Rita Moreno in cartoon form? Yes, please. Pop TV will air an animated special of One Day at a Time amid production shutdowns due to the coronavirus. Set to debut sometime in the spring, the animated special will include voice performances from main cast members Justina Machado, Moreno, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Stephen Tobolowsky, Todd Grinnell, and India de Beaufort in an election-themed episode about politics and family.
The episode will follow Penelope (Machado) as she prepares for her conservative family’s visit. With the election approaching and her desire to avoid political quarrels, Penelope and co. discuss strategies to survive the visit through illustrated fantasy sequences. “During this unprecedented time, we wanted to find a way to keep our family — on camera and behind the scenes — together and create more entertaining content for our fans who are self-distancing at home,” Gloria Calderón Kellett, co-showrunner and executive producer, said in a statement, per Variety.
She continued, “This animated special gives us an exciting opportunity to imagine the Alvarez family in a colorful new way while continuing to tell important and relevant stories.” It's also a chance for an industry veteran, Norman Lear, executive producer and mastermind behind the original 1975 series, to do something brand new. “In my 97 years, I’ve never known of a multicam comedy to animate a single episode as a special," he said. "Even this I get to experience!”
After a platform move from Netflix to Pop TV, ODAT returned for its fourth season in March. The show’s sixth episode, “Supermoon,” set to air on April 28, will serve as a midseason finale after the cast and crew were unable to finish filming the remaining seven episodes prior to the shutdown that rippled across Hollywood. The series is one of many TV shows and movies that have halted production due to the global health crisis, such as Netflix’s Stranger Things, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the CW’s Riverdale, and ABC’s The Bachelorette.
However, the One Day At A Time animated special could offer a glimpse of how Hollywood will adapt to the changing conditions. Given the accessibility of voiceover and animation work, perhaps other shows will follow suit with unique alternatives as quarantine wears on. Could Eleven and co. fighting new evils, June rebelling against Gilead, Archie and co. staging yet another musical, and Clare Crawley handing out roses at Bachelor Mansion also receive the animation treatment? We wouldn't balk at it.
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