In “Up All Night,” Will Arnett and Christina Applegate star as Chris and Reagan, a happily married couple whose wild-child days come to a screeching halt with the arrival of their baby daughter. Joining them on their post-extended adolescent journey is Maya Rudolph, who plays Reagan’s kid-free talk show host boss, Ava. With Wednesday night’s birth (10/9c) of the new buzzworthy NBC comedy (it was one of our 11 must-watch new shows of fall), here are five things you need to know:
Series Pedigree Branches From The SNL Family Tree: The show comes from former SNL writer Emily Spivey and current SNL boss Lorne Michaels. Connecting the SNL dots are former castmember Maya Rudolph, and Will Arnett, husband to ex-SNL-er Amy Poehler. Spivey credits her experience juggling motherhood and work on the late night show with the idea for “Up All Night.” “I was doing SNL, which… Is a very rock and roll job. It’s late nights, and it’s a lot of young people,” she says. “And it just was funny to me that I was now having to balance the baby sort of with that lifestyle…Working all night and then getting in at 5 o’clock in the morning and then your baby’s up in the next hour.”
Watch An Extended Preview:
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(The Spirit Of) Oprah Will Be Present: For the role of Ava, Rudolph channeled her famous SNL alter-ego, Oprah Winfrey. “I think when people hear daytime talk show, the first word that comes to anyone’s mind is Oprah because she is the queen,” Rudolph says. “And I think that anybody that’s doing daytime talk holds her in that high regard, and so that’s the goal. And I think this character’s journey is going to be someone who’s trying to get there – [but] she’s certainly not at the point of celebrity.”
Will Arnett Will Not Be Playing Gob Bluth: As beloved as Arnett’s “Arrested Development” character was, the baritone-voiced funnyman seems to have been unable to shake the Bluth brother in subsequent parts. (Think Devon Banks on “3o Rock,” .) Not anymore. As nurturing stay-at-home dad Chris, Arnett plays a much different part – one similar to his real life role with wife Amy Poehler. “When I read the script, I immediately thought, Yeah, this is something I relate to,” Arnett says. Adds Applegate, “You’re going to see Will Arnett in a totally different light – one closer to who he really is.”
Look Out For A Nick Cannon(ball): The “America’s Got Talent” host will be earning his second NBC payday as the fabulously popular Calvin, Ava’s energetic co-host. Because Ava is naturally wildly insecure, jealousies will arise over the attention her sidekick garners.
Fiction Will Imitate Fact: Thanks to the the strange truth that every one of the show’s main actors is the parent of a young child, storylines will mirror real life. “I think we can all find good juicy stories from each other,” Rudolph says of the cast’s contributions in the writer’s room. One such story, taken from Applegate’s own experience teaching daughter Sadie about her “no no place,” will be featured this season.
“Up All Night” premieres Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 10/9c. It will return to its regular timeslot (8/7c) beginning Wednesday, Sept. 21.