It looks like we may have already seen the final episode of NBC’s comedy series Up All Night. The network’s plans to revamp the modestly rated single-camera sophomore as a multi-camera were dealt a major blow late last week when star Christina Applegate departed the project. After originally planning five multi-camera episodes to close out the season, NBC early this week trimmed that scenario to one episode, without Applegate, to be helmed by uber multi-camera director James Burrows. Now I hear that episode is being scrapped too. Sources point to problems with the talent — I hear at least one of Up All Night‘s two remaining stars, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph, told the network they were uncomfortable going forward with the series which, in addition to Applegate, recently lost its creator, Emily Spivey. The talk about a possible replacement for Applegate (Lisa Kudrow was a name that emerged early on) never went anywhere.
But as crucial for the demise of the show if not even more so were problems with the concept. When production on the single-camera version was shut down after 11 episodes the first week of November, it was supposed to be for a three-month hiatus, followed by the taping of five multi-camera episodes. But as speculation swirled last month about what the new Up All Night might look like, NBC had not settled on a concept yet. As of mid-February, the show’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: NBC‘s plan to revamp single-camera sophomore comedy Up All Night as a multi-camera sitcom has suffered a major blow. I’ve learned that series star Christina Applegate is leaving the Lorne Michaels-produced project, which is still being re-conceptualized and is yet to film any of the five episodes in front of a live audience that had been planned. “It’s been a great experience working on Up All Night, but the show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on to other endeavors,” Applegate said. “Working with Lorne Michaels has been a dream come true and I am grateful he brought me into his TV family. I will miss the cast, producers and crew, and wish them the best always.” NBC would not comment. Some sources say the network is still looking to proceed with the series and may be eyeing Friends alumna Lisa Kudrow as a potential replacement for Applegate, while others say the show is now dead. Meanwhile, Applegate is getting ready to reprise her role in the Anchorman sequel, which begins filming this month.
Applegate’s exit follows the recent departure of series creator/executive producer Emily Spivey as the show has experienced a lot of behind-the-scenes turnover since last May when original showrunner Jon Pollack left. He was replaced by Tucker Cawley who, in turn, was replaced by Linda … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As NBC‘s sophomore comedy Up All Night transitions from a single- to multi-camera format, it will do so without the series creator/executive producer Emily Spivey, who has departed the show. There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes turnover on the series starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph since May when original showruuner Jon Pollack left. He was replaced by Tucker Cawley who, in turn, was replaced by Linda Wallem when NBC decided to revamp Up All Night as a multi-camera comedy after 11 softly rated episodes of Season 2. Along with the format switch, Up All Night will undergo creative changes, including in the balance between family and workplace comedy, that are still being worked out. In its original incarnation, Up All Night was a family comedy about new parents played by Applegate and Arnett, which was inspired by Spivey’s real-life experiences of going back to work soon after giving birth. The workplace element was expanded when Rudolph was cast as Applegate’s boss.
As it transitions from a single- to a multi-camera format, NBC‘s sophomore comedy Up All Night is also switching showrunners. Former Nurse Jackie co-creator/co-showrunner Linda Wallem has joined the family comedy as executive producer/showrunner. The gig is part of a two-year overall deal she has signed with Up All Night producer Universal Television. Wallem replaces Tucker Cawley, who took over showrunner duties at the beginning of Season 2 after serving as co-executive producer the first season.
NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has a long-standing relationship with Wallem. He brought in Wallem and Liz Brixius to Nurse Jackie while he was at Showtime. The two ran the dark comedy for the first four seasons until departing last spring. Both are now back in business with Greenblatt — Brixius is also under an overall deal at Universal TV. When NBC brass were deciding to re-conceive Up All Night as a multi-camera comedy earlier this fall, they met with Wallem who turned out to be a big fan of the comedy’s stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph and was very happy to join the show. Ironically, Cawley has a more extensive background in multi-camera family comedies, having served as an executive producer on CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond for its entire nine-season run. Under his overall deal with Uni TV, he will now work as a consulting producer on the studio’s … Read More »
NBC‘s sophomore comedy Up All Night will be off all winter, but when it comes back in the spring, it will look and feel different. NBC has decided to convert the family comedy from a single-camera to a multi-camera format. Episode 11, which wraps production next week, will be the last episode of the show in the single-camera form. Production will then shut down for a three-month hiatus to convert the stage and set to multi-cam tapings in front of live audiences, during which time the show’s writers will work on scripts. Up All Night‘s new showrunner this season, Tucker Cawley, comes from a very strong multi-camera background as one of the top writer-producers on CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond, as does Up All Night creator/exec producer Emily Spivey, a Saturday Night Live veteran.
Up All Night will go back into production in February on five multi-camera episodes. That will bring the total for the show’s second season to 16 episodes, up from the original 13 ordered in May. Up All Night will remain on the air until December, when all of the 11 single-camera episodes will have aired. The show will make its multi-camera debut in April/May. A modest ratings performer at best, Up All Night has had a promising ratings uptick in the last two weeks with a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, building on its 30 Rock lead-in both times. Read More »
Luka Jones has joined Up All Night as a series regular. The actor will play Scott, the younger brother of Christina Applegate’s “Reagan Brinkley” character in the NBC sitcom. Jones’ character, a contractor by profession, is described as a laid back recently divorced dad with a young son. Jones is repped by WME & 3Arts Entertainment.
Megan Masters is West Coast Editor at TVLine
Having portrayed some of Hollywood’s fiercest funny women, Christina Applegate has never shined or elicited as many laughs as she did this season on NBC’s freshman comedy Up All Night. The Emmy-seasoned actress (winning in 2003 and nominated again in 2004 for her guest-starring role as Rachel’s sister on Friends and later receiving two lead actress nominations for Samantha Who?) drew inspiration from her own personal experiences to bring life to Reagan Brinkley, a smart, witty and grounded working mom. Might Emmy voters once again reward Applegate? The TV vet is modest when it comes to discussing her own odds, but isn’t shy about showering her co-stars (Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph in particular) with praise.
AWARDSLINE: You’ve starred in many comedies throughout your career, but Up All Night’s Reagan seems to stand out as the most… you.
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE: Reagan greatly differs from everything I’ve done – Samantha Who?, Anchorman and [Married With Children's] Kelly Bundy… She’s the closest to me than anything I’ve ever done. They actually write [Reagan] a lot from having conversations with me, from her core beliefs to the rhythmic way in which she speaks. In that way, it’s a much easier job than I’ve ever had.
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
If the 2011-2012 TV schedule is any indication, girls just want to be funny. There are probably more new comedies created, co-created or executive-produced by women in primetime than at any time in history: 2 Broke Girls (Whitney Cummings), The B**** In Apartment 23 (co-creator Nahnatchka Khan) and Girls (Lena Dunham, 2011’s best first screenplay winner at the Independent Spirit Awards for Tiny Furniture). There are more who also might find themselves in the Emmy mix, and Awardsline spoke separately to some of them: Jessika Borsiczky, co-executive producer of Showtime’s House of Lies; Emily Kapnek, creator and co-executive producer of ABC’s Suburgatory; Elizabeth Meriwether, creator and co-executive producer of the Fox comedy New Girl and Emily Spivey, the Saturday Night Live veteran who created and is a co-executive producer of NBC’s Up All Night.
AWARDSLINE: There’s been a lot said about the new shows with women at the helm, especially in comedy. Certainly female comedy was a goldmine for the movies in 2011 with Bridesmaids. What’s going on?
EMILY SPIVEY: I think there just happened to be some ladies with ideas that people liked, I don’t think it was a big conspiracy to get a bunch of ‘lady shows’ on the air. The time has come when more ladies are trying comedy. In the past it was kind of a man thing, especially with stand-up. I think women are really finding their voices and being allowed to be a little more aggressive and speaking about topics that maybe a few years ago were a little more taboo than they are now.
JESSIKA BORSICZKY: We are sort of hitting a place where there’s some real seniority to women in television. When I started at HBO (in the movie division) in 1992 I certainly wasn’t running television shows, it took a long time. But obviously storytelling and movies reflect what’s interesting about our times. The universe of what it is to be a modern woman right now is deep, it’s changing, there’s a lot of fluctuation in family and marriage. Women are now out-earning men and out-educating men and having babies without men so there are a lot of stories to tell. And look at Girls, it’s also showing us a side of what it is to be a young woman that’s new. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy writer-producer DJ Nash has signed an overall deal with Universal TV. Under the two-year pact, Nash will develop new projects and serve as an executive producer on the studio’s Up All Night, working alongside executive producer/showrunner Tucker Cawley. Up All Night, created by Emily Spivey and starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph, has been renewed for a second season with a 13-episode order. Nash most recently wrote the comedy project Let It Go for Sony Pictures TV and Peter Tolan’s Fedora Entertainment. His script received a cast-contingent pilot order at Fox and was produced after landing Zachary Levi as the lead. CAA-repped Nash also served as a co-executive producer on the NBC/Universal TV midseason comedy series Bent.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning comedy writer-producer Tucker Cawley has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, the Everybody Loves Raymond alum will serve as executive producer/showrunner on the studio’s NBC comedy series Up All Night, which was renewed for a second season with a 13-episode order. Cawley was most recently co-executive producer on the first season of the series, created/executive produced by Emily Spivey and starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph. As showrunner, Cawley succeeds Jon Pollack, who moved to another NBC/Universal TV comedy series, the newly-picked up Go On. Cawley, repped by CAA and attorneys Patti Felker and Bruce Gelman, won an Emmy Award for writing the Baggage episode of CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond and shared in the show’s two best comedy series Emmys. His series credits also include TNT’s Men Of a Certain Age and NBC’s Parks & Recreation.
While Fox wrapped its new series pickups and existing series renewals within a couple of hours yesterday, for NBC, whose upfront presentation is on the same day as Fox, it has become a week-long ordeal. After early series pickup of comedy Go On and renewals of Grimm and Smash last month, the network began its orders/renewals in earnest on Monday morning. Four days later, it’s still nowhere near done.
NBC’s highest-rated comedy series, The Office, is yet to get a renewal. (With stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer poised to return that now appears imminent.) The fate of NBC’s second most watched drama series, Harry’s Law (8.8 million viewers, only a fraction behind the Voice-boosted Smash with 9.0 million), is hanging in the balance. There’s no word on Parks & Recreation, Up All Night and Whitney. The Office, Parks & Recreation and Up All Night are all fully expected to return, and I hear their renewals may be done in one fell swoop. Buzz is also encouraging on Harry’s Law, which I hear is eyed for a potential 13-episode midseason order. The multi-camera Whitney is on the fence but not dead as the sole multi-camera comedy series picked up for next season so far, newbie Guys With Kids, is still looking for a companion.
Which brings us to the NBC pilots. Word is the network has not officially released those that haven’t been picked up despite speculation that it is pretty much done with its orders. That includes two of NBC’s highest-testing and well-received pilots, the multi-camera comedies Daddy’s Girls and Lady Friends, which had been in limbo but presumed dead. (Will ABC or CBS make a play for them?) On the drama side, none of the pilots that have not been picked up already seem to be in contention anymore. Read More »
NBC To Give ‘Harry’s Law’ Full-Season Order; ‘Prime Suspect’ Gone?
After a pretty dismal fall, NBC is shaking things up in midseason with several scheduling changes. Gone from the lineup is struggling freshman Prime Suspect (NBC says it hasn’t made a final decision on its cancellation), while four series — Whitney, Up All Night, Harry’s Law and Rock Center With Brian Williams — are on the move. NBC is creating a multi-camera comedy block in the 8-9 PM Wednesday hour with Whitney and midseason comedy Are You There, Chelsea (formerly Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea; No alcohol-flavored title in the family hour.) The block, which will debut January 11, brings together two female comedians with similar sensibility in Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler, on whose books Chelsea is based. A month later, the two comedies will be followed by low-rated newsmagazine Rock Center With Brian Williams. It will take over the Wednesday 9 PM slot from Harry’s Law, which is moving to Sundays. Rock Center had to move out of the Monday 10 PM slot to make room for NBC’s highest-profile new series this season, Broadway drama Smash, which will premiere on February 6 and run in the post-The Voice slot as originally scheduled. NBC’s other changes for midseason include new comedy Up All Night moving to Whitney‘s Thursday 9:30 PM slot; 30 Rock replacing Community on Thursdays at 8 PM; and the John Grisham adaptation The Firm, originally slated for a Sunday midseason run, sliding into Prime Suspect‘s Thursday 10 PM slot. The order for Community has not been reduced, so it’s unclear what NBC will do with the remaining episodes of the college-set comedy. Missing from the midseason lineup is NBC’s ambitious new drama series Awake, which recently took an unplanned break to work on scripts. Here is NBC’s midseason schedule (with premiere dates) that also includes new reality series Fashion Star on Tuesdays at 10 PM and the return of Celebrity Apprentice on Sundays: Read More »
NBC Unveils Midseason Schedule, Moves ‘Whitney’, ‘Up All Night’, ‘Rock Center’ & ‘Harry’s Law’
I hear that NBC is about to make some scheduling moves. The network is keeping mum, but there is speculation that rookie comedies Up All Night and Whitney, both with full-season orders, may be swapping places. Up All Night is getting murdered in the Wednesday 8 PM slot, so it will probably benefit from a protected run behind The Office. It also is single-camera and has a workplace element like the rest of NBC’s Thursday’s lineup. Up All Night will likely move to the Thursday 9:30 PM spot, but Whitney may be a bit too racy for the Wednesday family hour. Also possibly on the move is NBC’s new fairytale drama Grimm, which started off strong in the Friday 9 PM slot but has been slipping since. While the series’ long-term potential is still unclear, given the dearth of strong prospects at NBC this fall — especially on the drama side — the network probably should give the newbie a shot. Read More »