Fall Pilots Preview: Up All Night
(With a little over a month until the fall’s crop of new shows hits, now seems like a good a time to start previewing all of the new network offerings. As I’m not a professional critic, I don’t get access to all of the nice, shiny screeners that the pros do, so I’m basing my opinions somewhat on their thoughts as well as on teaser clips that the networks have released. These are very rough thoughts that could very well change once I’ve seen a full pilot. With that in mind, onto the preview.)
Up All Night
Who: Stars Christina Applegate (Married… With Children), Will Arnett (Arrested Development), and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live)
When: Wednesdays at 8:00 PM (Premieres September 14 at 10:00 PM)
What: NBC’s description via The Futon Critic: From Emily Spivey (NBC’s Parks and Recreation, NBC’s Saturday Night Live) and legendary Emmy Award-winning producer Lorne Michaels, comes Up All Night, a modern take on parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) plays Chris, Reagan’s supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents – a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults — for the most part. Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids) stars as Ava, Reagan’s outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan’s former carefree life. James Pumphrey (High Road) portrays Brian, Reagan’s socially awkward hipster assistant. Up All Night is a production of Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Spivey is the creator and serves as executive producer along with Michaels and Jon Pollack (NBC’s 30 Rock).
Jeremy Likes TV’s Thoughts: Could be interesting. It has a relatable premise with appealing leads and is a single-camera comedy, which generally works much better than the traditional multi-camera variety. NBC is trying to establish a comedy beachhead on Wednesday nights and this looks to be the strongest of their new sitcoms so the placement makes sense, but it seems like it would have been a better fit tonally on Thursday nights than what actually ended up there (the execrable Whitney). The description above is actually already outdated as NBC announced last week at press tour that the premise has been tweaked to Rudolph playing a talk-show host (think: Oprah-variety) with Applegate as her producer in order to capitalize on Rudolph’s breakout in this summer’s Bridesmaids. Applegate is a talented comedienne who’s long been searching for the right vehicle and Arnett has apparently toned down his Will Arnett-ness in order to play an actual human being here, so the elements are present for success. It’ll ultimately come down to how well they execute it.
Chances It Gets A Full Season: 75%
Recommendation: Thumbs cautiously up, even more so if this ends up on Thursday nights when Whitney inevitably is cancelled.
Other Reading About Up All Night:
HitFix’s Dan Fienberg
The Futon Critic