Norman Lear’s original One Day at a Time sitcom lasted for nine seasons on CBS from 1975 to 1984. Netflix’s modern reimagining wasn’t so lucky.
Variety first reported today and Netflix confirmed that One Day at a Time has been canceled at the streaming service after three seasons.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said 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.”
There are several factors at play that make One Day at a Time‘s cancellation a little more complex and unusual than another show’s cancellation. The first factor is that this show is beloved…like really beloved. Viewers and critics alike have responded very positively to the modern update of One Day at a Time. The show is so beloved in fact that Netflix began a seemingly earnest (if still corporate) tweet thread for fans following the show’s cancellation.
The show followed the kind of family that was exceedingly rare for television. Each episode depicted the three generations of the Cuban-American Alvarez going through the day-to-day triumphs and struggles of their life and addressed topics like veterans’ PTSD, addiction, sexism, and more. One Day at a Time adopted an “old” style of sitcom filming (multi-camera in front of a live studio audience) with the type of diverse family viewers are more likely to come across today.
The other factor at play here, and the reason many onlookers today are upset with the cancellation, is that Netflix never reveals its actual viewership numbers. There is no way to know how many viewers One Day at a Time pulled in or what kind of audience enjoyed it – even if it seemed as though every single social media user adored it.
That gap between whatever Netflix’s internal numbers told them and what the rest of the world’s anecdotal evidence told them has led to a bit of social media upheaval today, with many fans of the show taking up the cause to find One Day at a Time a new home.
Given the fan response and Variety’s reporting, it does seem very possible that One Day at a Time will be picked up elsewhere. After all, it will take only six more seasons to catch the original.