Legendary sitcom producer Norman Lear is returning to TV with a new version of his 1975 CBS success “One Day At a Time.”
Netflix is airing the new multi-camera show on January 6, showing a Latino family life and their daily life struggles. The first season will have 13 episodes. The sitcom has a new cast and a new city. Although the show is not a reboot, it preserves its unique essence which made people laugh when the series was on in the 1970s.
The multi-camera comedy will follow three generations of the same Cuban-American family living in the same house. Newly divorced former military mother Penelope, her teenage daughter Elena and son Alex, and her old-school mother will cope with life in an apartment that is just not big enough for the four of them.
A Latino cast and crew to meet society’s new reality
Justina Machado plays Penelope while Rita Moreno is the Cuban grandmother. The new version of “One Day At a Time” also has a Schneider neighbor, but it is not the same character that people knew four decades ago. Still, the wacky neighbor shares the essence of its predecessor.
“It’s the same name, and the construct of the character is the same in the sense that the original Schneider and the current Schneider are guys who live in the building,” Todd Grinnell, who plays Schneider in the Netflix series, told Rotten Tomatoes. “They’re pretty lonely guys who find a kinship with this family and glom onto them. They become sort of this adopted uncle–type figure to the family so that structure is there.”
Marketing studies showed that single Latina moms were a desirable target. Thus, Brent Miller created the idea of a new and fresh version of “One Day At a Time” featuring a Cuban-American family. Miller met with Sony Pictures Television because the company owns the original series.
After getting the green light, Miller stated that he told Norman that they could not have “two white boys trying to tell a Latina story.” They read several works of Latino writers with the help of Sony senior vice-president Lauren Moffat and finally found their writer.
Gloria Calderon had previously worked in How I Met Your Mother and Devious Maids and is part of Netflix’s “One Day At a Time.”
Behind cameras, the writers’ room is half Hispanic, including Mexican, El Salvadorian, Puerto Rican and Cuban crew members, making the show more realistic since they all write from their Latino experience.
The Netflix remake will premiere the first of the season’s 13 episodes on Friday, 20 years after Lear’s last TV show -Channel Umptee-3- premiered.