One Day at a Time

Buy One Day at a Time on DVD

December 16, 1975 – May 28, 1984
(209) one half hour episodes (9 seasons)
in color CBS
Created by: Whitney Blake and Allan Manings
Developed by: Norman Lear

Opening theme

Composed by: Jeff and Nancy Barry
Performed by: Polly Cutter

“This Is It”

This is it. (This is it.)
This is life, the one you get so go and have a ball.
This is it. (This is it.)
Straight ahead and rest assured you can’t be sure at all.

So while you’re here enjoy the view.
Keep on doing what you do
So hold on tight we’ll muddle through
One day at a time, (One day at a time.)

So up on your feet. (Up on your feet)
Somewhere there’s music playing.
Don’t you worry none we’ll just take it like it comes.
One day at a time, (One day at a time.)


  • Bonnie Franklin
  • Mackenzie Phillips
  • Valerie Bertinelli
  • Pat Harrington Jr.
  • Richard Masur
  • Glenn Scarpelli
  • Nanette Fabray
  • Boyd Gaines
  • Shelley Fabares
  • Ann Romano
  • Julie Cooper
  • Barbara Cooper
  • Dwayne Schneider
  • David Kane
  • Alex Handris
  • Grandma Romano
  • Mark Royer
  • Francine Webster



Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) was a recently divorced single mom. She had two young daughters, Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara Cooper (Valerie Bertinelli) and they all have just moved to Indianapolis for a fresh start. Julie, the oldest, was the rebellious daughter, always questioning authority and rules while Barbara, her little sister, was the good child eager to help and play by the rules.

Dwayne Schneider (Pat Harrington Jr.) was the buildings overly snoopy superintendent and the basis for much of the series comedy. He also had a well known crush on Ann. Other characters were David Kane (Richard Masur), Ann’s boyfriend and later finance. After she breaks that off she becomes involved with Nick Handris (Ron Rifkin) who is killed off later the next season but Ann winds up raising his son Alex (Glenn Scarpelli).

Norman Lear was well known for using sitcoms to address topical issues of the day. One Day at a Time was probably the best prime time platform for this as the sitcom embraced its serious side, covering controversial topics such as teen sex, teen suicide, birth control, alcohol and drug use, infertility and sexual harassment.

Video Clip of One Day at a Time


Bonnie Franklin passed away in 2013 of pancreatic cancer, she was only 69

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Upon a first reading of the One Day at a Time screenplay, Norman Lear didn’t want to take it on. After meeting Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, a husband-and-wife writing duo and actors however Lear enthusiastically agreed to develop the project. Interestingly the idea was based on Whitney Blake’s own life as a single mother, raising three children one whom would grow up to be actress Meredith Baxter.

One Day at a Time 1970s sitcom