The spread of the coronavirus has made TV shows do a variety of first, from the first Real Housewives virtual reunion with Andy Cohen and The Real Housewives of Atlanta, to Pop TV's One Day at a Time's entirely animated episode.
Production was put on hold on One Day at a Time due to the spread of the coronavirus, leading to executive producer and co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett to come up with the animated special. The episode centers around Penelope's (Justina Machado) conservative family coming for a visit with the election looming. Can the family avoid fighting about politics? The Alvarez family spends the episode discussing strategies of how to get through it, illustrated through fantasy sequences. Gloria Estefan and Melissa Fumero return to One Day at a Time, reprising their roles of Tia Mirtha and Estrellita. Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his series debut as Tio Juanito.
"As we all know, it's hard to keep One Day at a Time off the air. 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," Kellett said in a statement, referencing to the show's cancellation by Netflix and subsequent move to Pop TV. "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."
The series regular cast of Machado, Rita Moreno, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz provide their voices for the episode.
One Day at a Time's early mid-season finale aired April 14 due to the production shut down. The new animated special, "The Politics Episode," was fully executed remotely and will air on Tuesday, June 16 at 9:30 p.m. following a marathon of the current season.