One Day at a Time, the Netflix reboot of the ’70s and ’80s Norman Lear sitcom, has been canceled, Deadline is reporting.
Starring Justina Machado and Rita Moreno, the Netflix version was a modern reboot of the original, re-imagining the characters and setting as a Cuban-American family in Los Angeles, rather than a white family in Indianapolis. Nevertheless, like its predecessor, the show was unafraid to tackle the issues facing a single mother in an urban environment. Similarly, the modern reboot, like its predecessor, wasn’t afraid to tackle issues that face any family — such as mental illness, sexism, and homophobia, among others. And since the family at the heart of the show was Cuban-American, the show was also able to explore issues related to the Latinx community, such as immigration and anti-Latino sentiment in the U.S.
The show was critically acclaimed, with several critics calling it one of the Top Ten TV Shows of the Year when it debuted in 2017, as Metacritic reports. It was even nominated for an Emmy award. In particular, it was praised for its writing and for the performances of lead actors Machado and Moreno.
Despite its almost-universal critical acclaim, One Day at a Time apparently failed to find an audience. Although Netflix doesn’t release its viewer numbers to the media or to the public, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos broadly hinted that low viewership is the reason for the cancellation.
“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.”
— Lesley Goldberg (@Snoodit) March 14, 2019
Another factor that may have played a role in the decision to cancel the show was the ownership issue. Netflix owns the rights to most of the original content it produces in-house, but in some cases — One Day at a Time, for example, as well as its Marvel properties — Netflix pays a licensing fee to the producer. The Hollywood Reporter speculates that lackluster ratings and a costly licensing fee may have left Netflix with little choice but to cancel the show.
Being canceled by Netflix may not necessarily spell the end for One Day at a Time, however. Sony Pictures TV, which produced the show in partnership with Netflix, plans to shop the show around for a different distributor, according to The Hollywood Reporter.