After a long absence, Switched at Birth returned to television at the end of last month and is now headlong into its final season. The series returned after 15 months on hiatus, something that wasn't easy for fans or showrunner Lizzy Weiss. Weiss recently opened up about the difficulty of the long hiatus and the crew's thoughts and feelings while fans were forced to wait, saying this:
Well, to be honest, it was definitely frustrating. It was a lot longer than we anticipated and we were bummed for the fans that they had to wait so long in between seasons.
The series was meant to return in March of 2016 but was put on hold, as Freeform was still in its transformation from the old branding of ABC Family. On top of that, fans of Switched At Birth were shocked when Lizzy Weiss announced later the same month that Season 5 would be the final season for the series. That's quite a shot to the gut to take all in one month, and Weiss was concerned that not quite all of the fans were getting the message.
With the series being off the air for so long, Lizzy Weiss was unsure if all the fans would be returning for the final season of Switched at Birth. After having a few older fans reach out to her on Twitter, Weiss began to wonder if perhaps fans outside of the social media demographic were aware of what was happening to their beloved series. Whether they learn about the cancellation now while it runs or down the road makes no difference to Weiss, but she has expressed hope that all fans find out:
The hope is just that they find it at some point because they've waited a long time and it's the last 10 episodes of a very long five-year journey.
As THR mentions, Season 5 is half the length of the previous Switched At Birth seasons. Lizzy Weiss indicates that it wasn't known whether the season would be getting its usual 20 episodes or 10 when production began, but they had planned for 10 in the event that the shorter order happened. Season 5's main focus is race relations on campus, which has been a hot-button issue in the past year. Even though the series has been shortened, the cast still hopes their final season will hit some issues that will grab viewers' attention as well as headlines. Check out Switched At Birth on Freeform Wednesdays at 9 pm ET, and find a new series when it concludes with our midseason premiere guide!