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It’s a TV miracle.
Pop, the niche CBS-owned cable network, has revived Netflix’s canceled critical darling One Day at a Time for a fourth season. The new batch of 13 episodes will debut in 2020. As part of the deal, CBS will also broadcast the series later in 2020, after its run on Pop. CBS, whose streaming platform, CBS All Access, initially tried to revive the series, was the original home for Lear’s groundbreaking original comedy more than 40 years ago.
The historic move is likely the first example of a scripted original series moving from a streaming platform to a cable network. As part of the deal, Sony will now have syndication and international rights to the show — both of which were originally controlled by Netflix. Pop will also air the first three seasons of the series, which will also continue to stream on Netflix.
The news comes three months after Netflix canceled the critically praised but apparently little-watched reboot of the classic comedy from executive producer Norman Lear and showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce. The multicamera comedy from Sony Pictures Television had, under its Netflix deal, limitations that prevented another streamer — like Amazon or CBS All Access — from picking up the show. Netflix continues to retain exclusive streaming rights to the first three seasons of the reboot.
The revival deal for One Day at a Time should be seen as a major win for indie studio Sony TV, which, despite having a new regime, has had a long history of saving shows after their cancellations (see NBC’s Timeless, for example). The deal also has some similarities to Friday Night Lights, which saw DirecTV save the series from near cancellation and air the beloved drama’s first-run episodes before they aired at a later date on the broadcast network. The announcement comes mere days before the studio’s options on the cast expired.
Pop TV, initially a joint venture between CBS Corp. and Lionsgate, is now entirely owned by the former. The former TV Guide Network is best known as the domestic home for the Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek — another critical darling — and such series as the Joey McIntyre comedy Return of the Mac and Hollywood Darlings, starring Jodie Sweetin, Christine Lakin and Beverley Mitchell. The cabler also features a large inventory of beloved shows in syndication, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek and the original Beverly Hills, 90210, among others.
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