This kind of thing is usually reserved for sweeps week, but it's not a stunt: NBC's single-camera comedy Up All Night, starring Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, and Maya Rudolph, will be changing mid-season to a multi-camera format with a live studio audience. It's not even the first huge change the show has seen in its second season; the premise last year involved Applegate's character working for Rudolph's talk show, Ava, while Arnett's character took on the role of stay-at-home dad. This season, Ava was canceled, Arnett went back to work, and Applegate is now a stay-at-home mom. Okay, acceptable to flip a storyline on its head to change things up. And now, it will be an entirely different show.
The show will run through December, fulfilling its original 11-episode order as a single-camera show. In February, it will return to production for five more episodes as a multi-camera show. This was all based on an idea by executive producer Lorne Michaels, who thought this might be a good idea based on the strong performances by Applegate and Rudolph when they (separately) hosted Saturday Night Live.
While it's rare for a show to basically turn itself inside out, it does happen. Deadline points out that Happy Days was shot in multi-camera format until its third season, when it made the same exact switch as Up All Night. (The laugh track it used for the first two seasons was just canned dead people.) They also did away with one whole family member. So, the next thing we can expect to happen on Up All Night — the long-awaited return of Chuck Cunningham! I called it!
Photo credit: NBC