Vanessa Marano in the “Choice Summer TV Star: Female” category; and Lucas Grabeel in the “Choice Summer TV Star: Male” category. Constance Marie was also recently nominated by the ALMA Awards for “Favorite TV Actress – Supporting Role.”
ABC Family’s hit original series ”Switched at Birth” hit series highs in Viewers 12-34 in its most recent airing on July 25 and, 2011 to date, ranks among cable’s Top 5 original scripted series in Prime in Viewers 12-34 and Females 12-34. In addition, the No. 1 cable series at 9 o’clock in key female demos, “Switched at Birth” is typically Monday’s No. 1 TV telecast each week in Females 12-34. Moreover, launch to date, “Switched at Birth” is pacing as ABC Family’s No. 2 freshman season ever in Total Viewers and target 18-34 and 18-49 demos, behind only the freshman season for “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”
“Switched at Birth” tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a working class neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls. Lizzy Weiss, Paul Stupin and John Ziffren serve as executive producers. “Switched at Birth” stars Katie Leclerc as Daphne Vasquez, Vanessa Marano as Bay Kennish, Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez, D.W. Moffett as John Kennish, Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish, Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish, and newcomer Sean Berdy as Emmett. Marlee Matlin guest-stars as Melody.