In a new interview with Deadline, creator Norman Lear and executive producers Gloria Calderon Kellet and Brent Miller talked about One Day At a Time returning to CBS, a shortened fourth season, and whether or not a fifth season is in the cards.
This year the ongoing global pandemic shut down most of Hollywood, and One Day At A Time was no different. The show, which started on Netflix for three seasons before being picked up by CBS, was set to get back into the swing of things earlier this year. But, because of quarantine, only six episodes were able to be shot on stage for the series' fourth season. Those episodes will be broadcast starting October 5th, with two episodes airing back-to-back each week. CBS originally planned for the show to be a part of their summer programming, but pushed it to the fall because of the pandemic.
A seventh animated “Politics Episode” was filmed, but it will not air on CBS. “We would love for them to show 4.07, which is the animated episode,” Calderon Kellet told Deadline, “but thus far, they are not going to be airing that.” Miller added that their hope “is that they will air it because after we have a huge rating at CBS for three weeks in a row, I think they’re absolutely going to want to air that animate episode a week before the election because it is so important for the election.”
Currently, a fifth season isn’t promised for the hit show, but if it does well on CBS this fall, the team is confident the network will want to make more. Calderon Kellett is excited to get the show to a wider CBS audience after the the recent switch. “To be able to have the opportunity to get the eyeballs of the CBS audience is an honor, and those are the people we’ve always wanted to talk to,” she said. “We’re just delighted, and if they want more, then please watch and tweet and do all the things that they’ve done.”
Deadline also asked what a potential fifth season would include, and Calderon Kellett was happy to talk about ideas. Calderon Kellett said that they have a skeleton of the show “built out through season 5 or 6.” She also teased a “religion episode” directed by star Justina Machado and potential storylines about “Elena figuring out where she’s going to school,” and “what Penelope’s love life looks like now with Max."
The series has been widely praised for its humor, heart, and depiction of a modern Latinx family. The show has also received three GLAAD Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy. In this updated version, Elena, the family’s eldest child, is a lesbian who is dating a nonbinary partner. Elena’s coming out story in the first season was praised for its nuance and depiction of coming out in a Latinx family.
When asked how many seasons he wants One Day At a Time to last, legendary creator Norman Lear is very optimistic. “I say 34,” he said, “and I want to be there for every one of them.”