Watch One Day at a Time

"One Day at a Time" is a long running situational comedy which was written in the generally more serious style of a comedy-drama. The plot primarily revolves around divorcée Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) and her two daughters, Julie Cooper (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara Cooper (Valerie Bertinelli). In the first season, Ann is newly divorced and her daughters are both teenagers in high school. They have just moved from Logansport to Indianapolis to start life over on their own.

The series ran for nine years, thus organically outgrowing the initial plot device as the girls grew up, graduated high school, moved out and got married. This was the first TV show centered around a divorced woman. The core characters are mostly female. There was also a building superintendent, Dwayne Schneider (Pat Harrington Jr.) who became an unofficial part of the family and there were plenty of secondary characters who came and went like boyfriends, classmates and co-workers. However, it is predominantly a tale of three women trying to find their own way in life.

At the start of the series, Ann Romano is your stereotypical divorced mom with a generic job and tight budget. Over the course of the series, she becomes more successful, at one point choosing her independence over remarriage. She ultimately becomes more financially secure and starts her own business. Her older daughter, Julie, is rebellious and constantly in and out of trouble, at one point running away from home. Her younger daughter, Barbara, is generally easier going and more sensible.

The show tackles many serious questions, like attempted suicide, friction between teens and their parents, and financial problems. But, like any sitcom, it also has ridiculous situations of the sort which are funny on TV but would not be so funny in real life. For example, in one episode Ann writes two letters, one to the president of the telephone company and the other to the President of the United States. She gets them mixed up when she mails them, thereby accidentally sending an ugly, threatening letter to the President of the country. The result is a federal investigation of her as a spy and potential assassin.

9 Seasons, 209 Episodes - Canceled
December 16, 1975
Watch Episodes

One Day at a Time Full Episode Guide

  • Schneider learns that his brother passed away and that somebody needs to take care of his nephew and niece so Schneider gets a phone call to come and pick them up. The place where he arrives is a carnival like place with circus like people. This place needs repairs and some "manly guidance" so everyone tries to persuade Schneider to move there and with Ann gone and the kids grown up, Schneider finally accepts the move.

  • Ann gets a job offer in London and ponders taking it. Despite getting nagged by her mother, she decides to accept the job. This leads her to wonder how she's going to tell the rest of her family that she's leaving.

  • Working side by side at the travel agency spawns a growing attraction between Max and Barbara, that becomes impossible to ignore.

  • Schneider gets a new lease on life after he's accidentally electrocuted, then revived, a hair raising experience in which he claims he died and came back to life.

Most Popular One Day at a Time Episodes

One Day at a Time News

Netflix to Reboot 'One Day at a Time'

Even if you remember 'One Day at a Time,' you probably won't recognize the new version of the series being prepared for Netflix. The reboot of Norman Lear's 70s hit resembles the original in name only.

Valerie Bertinelli Speaks on Bonnie Franklin's Death

Valerie Bertinelli says her "heart is breaking" over the death of Bonnie Franklin, who played her mother on the classic show "One Day at a Time."

Review One Day at a Time