The news many suspected was coming finally arrived yesterday (Dec. 9). One Day At A Time, the Norman Lear reboot show about a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles, was cancelled.
The series originally premiered on Netflix where it remained for three seasons when it was abruptly cancelled. After fans petitioned and stormed social media, the show was saved, twice. The first by PopTV, but then PopTV navigated away from scripted series, and the show was then picked up by ViacomCBS which, due to the pandemic, aired a shortened fourth season. Sony Television Studios, which owns the series, tried to find a new home for the critically acclaimed show, but ultimately, decided to make the fourth season the show’s last.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producers and writers, Mike Royce and Gloria Calderón Kellett detailed what they had planned for the Alvarez family in what would have been the show’s fifth and final season.
Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado)
When we last saw Penelope, she had just gotten her dream job and settled down with the gorgeous Max, but was anxious about how their relationship would work with him having to travel so much. Fear not, Penelope and Max stay together and they “were going to have a modern relationship where he goes and they stay together,” said Calderón Kellett. With her relationship and her career in place, Penelope starts to face the future of her kids leaving the nest.
Schneider (Todd Grinnell)
Our favorite landlord is not only newly sober again, but he’s also dealing with being a new father. Of course he and Avery (real-life wife India de Beaufort) name the baby girl, Penelope. This baby becomes everyone’s baby, of course. He and Penelope grow closer as friends as she helps him navigate parenthood, and though he and Avery don’t marry, there’s a really good reason for it: his sobriety.
Elena Alvarez (Isabella Gomez)
Elena has always known exactly who she is in the series, and what she wants, until she meets someone else she finds herself attracted to. The new crush has her questioning her relationship, but, because the show loves us, Elena and Syd (Sheridan Pierce) ultimately stay together. Elena also gets accepted to Yale, but instead chooses to remain closer to home and chooses UCLA.
Alex Alvarez (Marcel Ruiz)
Papito, as he is affectionately called by his abuela, is growing up, and now that he has a girlfriend, Nora (Raquel Justice), things are changing. Especially when he wants to spend New Year’s Eve with her instead of his abuela.
Lidia Alvarez (Rita Moreno)
Fan favorite Lidia would continue to bring dramatic flare to the Alvarez’s daily life, and that’s not just about her entrances! For one, Lidia is disillusioned with the idea that Elena (Isabella Gomez) can’t get married in a church, and in the episode that was planned, Wilson Cruz (Star Trek: Discovery) was going to play a hot priest. Lidia would also have to contend with the fact she was no longer the main woman in her grandson’s life. And yes, Lidia would FINALLY kiss Dr Berkowitz, but don’t worry, it’s strictly platonic. Oh, Lidia and Penelope live a long and happy life in the family apartment.
Correction, Dec. 16, at 8:530 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this news article featured Gloria Calderón Kellett’s name misspelled. The piece has been updated. We regret the error.