ABC Family’s award-winning original series, ‘Switched at Birth,’ will produce an episode told entirely in American Sign Language (ASL), a first for a scripted series on mainstream television, which will premiere Monday, March 4 at 8:00 pm ET/PT
The special episode will be told from the perspective of the series’ multiple deaf characters — with open captions for hearing viewers – in a storyline that puts the audience in the middle of a student uprising in which the very essence of their deaf identity is at stake. Now in its second season, ‘Switched at Birth’ is the first mainstream television series to have multiple deaf and hard-of-hearing series regulars and scenes shot entirely in ASL.
‘I’ve been wanting to do an all-ASL episode since the series began, and the storyline we’ve been focusing on this season gave us the perfect opportunity. It’s an exciting, visual, empowering story of kids who are different fighting back, and it allows our audience to experience the world as our deaf characters do. We’ve been building to this for 39 episodes and we’re all thrilled to be the first to try this,’ said series creator and Executive Producer Lizzy Weiss.
The series stars Katie Leclerc as Daphne Vasquez; Vanessa Marano (‘Gilmore Girls’) as Bay Kennish; Constance Marie (‘George Lopez’) as Regina Vasquez; D.W. Moffett (‘Friday Night Lights’) as John Kennish; Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, ‘Caroline in the City’) as Kathryn Kennish; Lucas Grabeel (High School Musical) as Toby Kennish; Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe; and Gilles Marini (‘Brothers and Sisters’) as Angelo Sorrento with guest star Marlee Matlin (‘The West Wing’).
ABC Family will kick off the New Year with all new episodes of returning original hit series and fan favorites “Switched at Birth,” “Bunheads,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Lying Game,” all set to premiere the second week of January 2013, with two nights of original programming. Viewers can also catch up on all their favorite shows leading up to the January premieres on abcfamily.com.
The second season of ABC Family’s award-winning drama series, “Switched at Birth,” begins Monday, January 7th 8:00PM – 9:00PM ET/PT. This season sees dramatic changes in the lives of the Kennish and Vasquez families as a result of the verdict in the baby switch trial. Gilles Marini joins the cast in season two as a series regular. With an array of deaf and hard-of-hearing actors, including scenes shot entirely in American Sign Language, “Switched at Birth” was recently honored with a Television Critics Association Award for Youth Programming and an Imagen Award for Best Primetime Program. ABC Family will air a special “Switched at Birth” marathon on Monday, January 7th, from 11:00AM – 8:00PM ET/PT, leading up to the season two premiere. The season one finale airs tonight, Monday, October 22nd at 8:00PM ET/PT on ABC Family.
ABC Family’s critically-acclaimed series, “Bunheads,” from Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino, starring two time Tony Award-winning actor Sutton Foster, will return with all-new episodes on Monday, January 7th at 9:00PM – 10:00PM ET/PT. The new episodes pick-up a couple of months after Michelle has left Paradise to try and return to her former life in Las Vegas.
In all-new episodes of ABC Family’s hit original series “Pretty Little Liars,” returning on, Tuesday, January 8th, 8:00PM – 9:00PM ET/PT, Radley Sanitarium has given Mona a clean bill of health and she is headed back to the halls of Rosewood High, much to the Liars’ dismay. With their former tormentor now back in their everyday life, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer take very different views of the “new” Mona. Sure she made their lives a living hell, but is she really cured? And what other secrets could she be holding onto? It is up to Mona to prove to the Liars if she has changed or not. “Pretty Little Liars” won five Teen Choice Awards in 2012, including Choice TV Show Drama, Choice TV Actor Drama – Ian Harding, Choice TV Actress Drama – Lucy Hale, Choice Summer TV Star Female – Troian Bellisario, Choice TV Villain – Janel Parrish; in addition to the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Drama. According to SocialGuide, “Pretty Little Liars’” summer finale became the #1 “most social” TV series episode in history, breaking records with over 1.6 million comments. ABC Family will air a special “Pretty Little Liars” marathon on Tuesday, January 8th, from 11:00AM – 8:00PM ET/PT, leading up to that night’s premiere episode. A special “Pretty Little Liars” Halloween-themed episode with musical guest star Adam Lambert (“American Idol”) will premiere on Tuesday, October 23rd (8:00PM – 9:00PM ET/PT), as part of ABC Family’s “13 Nights of Halloween” programming event.
“The Lying Game” will return with all-new episodes on Tuesday, January 8th, 9:00PM – 10:00PM ET/PT. As the twins’ saga continues in season two, there are more surprises, secrets and lies. The girls’ recently revealed birth mother Rebecca (Charisma Carpenter) lures Sutton (Alexandra Chando) into her plans for the Mercer family. Emma (Chando) grows closer to Thayer, while still being drawn to Ethan, who has started to reconnect with Sutton. Kristin feels betrayed after Ted came clean about his long ago affair with Rebecca, but Ted might be hiding even more shocking revelations. And Mads connects with a mysterious new guy in town who brings a whole new level of secrets with him.
ABC Family, the Millennial-skewing network, continues its forward momentum as it greenlights additional seasons of its hit series. The network has ordered a third season of “Melissa & Joey,” a second season for both “Baby Daddy” and “Switched at Birth,” and has given a back-order pick-up to “Bunheads,” Michael Riley, President of ABC Family, has announced. The original dramas will premiere in Winter, with the hit comedies returning in Spring 2013.
After launching a successful Wednesday night comedy block with “Melissa & Joey” and “Baby Daddy,” cable TV’s #1 telecasts in their half-hours across the network’s core Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 and Millennial demos, ABC Family has ordered a third season of “Melissa & Joey” and a second season of “Baby Daddy.” Already established as a destination for hit dramas, the network will also produce a second season of the award-winning hit series “Switched at Birth,” and ordered additional episodes of the critically-acclaimed series “Bunheads.” These pick-ups join the previously announced “Beverly Hills Nannies” reunion special that will air on September 4.
“Two years ago we embarked on a bold strategy to grow the breadth and scope of original programming and create a Wednesday night summer comedy destination,” said Riley. “The new series have resonated with our viewers, and the combination of drama, comedy and reality brings great depth to our lineup. Our stable of strong series continues to grow, and I’m thrilled with the strength of our schedule.”
Kate Juergens, executive vice president, Original Series Programming and Development, ABC Family, continued: “I’m so pleased to add more ‘Baby Daddy’ and ‘Bunheads’ to our lineup, and to have already put a ‘Beverly Hills Nannies’ reunion special into production. So many returning originals spotlight how well our programming resonates with our audience. It also furthers our promise to continue to deliver programming that is engaging, optimistic and relatable.”
“Baby Daddy,” which launched as the network’s #1 comedy series in ABC Family history, is pacing as the #1 new cable comedy this summer in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34, and launch to date is the network’s #1 comedy ever and cable TV’s #2 comedy in Prime in the core demos. Providing a solid launch pad for “Baby Daddy,” “Melissa & Joey” is delivering its best season on record, ranking as cable TV’s #1 series in the half-hour across key measure 18-34, 18-49 and 12-34 demos. Newcomer “Bunheads” is a key player on Monday nights, standing as cable TV’s #2 series on Mondays at 9 o’clock in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34.
“Baby Daddy” follows Ben (Bilodeau), a young man in his early 20s living the life of a bachelor as a bartender in New York City with his buddy, Tucker (Mowry), and his brother, Danny (Theler), a professional hockey player. Their lives are turned upside down when they come home one day to find a baby girl left on the doorstep by an ex-girlfriend of Ben’s. After much deliberation, Ben decides to raise the baby with the help of his friends and his protective and sometimes over-bearing mother, Bonnie (Peterman), and his close female friend, Riley (Kane), who has had a secret crush on him since childhood. Riley is hopeful that Ben will finally take notice, but she doesn’t realize that Ben’s brother, Danny, is harboring a secret crush on her.
The series stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau (“Kyle XY”), Derek Theler (“90210″), Tahj Mowry (“The Game”), with Melissa Peterman (“Reba”) and Chelsea Kane (“Dancing with the Stars,” “Jonas LA”). “Baby Daddy” is created and executive-produced by Dan Berendsen (“The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie”). “Baby Daddy” is a multi-camera comedy that shoots in front of a live studio audience in Los Angeles.
Executive-produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and headlined by Tony Award(r)-winning actor Sutton Foster, “Bunheads” is the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.
Michelle Simms (Foster) had a promising career as a classically trained professional dancer, but was drawn to the lights of Las Vegas. Now, with a dead-end job as a 30-something showgirl, she’s found the excitement of Sin City has lost its appeal, and her persistent suitor, Hubbell Flowers, is gaining it. With promises of a cushy life in his coastal town of Paradise, CA, Hubbell convinces Michelle to marry him and move away. Once in Paradise, Michelle discovers that Hubbell forgot to mention that he lives with his mother, the strong-headed, imperious Fanny Flowers, who is not pleased that Hubbell has run off and married a stranger.
A former dancer herself, Fanny runs the local dance studio, which Michelle comes upon and ends up bonding with some of Fanny’s dance students — sweet “Boo,” who would give anything to be a “bunhead” but struggles against her body type; rebellious Sasha, who possesses the classic ballet dancer’s body and talent but — distracted by family issues at home — doesn’t seem to have her heart in dancing; shapely Ginny, who is not yet comfortable in her own skin; and fun-loving Melanie, who is ready for whatever life throws at her. Michelle’s budding relationship with these girls helps her adapt to small town living and her uneasy role as a new daughter-in-law.
The series stars Sutton Foster (“Flight of the Concords”) as Michelle Simms, Kaitlyn Jenkins as Bettina “Boo” Jordan, Julia Goldani Telles as Sasha Torres, Bailey Buntain as Ginny Thompson and Emma Dumont as Melanie Segal, with guest star Kelly Bishop (“Gilmore Girls”) as Fanny Flowers.
“Melissa & Joey”
In the hit ABC Family original comedy series “Melissa & Joey,” Mel (Melissa Joan Hart) is the former wild child of a political family who is now a successful councilwoman in Toledo. Thanks to a financial scheme gone horribly wrong, Mel’s sister ends up in prison and sends her brother-in-law on the run from the law, leaving Mel as the legal guardian for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and nephew Ryder. Spread too thin to manage by herself, Melissa gets help in the unlikely form of Joe (Joey Lawrence) who, desperate for a job, agrees to move in and becomes the family’s “manny.” Together Mel, Joe, Lennox and Ryder form an unlikely family as they navigate the comedic twists and turns of life.
“Melissa & Joey” is a half-hour multi-cam comedy executive-produced by Bob Young & David Kendall, Paula Hart, Melissa Joan Hart, Joey Lawrence and John Ziffren. Melissa Joan Hart (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”), Joey Lawrence (“Blossom”), Taylor Spreitler (“Days of Our Lives”) and Nick Robinson star.
“Switched at Birth”
In “Switched at Birth,” two families are forever altered when they discover their daughters were switched at birth. Life hasn’t been easy for hard-working, single mom Regina Vasquez, but along with her mother, Adriana, Regina has provided her 16-year-old daughter, Daphne — a typical teenager who just happens to be deaf — with a loving and secure home. Although she attends a school for the deaf and hard-of-hearing with best friend Emmett, Daphne’s hearing loss does not prevent her from leading a full life. In sharp contrast to the Vasquezes, Kathryn, a stay-at-home mom, and John Kennish, a retired professional athlete, lead a seemingly perfect life with their two children, Bay and Toby. But when the Kennishes learn the hospital made a grievous error and that Bay is not their biological child, their entire world is turned upside down. Regina, Kathryn and John must learn to co-exist as parents and to blend two families into one for the sake of their daughters, despite overwhelming socio-economic, ethnic and cultural differences.
“Switched at Birth” recently received a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming and an Imagen Award for Best Primetime Program, and has been honored with AFTRA’s (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) American Scene Crystal Award(r), the Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award and a Gracie Award.
“Switched at Birth” is executive-produced by Lizzy Weiss (“Blue Crush”), Paul Stupin (“Make It or Break It”), Becky Hartman Edwards (“Parenthood”) and John Ziffren (“Melissa & Joey,” “Make It or Break It”). The series also stars Katie Leclerc as Daphne Vasquez; Vanessa Marano (“Gilmore Girls”) as Bay Kennish; Constance Marie (“George Lopez”) as Regina Vasquez; D.W. Moffett (“Friday Night Lights”) as John Kennish; Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future,” “Caroline in the City”) as Kathryn Kennish; Lucas Grabeel (“High School Musical”) as Toby Kennish; and Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe, along with guest stars Gilles Marini (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Marlee Matlin (“The West Wing”).
“Switched at Birth” will return with all new episodes on Monday, September 3 at 8:00 p.m. In advance of the premiere, Hyperion will release a Switched at Birth book (available at online retailers on
August 28), divulging the contents of a memoir authored by the character Kathryn Kennish (played by Lea Thompson) in the series.
The first season of the critically- and viewer-acclaimed hit drama on ABC family, ‘Switched at Birth’ will be getting a DVD release on December 13, 2011, just prior to the second season, which begins in January 2012.
‘Switched at Birth’ is the new, groundbreaking drama that documents the upheaval that two teen girls experience when they discover that they were accidentally switched at birth.
Bay Kennish, a talented graffiti artist with an edgy streak, grew up in a wealthy family with happily married parents and an older brother. Daphne Vasquez, an athletic teenager who lost her hearing at an early age, grew up with a single mother in a working class neighborhood. When the girls’ worlds collide, family bonds are tested, new romances are sparked, and they start to learn that it’s who they are inside that matters, not where they grew up.
Now available for pre-order from Amazon.com, ‘Switched at Birth: Volume One’ contains all ten episodes on a two-disc set, plus exclusive collectible iPod skins.
‘Switched at Birth’ features the talent of Vanessa Marano, Katie Leclerc, Constance Marie, Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett, Lucas Grabeel and guest star Marlee Matlin.
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.
On Tuesday, May 31st, ABC Family will launch “Switched at Birth: Hunt for the Code,” an online scavenger hunt game, as part of the network’s launch of its new one-hour scripted original drama series “Switched at Birth,” premiering Monday, June 6th at 9:00PM ET/PT. To enter the game, viewers can log onto www.abcfamily.com/switchedatbirthgame.
“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.
The game centers around the teenage character of Bay, a rebellious and talented street artist, who has been hiding the fact that she’s been painting her stencil art (image above) around the neighborhood. In the online game, players will hunt the internet for 10 of Bay’s signature pink Tags, each of which will have two letters written underneath it. Starting May 31st, the network will post two clues per weekday on abcfamily.com that hint to the sites where Bay’s stencil art can be found. On Monday, June 6th, the first eligible person to collect all 20 letters and enter the complete code on abcfamily.com wins the grand prize of $4,000 to switch their life for the weekend*.
Users can also scan the pink Microsoft Tags with a smart phone to access sneak peeks of “Switched at Birth,” including video, photos and script pages.
“Switched at Birth” is executive-produced by Lizzy Weiss (“Blue Crush”), Paul Stupin (“Make It or Break It”) and John Ziffren (“Melissa & Joey,” “Make It or Break It”). The series stars newcomer Katie LeClerc as Daphne Vasquez; Vanessa Marano (“Gilmore Girls”) as Bay Kennish; Constance Marie (“George Lopez”) as Regina Vasquez; D.W. Moffett (“Friday Night Lights”) as John Kennish; Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future,” “Caroline in the City”) as Kathryn Kennish; Lucas Grabeel (“High School Musical”) as Toby Kennish; and newcomer Sean Berdy as Emmett.
ABC Family has cast Lea Thompson, Constance Marie and newcomer Katie Leclerc in the key role of Daphne, in “Switched at Birth,” a pilot that is currently in pre-production for the network.
“Switched at Birth,” a one-hour scripted drama, tells the story of two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and two brothers, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing as a child due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor 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 (“Blue Crush”) will serve as executive producer and writer.
Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future,” “Caroline in the City”) will portray Kristen Kennish, the wealthy mother of Bay (yet to be cast). Constance Marie (“George Lopez”) will take on the role of Regina Vasquez, the single mother of Daphne, to be portrayed by Katie Leclerc.
ABC Family put out a wide casting search for the role of Daphne, seeking out deaf and/or hard of hearing actors for the part. Katie Leclerc has Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo and tinnitus and degenerative hearing loss. Leclerc is fluent in American Sign Language.
“We’re thrilled to have such acclaimed actresses as Lea Thompson and Constance Marie join the cast in two of our leading roles,” said Elizabeth Boykewich, Vice President, Casting, ABC Family. “For the critical role of Daphne, we set out to meet actors with all ranges of hearing loss to play the part. When we auditioned Katie, we knew she was perfect for the role. Not only is she a talented actress, but like her character, Katie is comfortable in both the hearing and deaf worlds.”
“We’re delighted to see ABC Family cast an actor from the deaf and hard of hearing community for the role of Daphne,” said Dr. Patricia Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc. “By casting Katie Leclerc, the network seized upon an opportunity to make a significant impact with not just viewers, but the Hollywood community at large, by reflecting the diverse world we all live in.”
The network is currently casting two more deaf or hard of hearing actors for the roles of Emmett and Penn.
In its first order for the season, ABC Family has given the production greenlight to three pilots, it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family. The network just concluded a record-breaking summer that included the debut of its new hit series “Pretty Little Liars” and “Melissa & Joey,” and the return of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Make It or Break It.” The pilots are scheduled to go into production this fall.
“ABC Family is coming off another summer of record ratings,” said Riley. “Adding depth to the network’s original programming slate is one of our biggest priorities going into next year. The network’s programming team, led by Kate Juergens, has done a brilliant job developing shows that have come to define ABC Family as a destination for quality original series.”
“We want to continue to concentrate on programming that speaks to our Millennial viewers,” said Kate Juergens, executive vice president, Original Programming & Development, ABC Family. “These pilots offer a great mix of heartfelt and compelling storytelling that our audience has come to expect from us.”
In the one-hour drama “Nine Lives,” Chloe King is looking forward to celebrating her 16th birthday with her friends and single mother, just like every other year… That is until she starts developing heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing…claws), and discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure. Chloe soon learns she’s part of an ancient race who have been hunted by human assassins for millennia —and that she may be their only hope for ultimate survival. Dan Berendsen (“Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Hannah Montana: The Movie”) will serve as executive producer and writer. Alloy Entertainment will produce, with Leslie Morgenstein (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries”) and Gina Girolamo serving as executive producers. The drama is based on the book series The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Celia Thomson. Casting on the project is yet to be announced.
“Switched at Birth,” a one-hour scripted drama, tells the story of two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and two brothers, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing as a child due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor 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 (“Blue Crush”) will serve as executive producer and writer. Casting for the project is yet to be announced.
The greenlight of the third pilot, “Strut,” is cast-contingent. “Strut,” a one-hour scripted drama, revolves around a showgirl named Roxy who marries a stranger after a wild evening, and overnight finds herself living in a small town in Texas and reinventing the high school’s struggling drill team. Roxy uses her background as a dancer to connect with the group of high school outsiders, specifically awkward teen Meg. When Roxy takes it upon herself to shape them into a bona fide strutting team of performers, she turns the town upside down in the process. Lamar Damon serves a writer; executive producers are Karey Burke (“The Beautiful Life,” “Miss Guided”), Charlie Stratton, Anna Mastro and Norman Buckley.