The highest-profile suitor of praised multi-camera comedy series One Day at a Time is on the verge of dropping out. After a spirited effort by CBS All Access to save the Latinx family sitcom following its Netflix cancellation, I hear a deal with the streaming platform does not appear viable because of the conditions in the show’s Netflix deal that do not allow a Netflix original series to continue on another SVOD service for years after its cancellation (though it could jump to a broadcast or cable network in a few months).
I hear Netflix has nixed CBS All Access’ offer for ODAAT. Word is that series executive producer Norman Lear, on whose iconic original the reboot was based, personally reached out to Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos to plead for relaxing the restrictions on the show so it can get a fourth season on CBS All Access, but his effort was unsuccessful.
Word is that Sony TV still has one last Hail Mary: trying to persuade Netflix to make an exception to its stringent rules given ODAAT’s public service of providing a platform to underrepresented voices and catering to underserved audiences.
Regardless of the outcome, I hear Sony TV continues conversations with cable and broadcast networks that have expressed interest in picking up the family comedy. The list reportedly includes the CW, which has been out of the half-hour comedy business for a while and only airs scripted series produced by Warner Bros TV and CBS TV Studios.
As we previously reported, CBS Corp executives made an inquiry about possibly picking up One Day at a Time for their streaming platform CBS All Access hours after it was canceled by Netflix, offering to order a fourth season as well as picking up the existing three seasons. I hear that the first three seasons of ODAAT are off limits as Netflix owns them exclusively, with Sony TV focused on getting a fourth season elsewhere.
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 at least two to three years and as many as 7-10 — after they are canceled by the Internet network.
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, making its continuation on such services virtually impossible, 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 season.
Even if basic cable networks are passionate about the show and willing to pick it up, it is unclear whether such a move would be financially feasible given the lower budgets for cable comedy series. Meanwhile, broadcast networks are in the middle of pilot season and are unlikely to consider ODAAT until they have seen their own crop of comedy pilots.