Lead Actress Bails Out on Struggling NBC Comedy

Feb 11, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A struggling NBC comedy series has suffered another setback with the departure of its lead actress. The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that Christina Applegate has departed "Up All Night."

"[T]he show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on to other endeavors," Applegate said in a statement.

The comedy received an overhaul recently, and has been dealing with behind-the-scenes upheaval including the departure of creator Emily Spivey and a "revolving door of showrunners," the story says.

The show was originally designed to mine the humor of new parenthood, but recently had focused more on Applegate’s character’s work at an Oprah-like talk show hosted by Maya Rudolph’s character. It was thought that the change was designed to provide more screen time to Rudolph, and that the show might add more of that element as it switched from a single-camera comedy into a multicam production, the story says.

"So how does a show about juggling parenthood go on without one of the parents? It’s unclear how, or whether, the show will continue after Applegate’s departure. Production, set to begin this month, had not yet started on new episodes," the piece notes.

NBC didn’t return a call for comment, the story adds.


  1. No, the show has not recently focused on Applegate’s work on an Oprah-like show. Quite the opposite; this season was built around that show having been cancelled, with Applegate being the stay-at-home Mom and the husband becoming the breadwinner.

  2. How is this even possible? Isn’t Applegate under contract, or do SAG contracts allow the talent to just walk?

  3. One can easily buy out a contract. Also, the union makes it easy for someone (the worker) to shaft management/corporations. I don’t blame Christina for fleeing. NBC seems to be a little “power heavy”, just like the other networks. The process of “homogenizing” the content is really making the “artistic” part of the show lost. VP’s in programming and creation (or “consultants”) have ruined the acting industry for the actor/actresses and also the audience. There is no longer originality. Now the jokes appear to not be funny to most, and even vulgar to some. Thanks TV nets for ruining my viewing experience… and some actor’s/actress’ careers. Unfortunately, I started to see this in the late 90’s, which began my decline in regular/habitual viewing. I have the networks’ VPs of programming and creation to thank for my watching METV, Antenna TV and TV Land. Keep pushing viewer dollars to other networks, just so you can have control.

  4. Too glib TV Observer: better writing – with or without consultants is the key here. It’s not about the creators’ visions per se – it’s about ensuring that the audience is properly taken into consideration. If consultants/editors/group writing can help — that’s great.
    But I’m with you regarding the ever-encroaching vulgarity — surely it doesn’t add to the audience (or to the audience’s enjoyment), and I bet it puts many people off.

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