Netflix Cancels ‘One Day at a Time’
he streamer has canceled the critically praised reboot of the Norman Lear comedy after three seasons.
“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 Calderon 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,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Thursday in a rare cancellation statement. “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.”
Producers Sony Pictures Television declined comment. Sources say the indie studio plans to shop the series, which could be problematic, as Netflix owns and houses the first three seasons, so a library deal would help make finding a new home an easier task.
The news follows the Feb. 8 season-three debut on the streamer. Netflix, like fellow streamers Amazon and Hulu, does not release viewership information. The series has an impressive 98 percent rating among critics and 91 percent audience score on RottenTomatoes.com.
In addition to Machado and Moreno, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Stephen Tobolowsky also starred.
Executive producers Royce and Calderon Kellett addressed the cancellation in a heartfelt statement 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,” they wrote. “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.”
Likely factoring into Netflix’s decision to cancel the Latino-themed take on Lear’s classic 1970s comedy was the fact that the show was owned by Sony Pictures Television, meaning the streamer had to pay a licensing fee to run the series. As Sarandos’ statement implied, Netflix appears to have been unhappy with the audience. With lusterless ratings and a lack of ownership, Netflix likely was left little choice but to cancel the show. The lack of ownership is also one of the major reasons Netflix and Marvel’s relationship imploded, and all five of those series were canceled.
“I believe in miracles. So, maybe we’ll find a home somewhere else. I hope we do cause Mike Royce and I have a lot more for these wonderful characters to do,” Kellett said as part of a heartfelt Twitter thread detailing her career path. Lear, too, posted a heartfelt note on Twitter in which he declared his heart was broken over the cancellation. “At my age, I can testify that you are never too old to have your heart broken,” he wrote. “I can’t thank Netflix and our partners at Sony enough for the three seasons, but wish I could understand Netflix’s decision to not pick us up for a fourth. Is there really so little room in business for love and laughter?”
The first three seasons of One Day at a Time will remain on Netflix, which continues to embrace diverse voices with Latinx-themed series including Mr. Iglesias, Gente-fied and Selena.
One Day at a Time joins other recent Netflix cancellations, including Friends From College, all the Marvel series — which also hail from an outside studio — Travelers, All About the Washingtons and American Vandal.
Netflix has been increasingly focused on ownership — which is why the streamer has been aggressively courting top showrunners for eight- and nine-figure overall deals — as competitors like Disney, Comcast and Warner Bros. launch streaming platforms of their own.