This is it: “One Day at a Time” will move to Pop TV without its catchy theme song. Pop icon Gloria Estefan recorded the updated, Cuban-flavored take on the “One Day at a Time” theme for the remake on Netflix, and it opened the show’s first three seasons.
But in moving to commercial TV, where episodes must fit a 21-minute window, something had to go — and that meant trimming the opening credits down to a simple title card.
“It’s OK, it’s on YouTube,” executive producer Gloria Calderón Kellett told reporters on Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour. “Gloria Estefan’s going to be OK. We’ll tell people it’s there, and we’ll still tweet about it. But we don’t have that 50 seconds, we need it for the show.”
Fellow executive producer Mike Royce suggested that fans who miss the opening credits can hit pause, play the theme song, and then resume watching the episode.
That’s one noticeable change to “One Day at a Time” as it moves to Pop TV in its fourth season, along with the fact that the show will now air on a weekly basis — rather than be released all at once.
“We’re excited to be on once a week,” Royce said. “We’re going to buy America a watercooler for each home.”
Calderón Kellett said she was always struck by how quickly people would binge “One Day at a Time,” and then not have any more episodes to watch for another year.
“It took so long to make that!” she said. Now, “we feel like we get to sit in the yummyness of each episode and have a conversation about that. Our fan base is largely social media based so we can talk each week with them.”
Royce said new to the show are commercial act breaks and a slightly shorter run time, “but I don’t think we’re going to try to change the ability to let it breathe sometimes.”
Beyond that, the show will stick to its mix of family comedy and socially conscious storylines. “It’s like an actor’s dream,” star Justina Machado said of tackling the show’s scripts.
Added Todd Grinnell, who plays Schneider: “I feel safe, whatever comes to us in any script. I find it amazing they can tackle these issues and have a heartfelt moment and then a joke at the same time.”
After Netflix decided not to move forward with a fourth season of “One Day at a Time,” the fate of the show was uncertain — particularly due to complicated rights issues that prevented the show from moving to another streamer. Sony Pictures TV eventually crafted a deal for a new season that included an initial run on Pop TV and a secondary window on CBS.
“Our decision was bolstered by a extremely passionate fanbase,” said Pop TV topper Brad Schwartz. “It’s a groundbreaking series today as it was a generation ago, and that is where Pop TV really shines. It’s profoundly personal to those who can relate and also instantly universal.”
Said Brent Miller, who runs Act III Prods. with Norman Lear: “One of the beauties of being with Sony is they worked their butts off to make sure they didn’t give up on this show. They did an amazing job.”
Lear, Rita Moreno and Stephen Tobolowsky were also a part of the panel: “I can’t believe what a trajectory this outrageous career has taken,” Moreno said.
Royce added that there is one more thing that has changed with the show’s move to Pop TV: “One Day at a Time” will now see its Nielsen ratings. “Netflix doesn’t release numbers, so I’m happy to reveal we were the highest-rated series on Netflix,” he quipped. “It’s puzzling.”
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