ABC Family orders 22 new episodes of drama ‘Switched at Birth’

The new drama series “Switched at Birth” has been re-upped for 22 more episodes at ABC Family.

The “back-season” pickup brings the first-season order to 32 episodes. It premiered June 10, and is currently ABC Family”s No. 2 freshman season ever in total viewers and the 18-34 and 18-49 demos, only trailing the first season of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

As its name would imply, “Switched at Birth” centers on two teenagers (Katie Leclerc and Vanessa Marano) who find out that the hospital accidentally swapped them into one one another’s families as new born babies.

The show also stars Lea Thompson, Constance Marie and D.W. Moffett.

“Viewers have fallen in love with this show, just as we did when we first saw it,” said ABC Family president Michael Riley in a release. “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,” added ABC Family’s Kate Juergens. “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.”
Lizzy Weiss, Paul Stupin and John Ziffren are the snow’s executive producers.

The summer finale of “Switched at Birth” will air August 8, and will return with the new episodes sometime in early 2012.