‘One Day at a Time’ Is Saved—Pop TV Rescues Canceled Netflix Sitcom for Season 4
After spending three months in the TV graveyard, the acclaimed multi-camera family comedy One Day at a Time is officially returning for a fourth season on Pop.
The CBS-owned basic cable network—which has seen its star rise in recent months thanks to the slow-growth success of flagship family comedy, Schitt’s Creek—has ordered 13 new episodes of the series, formerly a Netflix original, to air next year.
The deal makes Pop the first basic cable network to save a canceled streaming-only series, rather than the other way around. Limitations in its original Netflix deal prevented another streaming platform, like Amazon or CBS All Access (the latter of which voiced keen interest in the series), from picking it up. Neatly finding a way around that, One Day at a Time will first air exclusively on Pop, with CBS running repeats later in the year akin to its current airing of acclaimed CBS All Access original The Good Fight.
“How amazing it is to be involved with this brilliant and culturally significant series that deals with important themes one minute while making you laugh the next,” Pop TV President Brad Schwartz said in a statement Thursday. “If Schitt’s Creek has taught us anything, it’s that love and kindness always wins. Pop is now the home to two of the most critically praised and fan-adored comedies in all of television, bringing even more premium content to basic cable. We couldn’t be more proud to continue telling heartwarming stories of love, inclusion, acceptance and diversity that pull on your emotions while putting a smile on your face.”
Notably, One Day at a Time is a modern update of the beloved Norman Learsitcom of the same name, which first aired on CBS back in 1975. The Pop deal, as such, marks something of a homecoming for the series.
When Netflix first revived One Day at a Time, its choice to focus it around a Cuban-American family earned acclaim from critics.The show follows the daily lives of a divorced military veteran (Justina Machado) and her teenaged children, Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Alex (Marcel Ruiz), as well as family matriarch Lydia (Rita Moreno). Though structured as a traditional multi-camera sitcom, the revival soon distinguished itself with a thoughtful, clear-eye approach to tackling social issues from mental illness to LGBTQ rights.
The series’ first three seasons on Netflix were particularly lauded by the Critics’ Choice Awards, which twice nominated supporting actress Moreno. The show’s third season was nominated for Best Comedy Series; that same year, Justina Machado got her first nod for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. But the series was, at least by Netflix’s notoriously secretive estimates, lowly rated, and the streaming service chose to axe the show in March. In announcing the cancellation, Netflix was met with considerable blowback for canceling the series while simultaneously appearing to praise itself for airing it in the first place. Its hand-wringing about the decision on social media particularly irked fans who’d seen the service pay $100 million to keep Friends streaming on Netflix just a few months earlier.
“And to anyone who felt seen or represented — possibly for the first time — by ODAAT, please don’t take this as an indication your story is not important,” Netflix had tweeted. “The outpouring of love for this show is a firm reminder to us that we must continue finding ways to tell these stories.”
That “outpouring of love,” once it became clear Netflix had no intention of reviving the series, was channeled into a committed social media campaign aimed at reviving the series elsewhere, with high-profile proponents like Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda speaking out in support of the show.
Lear serves as an executive producer on the updated One Day at a Time, along with Everybody Loves Raymond veteran Mike Royce and How I Met Your Motheralum Gloria Calderón Kellett.
“Three months ago, I was heartbroken with the news of our beloved One Day At A Time’s cancellation,” Lear added in a statement. “Today, I’m overwhelmed with joy to know the Alvarez family will live on,” he said. “Thank you to my producing partner, Brent Miller, our incredibly talented co-showrunners, Mike Royce and Gloria Calderón Kellett, and of course, Sony, for never once giving up on the show, our actors or the possibility that a cable network could finally save a cancelled series that originated on a streaming service. And one last thank you to, Pop, for having the guts to be that first cable network. Even this I get to experience – at 96.”
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