Switched at Birth will be coming to an end according to Birth creator Lizzy Weiss. The fifth season has yet to air, and Switched will have completed 103 episodes by the end of it’s run according to Variety. Weiss confirmed Birth‘s conclusion via Twitter and castmates joined in to bid adieu to fans.
This season of #SwitchedatBirth will be our final one. We are ending the show after an amazing 103 episodes with pride, love, and gratitude.
— Lizzy Weiss (@Lizzy_Weiss) March 12, 2016
The very best 5 years of my life https://t.co/r372FUOxLL Thank you to the fans and the friends we have made. This has been a dream come true
— Katie Leclerc (@katieleclerc) March 12, 2016
— Constance Marie (@goconstance) March 12, 2016
— Ryan Lane (@RyanLane1123) March 12, 2016
Switched at Birth airs on Freeform (the network formerly known as ABC Family) and stars former Gilmore Girls alum Vanessa Marano and hearing impaired actress Katie LeClerc who portray daughters who discover as teenagers that a nurse accidentally switched babies in the hospital shortly after birth, leading them to grow up with their wrong families. After discovering the switch, the Kinnish and Vasquez families become intermixed as both sets of parents get to know their biological daughters.
Switched also includes Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin, Back to the Future mom Lea Thompson, and former George Lopez Show star Constance Marie.
Over the past five seasons, Switched at Birth has covered a variety of socially diverse topics from grief and loss, to racism, abortion, date rape and more. Critics agreed, however, that it was Birth‘s introduction of multiple deaf characters and the utilization of sign language that lead Switched to make a profound impact on television viewers.
Episodes of Switched would frequently have pauses of silence for the hearing viewers as deaf characters communicated via sign. Viewers who were not hearing impaired got to experience closed captioning in those moments. In fact, according to Fox News, Switched at Birth‘s most unique episode was almost entirely silent and performed in sign language. Airing in 2013, the intent of Birth‘s sign language episode was to give the hearing viewer an idea of the confusion someone who is hearing impaired may experience while communicating in a hearing world.
Initial ratings for Switched were through the roof for the Freeform network which was coming to terms with the loss of its former teen juggernaut The Secret Life of an American Teenager starring Shailene Woodley. In it’s most recent season, however, Switched at Birth‘s ratings began to slip from 3.3 million in its initial season to only 840,000 viewers for Switched‘s Season 4 finale according to TV Line.
Following ABC Family‘s transition to Freeform at the beginning of the year, there was much speculation as to whether or not Switched at Birth would survive the network’s restructure. Sadly for Switched fans, they only have ten episodes left to follow the show from its birth to its death.
While the stars of the show have been heavily touting their return to the set for filming on social media the past couple of months, Freeform still has yet to release an official air date of Switched‘s last season.
For now, however, according to Lea Thompson’s Instagram, the cast of Switched at Birth is going to enjoy their last few episodes of filming and being together:
[Image via Switched at Birth Official Facebook]