Throughout the last three months, One Day At a Time developers, executive producers and showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce kept the Save the Show campaign going after the comedy’s cancellation by Netflix with hopeful messages on social media.
Today they have good news for ODAAT fans — the series has found a new home on CBS Corp.-owned basic cable network Pop for a 13-episode fourth season to debut in 2020. While the primary piece of the deal between Sony Pictures TV and CBS Corp. is the show’s premiere run on Pop, CBS will air repeats of the sitcom later in the year.
Going from a premium SVOD platform like Netflix to a basic cable network is not easy as there is a major difference in the series budgets. With negotiations, the gap in the production part of the budget was made “not significant,” according to Sony TV President Jeff Frost, but there still will be reduction.
“It’s a lower budget, we all made sacrifices, we all came up with compromises in order to keep the show going but nothing to prevent us from making the show that we wanted to make,” Calderon Kellett said. “That’s one of the things about Pop that made it really exciting for us -they made very clear that they wanted to keep making the show we want to make; that’s all you want to hear as a creator.”
In Season 4, ODAAT will continue the storylines of the characters, with Elena in her senior year and talking about college, Alex getting older, Penelope becoming a nurse practitioner, Lydia left in Cuba, Schneider as newly sober and in a new relationship and Victor being newly married and how that impacts the family.
“And it is 2020, so we will be discussing I’m sure some version of politics as it affects this family,” Calderon Kellett said.
How does she feel being able to continue the show with a new season airing during an election year? “Exhilarated!,” Calderon Kellett exclaimed.
Moving from Netflix to Pop can also help the show be more timely and topical, Royce said.
“It’s very interesting because instead of binged at once, we are going to come out once a week and will be able to be a little closer to when things will be happening,” he said. “Will still of course will be producing it well ahead of the events that are happening but that will be a new experience to have the timing of it.”
While Sony TV had the cast of the series under contract until October, the ODAAT writers were free to take other jobs. Some of them did, and that’s a good thing, Calderon Kellett said. The cast, led by Justina Machado and Rita Moreno, also includes Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz and Stephen Tobolowsky.
“One of the wonderful things that we meant to do with the show is to give young writers of color and LGBTQ writers an opportunity, so the fact that many of them have moved on to other shows is actually a victory because it’s doing the work we have been doing since Season 1,” she said. “While we are sad to see some of them go to other jobs, it gives us an opportunity to find new writers. So we have some clutch players that are back and then we have some new writers that we are reading right now and going to be meeting that we are really, really excited about.”
Royce gave props to Sony TV executives for getting ODAAT resurrected.
“The moment the cancellation came, Sony said, ‘we are going to get this show another home,'” Royce said, acknowledging that he was very skeptical at first because, as a veteran comedy showrunner, he had gone through a number of cancellations and “it’s almost never a real thing.” But “in this case, Sony really made this happen so we need to take our hats off to them .”
Calderon Kellett gave shout-out to ODAAT’s loyal fans who “were so wonderful, and supportive and generous” following the cancellation by Netflix. “To get canceled and have that type of outcry really made us think, ‘We’ve done something right’.”
And she wants to continue doing it.
“We love making the show, we love these people, we love this cast,” she said. “We love this type of storytelling in a Norman Lear fashion, we love telling it about this family, especially right now when the Latinx community is still pretty vilified in the press by the administration, so to be able to put something forward that is positive and hopeful about a Latin immigrant family doing right in America seems important. We are really honored and thrilled to be able to do it and so grateful to Pop and to Sony for allowing us to continue to tell this important story.”
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