Amid Production Shutdown ‘One Day at a Time’ Goes Animated for Upcoming Special Episode

Lead Photo: 'One Day at a Time.' Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder. Courtesy of POP TV.
'One Day at a Time.' Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder. Courtesy of POP TV.
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Have you ever wondered what the cast of One Day at A Time would look animated? Well, we’re about to find out!

Due to the shutdown happening across industries because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pop TV will be producing an animated, original episode of the beloved show; this will be the company’s first-every animation special. Like many television shows, One Day at a Time shut down its production — which involved shooting in front of a live studio audience — once California issued social distancing rules. Since the sitcom’s fourth season was midway through its run, an animated episode now seems like the best way to bring the Alvarez family back into our homes.

The idea to animate an episode of One Day at a Time came from the show’s executive producer and co-show runner Gloria Calderón Kellett. “As we all know, it’s hard to keep One Day at a Time off the air,” she told Variety. “During this unprecedented time, we wanted to find a way to keep our family — on camera and behind the scenes — together and create more entertaining content for our fans who are self-distancing at home. This animated special gives us an exciting opportunity to imagine the Alvarez family in a colorful new way while continuing to tell important and relevant stories.”

According to Variety, the animated special will be centered around Penelope’s (Justina Machado) conservative family visiting. And, in true One Day at a Time fashion, the episode will not shy away from the vexing political conversations that come with such visits: Per the episode’s official description: “Penelope dreads that with the election coming up, they won’t be able to avoid fighting over politics. The Alvarez family spends the episode discussing strategies of how to get through it, illustrated through fantasy sequences.”

It’s crazy to think but executive producer Norman Lear revealed that this may be the first multi cam comedy to animate a single episode as a special. He’s never seen anything like it in his life. “Even this I get to experience!” the famed creator of the OG One Day at a Time shared.

The news of the upcoming animated special was announced on the same day the show’s midseason finale — aka the last one to be shot before production on the show shut down — aired. Here’s hoping it’s not the last time we get to see Alex, Elena, Penelope and Lydia in the flesh.

One Day at a Time’s animated special will premiere later this spring on Pop TV.