Hours after Netflix on Wednesday night told the team of One Day at a Time it was not going to pick up the praised comedy for a fourth season, producing studio Sony Pictures TV sprung into action, reaching out to a slew of potential buyers. There was some immediate interest — I hear that on Thursday, CBS Corp executives made an inquiry about possibly picking up the show for their streaming platform CBS All Access. But that inquiry hit a snag.
As I reported in a story about Netflix’s business model and how it impacts cancellations, there is a standard clause in virtually all deals for Netflix series from outside studios that prevents the shows from airing elsewhere for a significant period of time — said to be two to three years — after they are canceled by the Internet network. That’s why none of the popular but recently deep-sixed Marvel series could migrate to the upcoming Disney+ direct-to-consumer platform, and why CBS TV Studios’ well received comedy American Vandal, canceled by Netflix in October after two seasons, would not move to the studio’s sibling CBS All Access.
That is highly unusual as Netflix has been the beneficiary of being able to pick up series canceled by other networks, such as Lucifer and Designated Survivor. The company’s moratorium also deprives the series’ creative teams and studios of the opportunity to make more episodes, and fans of the chance to get more of their favorite shows. (It is impossible to hold the team of a show together for 2-3 years, and even the staunchest supporters of a series will likely lose interest after a few years.)
I hear Netflix’s freeze on One Day At a Time, a broad, multi-camera comedy, is a bit less restrictive. While the ban on the series airing new episodes on SVOD platforms is a couple of years, I hear the window is just a few months for linear networks, which would allow the Latinx family comedy to pursue a fourth season on a traditional network that could air the next broadcast season.
This morning, One Day at a Time co-developer/co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett posted an update on the efforts to find a new home for the show.
As I reported, One Day At a Time could potentially be a good fit for ABC, Fox or CBS, with cable networks like TBS also expected to be explored. Still, the restrictions in Netflix’s deal limit Sony TV’s options.
That is unless the streaming service, in light of the enormous fan passion for the show — which catapulted #SaveODAAT to the No. 1 Twitter trend worldwide Thursday — and given the series’ public service of providing a platform to underrepresented voices and catering to underserved audiences, opts to grant it a release.