Vanessa Marano, Katie LeClerc and Sean Berdy
ABC Family's hit drama Switched at Birth ends its spring season tonight (8/7c), as Daphne (Katie Leclerc) and Bay (Vanessa Marano) head to the prom — but things don't work out as planned. Lizzy Weiss is the creator and executive producer of Switched at Birth, which revolves around the complications that erupt when two different families discover that their babies — now teenagers — were mixed up at birth. Weiss, whose credits also include Blue Crush and Cashmere Mafia took time to answer TV Guide Magazine's showrunner survey and make a case for why you should switch on Switched at Birth.
TV Guide Magazine: My DVR is jam-packed. Why should I add Switched at Birth to my queue?
Lizzy Weiss: Because smart, nuanced family dramas that cross generations are few and far between.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Weiss: Smart, nuanced family dramas will die a long, slow death.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an algorithm for your show.
Weiss: Big Love minus polygamy plus The Kids Are All Right to the square root of Children of a Lesser God.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Weiss: The mother of a deaf little girl emailed a writer on my staff that seeing fully realized deaf characters on her TV week in and week out changed her daughter's self-esteem.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing that anyone has said?
Weiss: "Is that a reality show? Are there really enough people who were switched at birth?"
TV Guide Magazine: How are you using your power of TV for good?
Weiss: Reminding people that teens who seem so different aren't really that different. Expanding the notion of communication. Garnering massive interest in ASL [American Sign Language].
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. What idea didn't make it out of the writers' room?
Weiss: We have a whole arc for Grandma Adrianna's lesbian lover Gloria.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Weiss: Me in Another Life.
TV Guide Magazine: Who on your cast would go the farthest on Dancing With the Stars?
Weiss: We already have two cast members who did Dancing With the Stars — Gilles Marini and Marlee Matlin. Lea Thompson is a trained ballerina, Lucas Grabeel is an incredible dancer, and I hear Sean Berdy can rip up a dance floor — maybe we should do a dance-off between Emmett, Toby, and Kathryn.
TV Guide Magazine: If you could steal a character from any other show on TV and incorporate them into the Switched at Birth world, who would they be, and what would they do?
Weiss: Rickie Vasquez (from My So-Called Life) shows up as Daphne (or thus Bay's) long-lost cousin.
TV Guide Magazine: Say you were accidentally switched at the birth... of your career. What other show would you be producing?
Weiss: The radio show This American Life.
TV Guide Magazine: Fill in the blank: If you like (blank), you'll love Switched at Birth.
Weiss: Friday Night Lights
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