Editor's Note: This is a reprint of a story that ran in April 2012 recounting Valerie's experience at the One Day at a Time reunion with Bonnie Franklin for the TVLand awards.
I had the overwhelming pleasure of reuniting with my "second family" - the cast of One Day at a Time - at the the 10th annual TVLand Awards. Believe it or not, the awards ceremony was the first time that we had all been together in the same room in many, many years! Mackenzie Phillips and Pat Harrington attended my wedding in 2011, but Bonnie Franklin was unable to make it, though she sent me a very special, very personal gift. Still, Bonnie and I were able to work together on Hot in Cleveland during Season 2, which brought back so many memories. Through the years, we have all stayed in contact, and of course, we got together for the One Day at a Time reunion special in 2005.
The TVLand Awards is always a favorite event on my calendar. More than other awards shows, it's a lot like a family reunion. You can feel the energy and excitement of old colleagues and friends coming together to reminisce and celebrate past times. I am so proud of the work we all did on One Day at a Time - it was such a ground-breaking program. Who would have thought you could have a sitcom about a divorced mom raising two daughters on her own? That doesn't sound out-of-the-ordinary today, but in the 1970s, it represented real risk-taking on television. We had a lot of fun and we explored some very serious issues at the same time. I literally grew up on that set.
Without Bonnie making her mark in a strong female role like Ann Romano, I wonder if we could have had a show about three strong, single women? Without One Day at a Time, would there have been a Hot in Cleveland? Here's a clip of Bonnie talking about our chance to work together again when she guest-starred on Hot in Cleveland.
As you watch the TVLand Awards on Sunday, April 29 (9PM/8C - Check your listings), I hope you can feel the same nostalgia and excitement we felt when we reunited for this celebration of One Day at a Time.