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 8:00PM 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.
“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 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”).
Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 97 million homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today’s families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relatable programming about today’s relationships – told with a mix of diversity, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family’s programming is a combination of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. Emmy® Award-winning ABCFamily.com provides a variety of interactive entertainment and COMMUNITY features, from rich, fan-centric programming – including blogs, viewing parties, webisodes, full episodes of the network’s hit programming, along with sneak peek exclusive previews and behind-the-scenes clips. ABC Family is also the destination for annual Holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas.” ABC Family. A New Kind of Family.
Source: ABC Family press release, 1/11/13