Royce was joined by actors Justina Machado, Todd Grinnell and Stephen Tobolowsky and executive producer Brent Miller at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas. After a screening of the tearjerking episode where Lydia (Rita Moreno) is in a coma, moderator and One Day at a Time guest star Melissa Fumero asked for an update on the #SaveODAAT campaign that launched the second the show was canceled.
Royce said the episode showing Lydia's coma and scenes of the Alvarez family sharing their favorite moments with her had parallels with the show's own future. Someone (and something) was presumed dead, but could still come back.
"All I can say is that there’s hope — there’s not not hope," Royce, a TV veteran who has worked on his share of short-lived shows, told Fumero, reports Deadline. “I’ve been through three ‘save our show’ campaigns — they didn’t work. This is beyond miracle status. We just need to make sure it works out. We’re talking and we hope to have news sooner rather than later.”
“We are not dead yet. Let these networks know you want us back!" Isabella Gomez, who appeared via a brief video message, told the audience.
“When this show comes back it will be because of you guys,” Grinnell added.
"You have to realize you’re not there to entertain, you and the audience have to work together, you’re a unit," Machado said.
Fumero jokingly asked if the character she played, Estrallita, would come back if another season happened.
"She will be back!" Machado said.
"They have a conversation to finish," Royce said.
One Day at a Time was inspired by the original Norman Lear-produced sitcom created by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings. The new version was developed by Royce and Gloria Calderon Kellett, and ran three seasons.
Despite earning rave reviews for its depiction of subjects usually not touched on by sitcoms, Netflix claimed the Sony Pictures-produced series was not earning enough viewers "to justify another season."
Netflix was widely criticized for the move, especially because its statement ended by noting the "outpouring of love for this show is a firm reminder to us that we must continue finding ways to tell these stories." This led to many calling out the streaming service for spending $100 million to stream Friends instead of investing in telling stories like One Day At A Time.
Netflix has continued to defend its decision. In late April, Netflix Originals Vice President Cindy Holland said the show would not have survived at other outlets at all.
"The way I look at One Day at a Time is, it's a show that I was and am passionate about," Holland told The Hollywood Reporter. "I hope people discover the three seasons we have. I prefer to look at it as glass half full... we supported three seasons of a show that probably wouldn't have made it past season one any other place, if it had been made at all."
One hurdle for reviving ODAAT anywhere else is that Netflix negotiated a deal with Sony Pictures Television that might make it difficult to make the first three seasons available on other platforms.0comments
"We invested in three seasons and having a home at Netflix," Holland told THR. "We negotiated for specific rights in the deal, which we paid for. We paid for the show in its entirety, plus profit to Sony. They have the ability to sell it to broadcast and network, but we don't think that it's appropriate that it show up on a competitive streaming platform."
Photo credit: Netflix