A screening of the emotional One Day at a Time episode where Lydia (Rita Moreno) is in a coma after a stroke and the Alvarez family, one by one, share tearjerking moments with her as they wait for her to wake up kicked off the panel session. Afterward, as the ATX Television Festival audience dried their tears, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and ODAAT guest star and panel moderator Melissa Fumero welcomed stars Justina Machado, Todd Grinnell, Stephen Tobolowsky, and co-creator/executive producer Mike Royce and executive producer Brent Miller (and a brief guest video appearance from Isabella Gomez) to talk about the show in front of a packed house at the State Theater.
“It’s rare to make an audience think you’re going to kill off a character…so to get that real audience reaction was great!” said Royce of the episode.
Fumero didn’t waste any time and addressed the elephant in the room. She asked the status of the ongoing #SaveODAAT campaign to rescue the popular Emmy-nominated reboot of the Norman Lear classic, since it was canceled by Netflix. The sitcom has since been determined to come back. Royce said that the episode that was screened parallels the journey of the show — that something that is presumed dead and is miraculously not.
“All I can say is that there’s hope — there’s not not hope,” said Royce. “I’ve been through three ‘save our show’ campaigns — they didn’t work. This is beyond miracle status. We just need to make sure it works out. We’re talking and we hope to have news sooner rather than later.”
Gomez said via her video message: “We are not dead yet. Let these networks know you want us back!”
“When this show comes back it will be because of you guys,” added Grinnell.
“You have to realize you’re not there to entertain, you and the audience have to work together, you’re a unit,” said Machado.
Fumero chimed in and asked if there are more seasons will Estrellita be back. Estrellita is, of course, the frenemy/cousin of Penelope, who Fumero played.
Machado assured, “She will be back!”,
“They have a conversation to finish,” added Royce.
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