Back in May, despite low ratings, NBC decided to renew Up All Night for a second season. Unfortunately, the ratings have gotten even worse in season two. In October, in a last ditch effort to save the sitcom, the peacock network announced plans to rework the series — transforming it from a single-camera comedy to a traditional multi-camera sitcom.
With five episodes remaining in its 16 episode season, Up All Night went on a three month hiatus while sets and other elements were reworked.
Change is certainly not new for the sitcom. Original showrunner Jon Pollack left the series last May and was replaced by Tucker Cawley. Cawley was replaced by Linda Wallem when the multi-camera change was announced. Recently, series creator and executive producer Emily Spivey exited the show.
Now, just weeks before filming of the new format is set to begin, series star Applegate has departed.
In a statement, the actress said, “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… 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.”
Word is that NBC is considering replacing Applegate and Lisa Kudrow’s name has been mentioned.
Replacing a star is tricky business but it’s worked out for shows like NYPD Blue, Cheers, Spin City, Two and a Half Men, and Valerie (later The Hogan Family) — but then, those shows were all successes. The networks had a reason to try to save them. Up All Night is already at the bottom of the ratings chart.
Should Applegate be replaced or should NBC cut to the chase and cancel the series now?
What do you think? If you were NBC, what would you do? Replace Applegate in the role, send her character on a trip, kill her off, or forget the whole thing? If they decide to keep the show going, would you tune in?