One Day at a Time

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One Day at a Time
One Day At A Time title screen.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Whitney Blake
Allan Manings
Developed by Norman Lear
Directed by Norman Campbell
Hal Cooper
Selig Frank
Bonnie Franklin
Herbert Kenwith
Sandy Kenyon
Howard Morris
Noam Pitlik
Alan Rafkin
Don Richardson
Tony Singletary
Starring Bonnie Franklin
Mackenzie Phillips
Richard Masur
Valerie Bertinelli
Pat Harrington
Mary Louise Wilson
Michael Lembeck
Theme music composer Jeff Barry
Nancy Barry
Opening theme "This Is It" performed by Polly Cutter
Ending theme "This is It" (Instrumental)
Composer(s) Jeff Barry
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 9
No. of episodes 209 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Dick Bensfield
Jack Elinson
Perry Grant
Mort Lachman
Norman Lear
Alan Rafkin
Bud Wiseman
Producer(s) Dick Bensfield
Patricia Fass Palmer
Perry Grant
Katherine Green
Allan Manings
Bud Wiser
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) T.A.T. Communications Company (1975–82)
Embassy Television (1982–1984)
Distributor T.A.T. Communications Co. (1980–82)
Embassy Telecommunications (1982–86)
Embassy Communications (1986–88)
Columbia Pictures Television (1988–95)
Columbia TriStar Telvision Distribution (1995-present)
Sony Pictures Television (2002–present)
Original channel CBS
Audio format Monaural
Original release December 16, 1975 (1975-12-16) – May 28, 1984 (1984-05-28)

One Day at a Time is an American situation comedy that aired on the CBS network from December 16, 1975, until May 28, 1984. It starred Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano, a divorced mother who moves to Marion County, west-side Indianapolis, with her two teenage daughters, Julie and Barbara Cooper (Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli). Pat Harrington plays Dwayne Schneider, often simply "Schneider", their building superintendent.

The show was created by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, a husband-and-wife writing duo who were both actors in the 1950s and 1960s. The show was based on Whitney Blake's own life as a single mother, raising her child, future actress Meredith Baxter.[1] The show was developed by Norman Lear and was produced by T.A.T. Communications Company (1975–82), Allwhit, Inc., and later Embassy Television (1982–84).

Like many shows developed by Lear, One Day at a Time was more of a comedy-drama, using its half-hour to tackle serious issues in life and relationships, particularly those related to second wave feminism.


Production notes[edit]

Despite being set in Indianapolis, the show was taped in various Los Angeles locations during its run. In 1975, it was taped at CBS Television City. Later that year, the series began taping at Metromedia Square, where it remained until 1982. From 1982 to 1984, the series was taped at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Theme song[edit]

The theme song for One Day at a Time, "This is It", was composed by Brill Building songwriter Jeff Barry, and performed by RCA recording artist Polly Cutter.


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 15 December 16, 1975 March 30, 1976
2 24 September 28, 1976 March 22, 1977
3 24 September 27, 1977 April 3, 1978
4 26 September 18, 1978 April 14, 1979
5 26 September 30, 1979 April 13, 1980
6 21 November 9, 1980 May 10, 1981
7 25 October 11, 1981 May 16, 1982
8 26 September 26, 1982 May 23, 1983
9 22 October 2, 1983 May 28, 1984


The highest the show ever got in the Nielsen ratings was #8 during the 1976-77 season, when it tied with the ABC Sunday Night Movie and Baretta, but it consistently placed in the top 10 or 20. However, the network moved the show around on the prime time schedule 11 times.

It was best known in the 1980s as a staple of the CBS Sunday-night lineup, one of the most successful in TV history, along with Archie Bunker's Place, Alice, and The Jeffersons. Available annual ratings are:

  • 1975-1976: #12[2]
  • 1976-1977: #8[3]
  • 1977-1978: #10[4]
  • 1978-1979: #18[5]
  • 1979-1980: #10[6]
  • 1980-1981: #11[7]
  • 1981-1982: #10[8]
  • 1982-1983: #16[9]
  • 1983-1984: #47

Awards and honors[edit]


CBS aired daytime reruns of the show for three years. From September 17, 1979, to February 1, 1980, it aired on the daytime schedule at 3:30 pm Eastern time; with the cancellation of Love of Life to accommodate the expansion of The Young and the Restless to one hour, it was moved on February 4, 1980, to 4 pm Eastern due to Guiding Light moving to 3 pm. On September 28, 1981, it moved to 10 am Eastern time, and on September 20, 1982, it was replaced by The $25,000 Pyramid.

Soon after, the show entered off-network syndication, airing on local stations around the country, and nationally on WGN, TBS, and the E! Network.

As of April 6, 2015, the series airs nightly on the digital broadcast network Antenna TV.[12]

Cast reunions[edit]

The One Day at a Time Reunion was a 60-minute CBS retrospective special which aired on Tuesday February 22, 2005, at 9:00 pm ET, reuniting Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli, and Pat Harrington to reminisce about the series and their characters. Recurring cast members Richard Masur, Shelley Fabares, Nanette Fabray, Michael Lembeck, and Glenn Scarpelli shared their feelings about their time on the show in separate interviews. The special was included as a bonus on One Day at a Time: The Complete First Season DVD set.

On February 26, 2008, Franklin, Phillips, Bertinelli, and Harrington reunited once again to talk about life on the set, Phillips' drug problems, and the show's theme song on NBC's Today Show as part of a week-long segment titled "Together Again: TV's Greatest Casts Reunited".

Bertinelli, Harrington, and (on tape) Franklin appeared on the September 10, 2008, episode of Rachael Ray to celebrate Ray's 40th birthday.

One Day at a Time was awarded the Innovation Award on the 2012 TV Land Award show on April 29. Accepting the award were Valerie Bertinelli, Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr., Richard Masur, Mackenzie Phillips, and Glenn Scarpelli.

DVD release[edit]

On April 24, 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of One Day at a Time on DVD in Region 1. It is unknown if the remaining eight seasons will be released at some point.


  1. ^ Mike Celizic (February 26, 2008). "Cast of ‘One Day at a Time’ reunites on TODAY". Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  2. ^ " TV Ratings > 1970's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  3. ^ " TV Ratings > 1970's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  4. ^ " TV Ratings > 1970's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  5. ^ " TV Ratings > 1970's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  6. ^ " TV Ratings > 1970's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  7. ^ " TV Ratings > 1980's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  8. ^ " TV Ratings > 1980's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  9. ^ " TV Ratings > 1980's". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Barbara's Crisis". Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Awards for "One Day at a Time"". IMDb. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Schedule - Antenna TV

External links[edit]