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Up All Night (TV series)

Up All Night
Genre Sitcom
Created by Emily Spivey
Starring Christina Applegate
Maya Rudolph
Will Arnett
Jennifer Hall
Luka Jones
Composer(s) Martyn LeNoble
Vince Jones
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 35 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Lorne Michaels
Erin David
DJ Nash
Emily Spivey
Jon Pollack
Tucker Cawley
Producer(s) Anna Dokoza
Christina Applegate
Eric Kranzler
Andrew Singer
Tim McAuliffe
Aida Rodgers
David Iserson
Desiree J. Cadena
Chadd Gindin
Vera Santamaria
Editor(s) Rick Blue
Myron Kerstein
Kevin D. Ross
Debra F. Simone
Dean Holland (pilot only)
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Broadway Video
Universal Television
Open 4 Business Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original channel NBC
Original run September 14, 2011 (2011-09-14) – December 13, 2012 (2012-12-13)
External links

Up All Night is an American television comedy series created by Emily Spivey that ran on NBC from September 14, 2011, to December 13, 2012.[1] The show stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Jennifer Hall, Luka Jones, and Maya Rudolph.[2]


  • Synopsis 1
  • Development and production 2
    • Conception 2.1
    • Crew 2.2
    • Cancellation 2.3
  • Cast and characters 3
    • Main cast and characters 3.1
    • Recurring cast and characters 3.2
  • Reception 4
    • Broadcast 4.1
    • Reviews 4.2
    • Ratings 4.3
    • Awards and nominations 4.4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The series follows Reagan (Christina Applegate), a producer on her best friend Ava's (Maya Rudolph) talk show, and Chris (Will Arnett), Reagan's supportive, stay-at-home husband, as they try to adjust to life with their newborn baby Amy.

The second season focuses on the cancellation of Ava's talk show, and Chris starting a business with Reagan's brother Scott (Luka Jones). Reagan also struggles to adjust to her new role as a stay-at-home mother.

Development and production


The series was based on creator Emily Spivey's life when she went back to working on Saturday Night Live after giving birth to a baby boy.[3] Due to the nature of her job, she was required to take care of the baby and work late nights.[3] She decided she wanted to make a show based on those extremes.[3] NBC executives were "supportive and excited" for the new series.[3] On February 1, 2011, Up All Night received a pilot order, written by creator Spivey and directed by James Griffiths, under the title Alpha Mom.[4] The series was officially picked up for 13 episodes at the NBC upfronts on May 15, 2011 under its final title, Up All Night.[5]

After the success of Maya Rudolph's movie Bridesmaids, Up All Night went through some retooling which now has her character Ava, as a talk-show host, and Reagan now as the show's producer, instead of them being PR executives.[6] Spivey said the character change allowed Ava to be more fun.[6] Some media critics compared the character change to Rudolph's impersonation of Oprah Winfrey on Saturday Night Live.[6][7] The series was later given a full-season pickup on October 4, 2011.[8] On November 21, 2011, NBC added two additional episodes to season one, bringing the total to 24 episodes.[9][9]


The series is produced by Broadway Video and Universal Media Studios.[10] The series was created by Emily Spivey who serves as executive producer alongside Lorne Michaels, Jon Pollack, and Erin David.[10] David had worked with Spivey and Michaels on Saturday Night Live while Pollack had worked with Michaels on 30 Rock.[10] Series co-star Christina Applegate also works as a producer on the series alongside Eric Kranzler and Andrew Singer.[10]


In October 2012, it was announced that Up All Night would go on hiatus eleven episodes into its second season to convert from a single-camera setup to a multiple-camera setup shot in front of a live audience.[11][12] During the hiatus, series creator Emily Spivey and star Christina Applegate left the show[13][14][15][16] and Will Arnett was cast in a CBS pilot, which has since been picked up as The Millers.[17]

After months of rumors of cancellations,[18][19] Up All Night was officially canceled on May 9, 2013.[20]

Cast and characters

Main cast and characters

Christina Applegate was the first cast member to sign up for the series.
  • Christina Applegate as Reagan Brinkley, a producer for the Ava show, who goes back to work after giving birth to a baby. Applegate was interested in the series early on, especially because she had recently had a child.[3] Applegate was also offered several other roles for the pilot season.[3] Applegate was the first cast member signed on to the series.[21] She is credited as a producer for the series.[10]
  • Will Arnett as Chris Brinkley, a former lawyer and now stay-at-home dad. Arnett was the third main cast member to sign on to the series.[22]
  • Maya Rudolph as Ava Alexander, the host of the Ava show and Reagan's best friend. Rudolph was the second main cast member to sign on to the series[23] Rudolph had previously worked with the series creator on SNL and Spivey had wanted to work with Rudolph before the series plot was established.[3]
  • Jennifer Hall (Season 1) as Missy, Ava's assistant. Hall was the final member to sign on to the series and was initially a recurring actor.[24] She was officially added to the main cast list in the fifth episode, "Mr. Bob's Toddler Kaleidoscope". Due to retooling of the show for the second season, she did not return as a series regular.
  • Luka Jones (Season 2) as Scott Chafin, Reagan's laid-back brother, who moves back to town with his son after going through a divorce. Jones joined the main cast at the start of season two.[25]

Recurring cast and characters

  • Matt Braunger as Gene Marden, Terry's husband and Reagan and Chris's next door neighbor.
  • Jean Villepique as Terry Marden, Gene's wife and Reagan and Chris's next door neighbor.
  • Jason Lee as Kevin, Reagan and Chris's next door neighbor who dated Ava.[26]
  • Molly Shannon as Nancy, Amy's babysitter. Shannon was initially a one-time guest star, before the producers asked her to appear in another episode.[27] Her second episode aired in early 2012.[27] She is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and previously worked with Michaels on the series.[27]
  • Nick Cannon as Calvin, Ava's co-host on her talk show.
  • Chris Diamantopoulos as Julian, Ava's eccentric ex-boyfriend.
  • Will Forte as Reed, Chris's gamer friend, who is also a father.
  • Carly and Delaney Prince as Amy
  • Steven Pasquale as Luke Granby, the new boss of the Ava show, who has a hard time getting along with Ava and Reagan.
  • Megan Mullally as Shayna Mund, a competing talk show host, who Ava and Reagan helped lose a large amount of weight during segments of the Ava show.
  • Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Connie Chafin
  • Quinn Friedman as Kyle Chafin
  • Rob Huebel as Jerry, Chris's obnoxious college roommate, and Ava's boyfriend.
  • Ben Falcone as Justin, Reagan and Chris's neighbor.
  • Chloe Csengery as McKenna
  • Sean Hayes as Walter
  • Adam Gregor as Barry
  • Blythe Danner as Dr. Angie Chafin, Reagan's heavily critical psychologist mother. She first appeared in "Parents", and then tried to be a better mother and grandmother in "First Christmas".[28]

Several guest actors have also appeared. Richard Schiff appeared in "Parents" as Reagan's dad.[29] Alanis Morissette appeared in "Travel Day" as a former partner in an R&B duo with Ava. Stevie Nicks appeared in the episode titled "Letting Go" as herself, and former Saturday Night Live writer Jorma Taccone, has appeared on the show in "Working Late and Working It".[30][31] The "Daddy Daughter Time" featured a cameo by Sharon Osbourne as Ava's rival over a parking space and Ava's father is played by Henry Winkler.[32]



Up All Night premiered in the 10:00 pm timeslot behind America's Got Talent with Free Agents following it.[1] The following week it was moved to its regular timeslot at 8:00 pm, and was eventually the only comedy after Free Agents was cancelled.[1][33] Starting January 12, the series was moved behind NBC's hit series, The Office, switching timeslots with Whitney.[34] Some media critics have said that the goal for moving the series was in order to make it more of a ratings success, like The Office.[35][36]


The performances are spot-on, the jokes are great, if a bit understated, and the situation in this situation comedy actually feels credible. In a year when a large number of new sitcoms passed off hackneyed conventions as hip cultural satire, Up All Night rang surprisingly true.

Phillp Maciak, Slant Magazine[37]

Up All Night has received mostly positive reviews from critics. The first season currently holds a score of 64 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating generally positive reviews.[38] Many critics said that the series felt like two different shows in one.[39][40] HitFix reviewer Daniel Feinberg gave the series pilot a positive review, but disliked the office settings and the writing for Rudolph's character commenting that "Will Arnett and Christina Applegate are playing parents, but Maya Rudolph is playing a sitcom character".[39] Despite this, the performance of the main cast members has received praise from critics.[37][41][42] Some critics compared Rudolph's role to her impersonation of Oprah Winfrey while she was on SNL, which Rudolph firmly denied saying "I have yet to see the similarities between my character and Oprah".[7] Some publications declared it among the best TV shows of 2011, new or old, including Slant Magazine[37] and Hulu.[43]

Slate writer Hanna Rosin has praised the show in particular for slowly subverting the sitcom archetype of the father incompetent at managing the household.

Chris started out as an idiot who stayed home with the baby because he had nothing better to do. In early episodes, he propped up the infant on the couch so he could play his video games or watch hockey, and didn't really notice when she tipped over. But over time he has morphed into the sane, sensible parent we all want to be. Now his role is to check his wife's crazy competitive instincts and to never renege on a promise made to his daughter. In fact, the show's main innovation is creating a reliable stay-at-home dad whose wife still wants to sleep with him.

The show then went further, she recalled, by then assigning the usual role of a sitcom dad to Reagan. "[She] turned into a version of Ralph Kramden, prone to tantrums and meddling," Rosin writes. "Like the classic doltish dad, she creates elaborate schemes to fix domestic problems but only winds up making everything worse. And then Chris swoops in, Alice-style, to make it all better."[44]


Up All Night has proven to be a moderate success in the ratings by NBC standards, NBC being the fourth highest rated network out of five networks. The series currently ranks as NBC's fourth highest rated scripted series after The Office, Smash and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit among adults between the ages of 18 and 49.[45] The series also ranks as one of the most digitally recorded series this season.[46] Due to the moderate success, the series was given a full season pick up alongside Whitney.[8] Bill Gorman of TV by the Numbers has also stated the series is most likely to be renewed for a second and final season.[47][48] The cost for an ad for the series is approximately average of $82,617 per 30-second commercial.[49]

Season Timeslot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
Wednesday 10:00PM (Premiere)
Wednesday 8:00PM (2011)
Thursday 9:30PM (2012)
September 14, 2011
April 12, 2012
3.12[51] 2011–2012 #112 5.29[52]
Thursday 8:30PM
September 20, 2012
December 13, 2012
2.68[54] 2012–2013 #122[55] 3.64[55]

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations for Up All Night
Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
2011 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie Maya Rudolph Nominated
2012 Casting Society of America Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting for a Comedy Pilot Shani Ginsberg, Allen Hooper & Jeff Greenberg Nominated
Gracie Allen Awards Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series Christina Applegate Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Comedy Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nick Cannon Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Maya Rudolph Nominated
NAMIC Vision Award Best Comedy Performance Maya Rudolph Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Comedy Series Will Arnett Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Christina Applegate Nominated
Best Comedy Series Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie Maya Rudolph Nominated
Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Christina Applegate Nominated
Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Female Producer Emily Spivey Nominated


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External links

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