The unique “Sooner or later at a time” returns to Antenna TV
Original producer of “One Day at a Time”, Norman Lear, made his CBS debut on December 16, 1975 looking for his next big hit comedy for “All in the Family”, “Maude”, “Good Times” and ” The Jeffersons “. on CBS; and “Sanford and Son” on NBC. He found it important to this story of an independent divorced young woman named Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) and her teenage daughters Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli) moving to town from their suburban home in Logansport, Indiana-centric Indianapolis.
“One Day at a Time” was created by Whitney Blake (“Hazel”) and Allan Manings, a married couple who were both actors in the 1950s and 1960s. And the series is based on Blake’s own life as a single mother raising her three children (including future actress Meredith Baxter) after her divorce from her first husband. While the original plan was for Annie Romano to have only one daughter, Valerie Bertinelli’s character was received with caution.
The logline of “One Day at a Time” by Wipekedia: Ann often struggles to maintain her role as a mother and to give her daughters the freedom she never had as a young woman. Dwayne Schneider (Pat Harrington, Jr.), the site manager, is usually unwanted advice to tenants, especially Ann.
Ann has a date with divorce attorney David Kane (Richard Masur) in the first season and they get engaged, but on their wedding day David says he wants children; Ann doesn’t, so they break off the wedding.
After David takes a job in Los Angeles, the show focuses on Ann’s dilemmas as a single mom and career woman, as well as the girls’ growing pain, with Schneider becoming a welcome part of the family. Ann’s strained relationship with her ex-husband Ed (Joseph Campinella) is slowly improving, as is the girls’ relationship with his new wife, Vickie. Julie and Barbara are graduating from high school and entering the world of work. Julie eventually marries flight attendant Max Horvath (Michael Lembeck). Alex (Glenn Scarpelli), the orphaned son of Ann’s late friend, moves in and changes the dynamics in the female-dominated apartment. Later on in the series, Julie gives birth to daughter “Little Annie” Horvath, Barbara marries dentist student Mark Royer (Boyd Gaines) and Ann’s mother Katherine (NAnette Fabray) moves in.
One Day at a Time (CBS) 1975-1984 Season 8
Result: The letter of March 14, 1983
Portrayed (from left): Bonnie Franklin (as Ann Romano), Michael Lembeck (as Max Horvath), Valerie Bertinelli (as Barbara Cooper Royer), Boyd Gaines (as Mark Royer), Pat Harrington Jr. (as Dwayne Schneider)
In the final episode, Ann decides to take a job in London and leave her daughters in Indianapolis to raise their own families. In the series finale, Schneider also leaves town and moves to Florida to take care of his niece and nephew (who was a backdoor pilot for a spin-off sitcom that wasn’t picked up).
CBS aired for nine seasons (and 209 episodes) and showed interest in two more seasons of “One Day at a Time”. But Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli decided to end it (Mackenzie Phillips had been fired for the second time for drug use earlier last season). And it was time to say goodbye to yet another mega-hit for Norman Lear.
While the recent relaunch of a Latino version of “One Day at a Time” aired four seasons (three seasons on Netflix and one on pop TV) and was greeted by critics, the original version broke the barriers on the small screen . Needless to say, it’s worth checking out Antenna TV again.