ABC Family is set to air an all-ASL episode of Switched at Birth, a series about a deaf character, on Monday night.
Because it's not typical for a TV show to broadcast an episode without sound, the program's lead actresses, Katie Leclerc and Vanessa Marano are reportedly going to pop up onscreen before the show starts and tell viewers, “There is nothing wrong with your TV.” As for anyone who tunes in a couple of minutes late, well, you're on your own! There will be subtitles for those unfamiliar with sign language.
According to Slate, there will be dialogue in the first two minutes and final seconds, but the hour-long episode is totally silent otherwise. The installment will be all about a student protest of the closing of Carlton School for the Deaf. Deaf character Daphne takes charge of a demonstration the eve of the school performance of Romeo & Juliet, in which she's set to play Juliet.
Kathryn Kennish, who portrays Daphne's mother on the show, said of the ASL episode experience, "We have an ASL master on set, who’s there to teach anyone who has sign-language scenes all the words they need to know ... Obviously, the master is there, overseeing it, but we [cast mates] learn from each other.”
Watch Switched at Birth at 9 p.m. ET on ABC Family.