@sobeasy It seems to me that your solution should work. But it blows up for me (Spyder 3.3.6, Anaconda3, Win10 64 bit). Somehow, it really wants tkinter!
ImportError: Cannot load backend 'TkAgg' which requires the 'tk' interactive framework, as 'qt5' is currently running
Time to try VS Code; PyCharm's footprint is too heavy.