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We couldn’t find the broad audience”: Netflix talks One Day at a Time cancellation

Updated 15-06-19 | 09:10 AM | Staff Reporter

Reading time: 11 mins

Barely a day goes by without Netflix announcing a new series or a film, but as its library grows, and its spending increases, a growing number of shows have also been cancelled to help balance the books. One of the most controversial cancellations was One Day at Time, which the streaming decided to axe earlier this year.

The move prompted a major outcry from fans online, not only because the sitcom reboot was funny and well made, but also because it featured the kind of progressive storylines and diverse characters that are often lacking elsewhere. Now, several months on from that decision, Netflix’s VP of Content, Cindy Holland, has gone into more detail about the thinking behind it.

Speaking at Recode’s Code Conference alongside Natasha Lyonne for a Russian Doll–centred panel, she agreed with moderator Kara Swisher’s reflection that One Day was well made, but admitted there were numerical headwinds throughout the three seasons.

“The basic calculation is, how much viewing are we getting for what it costs?” she said. “We also look at, is it reaching different audiences? Is it gaining critical acclaim? Is it doing something for us as a business that we like?”

After Season 1, Holland admitted, they wouldn’t have renewed it on a viewing-to-cast basis.

“But it was such a well-made show, and we were so proud of Norman [Lear, producer of the original and the reboot] Gloria [Calderon Kellett] , Mike Royce and everybody involved with it that we wanted to see, could we broaden the audience, could it gain a some more steam,” she elaborated. “And it would grow a little bit.”

But they “just couldn’t find the broad audience we hoped”, she continued. “And so, after three seasons, we decided to end it.”

Netflix cancels One Day at a Time

14th March 2019

Netflix has cancelled One Day at a Time after three seasons.

The reimagining of the Norman Lear sitcom follows three generations of a Cuban-American family sometimes-reluctantly co-habitating and navigating the ups and downs of life. Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado), a newly-single mom and military veteran, journeys through the triumphs and tribulations that come with raising her radical teenaged daughter, Elena (Isabella Gómez), who came out in Season 1, and her socially adept tween son, Alex (Marcel Ruiz), with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends-without-benefits building manager named Schneider.

“Full of wit and warmth, Netflix’s One Day at a Time is a joyous, fresh TV comedy that’s the perfect antidote to lazy reboots,” we wrote in our review of the first season.

Since then, while the show has amassed a fanbase, Netflix has decided not to renew it, apparently in part due to its small audience size.

Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, said today in a statement: “It’s been a great honor to work with the legendary Norman Lear on One Day at a Time. I’ve personally spoken with Norman, and co-creators Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce, to express my gratitude to them, all the writers, the dedicated crew and the cast including the brilliant Justina Machado and dazzling Rita Moreno for creating a series with such humor, heart and humanity. This was a very difficult decision and we’re thankful to all the fans who’ve supported the series, our partners at Sony, and all the critics who embraced it. While it’s disappointing that more viewers didn’t discover One Day at a Time, I believe the series will stand the test of time.”

Another factor is likely that the show is produced by Sony Pictures Television, rather than owned in-house by Netflix, at a time when the streamer is looking to cut third party-related costs where possible – and is signing a growing number of creators to develop projects in-house. Indeed, One Day at a Time follows other recent cancellations such as Friends from College and the Marvel series, which were also produced by an outside studio.

In response to the news, #SaveODAAT has been trending on Twitter this evening, as fans launch a campaign to save the show, which is treasured by its viewers for its progressive, diverse and positive representation.

Exec producers Royce and Calderon Kellett said on Twitter: “Last night, Netflix told us they are cancelling One Day at a Time. We had the time of our lives making this show. We worked with the best, most giving and talented cast, writers and crew ever, as well as the incomparable Norman Lear. So while our hearts are very heavy, they are also bursting with appreciation for this amazing experience.

“And for all of you. All of you who told us how much One Day at a Time means to you. We’ve worked on many shows, but never have we experienced the outpouring of love, connection and support like we have with ODAAT. Along with our studio, Sony, we will be exploring other places One Day at a Time can live, and with any luck we’ll find one. Either way our three seasons will always exist and be there for you and for us.

“In the meantime, we want to thank everybody who watched. We love you. Familia Para Siempre.”

Trailer: Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars join One Day at a Time S3

14th March 2019

Some of your favourite Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars are heading to One Day a Time for its third season, and the new trailer gives us a glimpse of what they’re bringing to the Netflix sitcom.

The reimagining of the Norman Lear sitcom, One Day at a Time follows three generations of a Cuban-American family sometimes-reluctantly co-habitating and navigating the ups and downs of life. Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado), a newly-single mom and military veteran, journeys through the triumphs and tribulations that come with raising her radical teenaged daughter, Elena (Isabella Gómez), who came out in Season 1, and her socially adept tween son, Alex (Marcel Ruiz), with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends-without-benefits building manager named Schneider.

The returning cast for Season 3 includes Todd Grinnell and Stephen Toblowsky. They’ll be joined by two familiar faces to Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans, with Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz guest starring.

Fumero will play Estrellita, Penelope’s estranged cousin, after the two were driven apart by a rift between their mothers. (Gloria Estefan will play her mum, opposite the scene-stealing Moreno.) Beatriz will play another cousin of Penelope, Pilar, whom Elena will believe is gay.

Syd (Sheridan Pierce), meanwhile, will also return as Elena’s partner, with the new trailer giving us a look at the kind of issues that are raised in a family where someone identifies as non-binary – issues that One Day at a Time has typically tackled with sensitivity and warm humour. Season 3 premieres on Friday 8th February. Here’s the video:

Trailer: One Day at a Time returns for Season 3 this February

24th December 2018

The Alvarez family are back on our screens in the new year, with Season 3 of One Day at a Time set for a February release.

The reimagining of the Norman Lear sitcom, One Day at a Time follows three generations of a Cuban-American family sometimes-reluctantly co-habitating and navigating the ups and downs of life. A newly-single mom and military veteran journeys through the triumphs and tribulations that come with raising her radical teenaged daughter, Elena (Isabella Gómez), who comes out in the second half of Season 1, and her socially adept tween son, Alex (Marcel Ruiz), with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends-without-benefits building manager named Schneider.

“Full of wit and warmth, Netflix’s One Day at a Time is a joyous, fresh TV comedy that’s the perfect antidote to lazy reboots,” we wrote in our review of the first season.

The returning cast for Season 3 includes Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Todd Grinnell, Stephen Toblowsky, Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz, with Executive Producers including Norman Lear, co-creators/co-showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce, Michael Garcia and Brent Miller.

The season will premiere on Friday 8th February – and a new video is here to confirm that, but also reassure you that you’re not the only one who keeps crying at the show.

Netflix renews One Day at a Time for Season 3

28th March 2018

Netflix has officially renewed Once Upon a Time for Season 3.

A reimagining of the iconic Norman Lear sitcom, One Day at a Time follows three generations of a Cuban-American family sometimes-reluctantly cohabitating and navigating the ups and downs of life. A newly-single mom and military veteran journeys through the triumphs and tribulations that come with raising her radical teenaged daughter, Elena (Isabella Gómez), who comes out in the second half of Season 1, and her socially adept tween son, Alex (Marcel Ruiz), with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends-without-benefits building manager named Schneider.

Following its second season, various groups have been vocal in their calls for Netflix to give a third season order to the show, praising it for empowering Latinxs both in front of and behind the camera, with showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett creating a rare team in the entertainment world that is half female and half Latinx. Now, the streaming giant has confirmed that the sitcom will return for 13 more episodes.

The returning cast includes Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Todd Grinnell, Stephen Toblowsky, Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz, Executive Producers including Norman Lear, co-creators/co-showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce, Michael Garcia and Brent Miller.

Season 3 will premiere on Netflix in 2019. Here’s the video announcing the renewal:

First trailer for One Day at a Time Season 2

6th January 2018

“We have been through so much this year…” No, that’s not someone talking about the last 12 months of reality, but Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado), looking back at the first season of One Day at a Time. And a lot certainly has happened in Netflix’s sitcom – much more than anyone could have expected from a reboot of the old Norman Lear series.

Rebooted for 2017, our heroine is now a recently separated, former military mum, who is navigating a new single life while raising her radical teenaged daughter, Elena (Isabella Gómez), who comes out in the second half of Season 1, and her socially adept tween son, Alex (Marcel Ruiz), with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends-without-benefits building manager named Schneider.

The show returns for Season 2 this month, and shows no sign of losing its sense of humour or social awareness. “You know what they say, do what you love and the money will follow,” says Elena. “Aye, baby,” sighs Penelope. “That’s for rich white women who want to make jewellery.”

All episodes of Season 2 premiere on Friday 27th January. Here’s the trailer:

Trailer: One Day at a Time will return for Season 2 in January

7th December 2017

One Day at a Time will be returning for Season 2 in January, Netflix has announced. And the show is preparing to kick off the new year with a look back to the past.

The sitcom is a reimagining of the classic Norman Lear series, centering on a Cuban-American family. Rebooted for 2017, our heroine is now a recently separated, former military mom (Justina Machado), who is navigating a new single life while raising her radical teenaged daughter and socially adept tween son, with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends- without-benefits building manager named Schneider.

Season 2’s release date has been announced in a new trailer, which sees the Alvarez Family throw it back to the original show’s 1970s heyday, reimagining the opening credits, complete with rubbish fonts and retro wigs and costumes. The show’s new episodes will premiere worldwide on Netflix on Friday 26th January 2018.

Here’s the cute new video:

One Day at a Time renewed for Season 2

5th March 2017

Netflix’s One Day at Time reboot will return for a second season.

The reimagining of Norman Lear’s 70s sitcom gave the original formula a slight tweak, following a Cuban-American family: Our heroine is a recently separated, former military mom (Justina Machado), navigating a new single life, while raising her radical teenaged daughter and socially adept tween son, with the help of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends-without-benefits building manager, named Schneider.

The programme sits alongside Fuller House as Netflix’s growing number of reboots of old TV series. While Fuller House has been widely panned, though, One Day at a Time was a welcome surprise.

“Full of wit and warmth, Netflix’s One Day at a Time is a joyous, fresh TV comedy that’s the perfect antidote to lazy reboots,” we wrote in our review of Season 1.

The show will return for 13 more episodes, with Machado, Morena and the rest of the cast set to return.

Netflix’s One Day at a Time reboot to arrive in January 2017

27th July 2016

Netflix will be ringing in the new year with its One Day at a Time reboot.

The reimagining of Normal Lear’s sitcom will premiere on the streaming service on Friday 6th January 2017. The show follows a Cuban-American family: Our heroine is a recently separated, former military mom (Justina Machado), navigating a new single life, while raising her radical teenaged daughter and socially adept tween son, with the help of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a friends-without-benefits building manager, named Schneider.

The 13-episode first season of One Day at a Time is produced by Act III Productions, Inc., Snowpants Productions and Small Fish Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television. Norman Lear, Mike Royce, Gloria Calderón Kellett and Michael Garcia are executive producers.

Eric Nenninger and Fiona Gubelmann join Netflix’s One Day at a Time

25th May 2016

Eric Nenninger and Fiona Gubelmann have joined Netflix’s reboot of One Day at a Time.

The remake of Norman Lear’s sitcom will follow three generations of a Cuban-American family living in the same house: a recently separated former military mom, Penelope, who is navigating a new single life while raising her radical teenaged daughter and socially adept tween son, with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom and a friends-without-benefits building manager named Schneider.

Six Feet Under veteran Justina Machado already leads the cast as Penelope, with Rita Moreno playing her mother. Now, Eric Nenninger (of Malcolm in the Middle fame) and Wilfred’s Fiona Gubelmann have joined the cast in recurring roles.

Nenninger will play Scott, a nurse who works alongside Penelope, while Gubelmann will play Lori, who works as a reception for Dr. Berkowitz (Stephen Tobolowsky). Deadline describes him as a “know it all” and her as “annoyingly happily married”.

Netflix to reboot One Day at a Time

13th January 2016

Netflix is continuing its run of old sitcom reboots with the news that it will bring back One Day at a Time.

Norman Lear’s comedy originally aired in the 1970s and starred Bonnie Franklin alongside Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli. Despite the fact that not many of its current subscribers will ever have heard of it, the streaming giant is planning to revive it for a modern-day reimagining.

The reboot will run for 13 episodes, centering on a Cuban-American family.

“Our heroine is a recently separated, former military mom navigating a new single life while raising her radical teenaged daughter and socially adept tween son,” explains Netflix, “with the ‘help’ of her old school Cuban-born mom and a friends- without-benefits building manager named Schneider.”

Lear will be an Exec Producer on the show, alongside Michael Garcia, Brent Miller, Mike Royce and Gloria Calderon Kellett. Royce and Calderon Kellett will also write the show.

The show will be produced by Act III Productions, Inc., Snowpants Productions and Small Fish Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television.

It marks the latest in a string of reboots of old TV shows, with the streaming giant bringing back cancelled Canadian series Degrassi this week and, next month, resurrecting Full House with its spin-off Fuller House. For family audiences, Netflix is also rebooting The Magic School Bus and Lost in Space. What of cancelled UK shows? In the UK, Amazon Prime Video is about to bring back Ripper Street for a fourth season, following its cancellation in 2013 – and has already ordered a fifth season to boot.

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