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Born This Way

Born This Way

Photo Credit:  Miller Mobley / A&E
  • Premiered: 
    December 8, 2015
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: A&E
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
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Plot Synopsis

BORN THIS WAY is a one-hour reality series that follows a group of seven young adults born with Down syndrome along with their family and friends in Southern California. Throughout the series, they pursue their passions and lifelong dreams, explore friendships, romantic relationships and work, all while defying society's expectations. The series also gives voice to the parents, allowing them to talk about the joy their son or daughter brings to their family, and the challenges they face in helping them live as independently as possible. BORN THIS WAY features these seven young men and women: Rachel, who works in the mailroom for an insurance company, and will be the maid of honor at her brother's upcoming wedding; Sean, an excellent golfer and avid sportsman, who is a self-professed ladies' man; John,a born entertainer, who is committed to his music and is pursuing a career in rap; Steven, a dishwasher at Angel Stadium in Anaheim and in customer service at a local grocery store, who is a huge movie buff; Cristina, who works in a middle school and loves talking on the phone with Angel, her boyfriend of 4 years and the man she plans to marry; Megan, a budding entrepreneur, who has created a line of clothing she sells under the brand "Megology"; and Elena, who loves to cook, dance and write poetry and takes a great pride in her independence.

The 10-episode second season of BORN THIS WAY premiered on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT on A&E. This season, the young adults and their families continue to live their lives with a fresh and honest perspective as the series dives deeper into their personal independence and relationships, including new friends within their community who will also be featured on the show. In the season opener, "Game of Love," while Megan is in Colorado catching up with her business, her friends in LA are wrapped up in the excitement of the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County's red carpet ball. Steven struggles to find a date for the ball until Elena indicates interest, but because she is supposed to go to the ball with John, things get complicated for everyone.

Season 3 of BORN THIS WAY premiered on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 from 9-11pm ET/PT, as A&E debuted back-to-back new episodes. In Season 3, the young adults journey outside their comfort zone on a quest for greater independence and fulfillment that will include job changes, new living arrangements and evolving romantic relationships. This season also features a new charismatic young family facing the challenges and joys of raising a three-year-old, Rocco, with Down syndrome. In the season opener (9pm), "The Times They Are a Changin'," Down syndrome is not keeping this group of friends from embracing life. The intense mutual attraction between Megan and Steven puts her seven-year romance with Brendan in jeopardy. The thought of this new relationship has the whole group buzzing as they embark together on a grand adventure. Cristina is about to put into practice all she learned in those independent living classes. Before she can marry Angel, her parents want her to live on her own. Then, in the night's second new episode (10pm), "The Love Boat," on the high seas, the cast surprises everyone by taking risks and overcoming fears, some while dangling from a cable a hundred feet above the deck! The parents cannot believe how their young adults have grown and changed. On a magical first date, Steven and Megan take the biggest risk of all; daring to take those first tentative steps toward falling in love.

On Wednesday, August 15, 2018 from 8-10pm ET/PT, A&E premiered the fourth season of BORN THIS WAY, debuting back-to-back new episodes. "Pursuit of Happiness" (8pm): The friends spread their wings and fly towards independence. Cristina and Angel announce the date of their wedding and begin the whirlwind process of wedding planning; Rachel, determined to live on her own, asks Megan to be her roommate; John takes the necessary steps towards getting his driver's license; Sean's determination to get a tattoo drives a wedge between him and his father. "Till Dress Do Us Part" (9pm): While picking out a wedding dress, powerful emotions are brought up for Cristina and Bea, forcing them to examine the advisability of her upcoming marriage; Elena desires to take her relationship with William to the next level, but an embarrassing family dinner threatens to derail it all; On a journey to health and wellness, Megan and John visit the Chopra Center, where both amusement and self-discovery ensue.
On Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT, A&E premiered "A Very Born This Way Christmas," a one-hour BORN THIS WAY holiday special, which also serves as the series finale. The cast gathers to reflect on their personal growth across the four seasons of the show and discuss its impact on the way society views people with disabilities. From finding jobs to navigating relationships and break ups to exerting their own independence, the cast will rejoice in the journey they have been on together and thank fans for all of their support along the way.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Bunim-Murray Productions