Almost two years after Netflix canceled One Day at a Time after three seasons, the praised reimagining of Norman Lear’s beloved 1970s sitcom is losing its network home again. And, just like it did in the spring of 2018, the studio behind the reboot, Sony Pictures TV, plans to shop the series to other outlets.
Pop, which aired One Day at a Time’s abbreviated fourth season earlier this year, has opted not to order more episodes. The ViacomCBS ad-supported cable network in 2019 rescued the series after its cancellation by Netflix in a complex deal that included encore airings on sibling CBS. A lot of things have changed since then. Following the merger of CBS and Viacom, Pop moved from the CBS to the Viacom side of the company, joining Chris McCarthy’s Entertainment & Youth division. Pop has since pulled away from original scripted programming; following the end of Schitt’s Creek, One Day at a Time was the network’s last remaining scripted series.
Season 4 of One Day at a Time, which was cut short by the pandemic, was simulcast on Pop and sibling TV Land. The series, a reimagining with a Latino family, did significantly better on classic sitcoms-focused TV Land, raising speculation that, if One Day at a Time was renewed, it would move to TV Land.
The last test for the show was its recent run on CBS, 45 years after Lear’s original premiered on the network. With ODAAT‘s performance on CBS expected to factor into ViacomCBS’ decision whether to renew the Sony Pictures TV-produced comedy for a fifth season, Lear and Gloria Calderon Kellett, who co-developed and co-runs ODAAT with Mike Royce, in September made the case why viewers should watch the comedy on CBS. But ratings for ODAAT, the only only Latino show on broadcast this fall were modest.
Sony Pictures TV plans to exhaust every avenue for keeping One Day at a Time alive. I hear the studio has options on the cast until the end of December. ODAAT stars Justina Machado, Todd Grinnell, Izabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Stephen Tobolowsky and Rita Moreno.
The way things stand, ODAAT, which has won two Emmys to date, the second for its fourth season on Pop, did not get any kind of proper ending. The pandemic cut ODAAT’s fourth season down to six episodes shot on stage. The show produced an additional seventh animated episode during quarantine, “The Politics Episode,” which tackled the November 3 presidential election head-on. (CBS did not air that episode.)
In a Deadline interview last month, Calderon Kellett spoke of the creative plans for a potential fifth season.
“Obviously, we would absorb (the unproduced storylines); we have so many beautiful episodes,” she said. “There was the one that Justina was going to direct, which is another beautiful religion episode, which we would love to put into Season 5 and give her that directing debut and also a beautiful script written by Sebastian Jones and so many other really wonderful storylines that we really, really want to do, in terms of Elena figuring out where she’s going to school and really what’s going to be happening to these kids, as well as what Penelope’s love life looks like now with Max, their sort of modern relationship. We have so much more to tell, and especially with everything that’s going on in this world, every day, I’m like, oh my gosh, Elena would say this. Elena would say that. Elena would say this. It’s just ripe with things that this family would be talking about.”
Both Calderon Kellett and Lear were hopeful the show would get more seasons.
“This family, we have so much for them to go through still,” Calderon Kellett said.