“One Day at a Time” executive producer Gloria Calderon Kellett can’t be boxed in. The writer, producer and even performer has written countless plays, has worked on multi-camera sitcoms (“Rules of Engagement”), single-camera comedies (“How I Met Your Mother”), hour-long dramas (“iZombie,” “Devious Maids”) and more.
Now, along with Mike Royce (“Men of a Certain Age,” “Enlisted”) and the legendary Norman Lear, Calderon Kellett is behind Netflix’s new take on Lear’s “One Day at a Time.”
Together they have come up with a new show that has won over critics, most of whom are predisposed to hate remakes and reboots.
The basic concept of the new “One Day at a Time” remains the same: A single mother raising her teenage kids. But a lot is different. For one thing, the original series focused on teenage girls. But in this version, Penelope Alvarez, played by Justina Machado, has a boy, Alex, and a girl, Elena. Her mother, played by icon Rita Moreno, lives with them, and we get to see a lot more of Penelope’s work as a nurse, where she’ll interact with a doctor played by Stephen Tobolowsky. Schneider is still there, but he’s a bit of a hipster, played by Todd Grinnell.
Said Calderon Kellett: “I was concerned not because of the Norman of it, I was concerned as a Latina working in Hollywood, it’s difficult to do, and many amazing people have to tried to do it with varying success… it’s such a responsibility and honor to do it. I was nervous to expose my family and so much of my personal life. I’m the luckiest person in the world. They were beyond warm and wanted to be authentic.”
IndieWire’s Ben Travers says “Norman Lear’s progressive spirit is alive and well in a multi-camera sitcom as forward thinking in front of the camera as it is behind it.”
We recently spoke with Calderon Kellett and Machado about the revival, and the importance – and significance – of the show’s portrayal of a relatable, loving Latino family. (We also obsess a bit over Porto’s Bakery. Seriously, go get a box of potato balls right now.)
Also in this episode: a look at the new shows coming to TV as the new year begins.
IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. Each episode features interviews with producers, reviews, essays on the latest buzz and trends, plus a roundup of what’s premiering and what’s returning over the coming week. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.