In a shocking and major turn of events, Up All Night star Christina Applegate has left the show. First reported by Deadline, the actress is exiting the sophomore comedy as it is currently undergoing a major overhaul.
Up All Night floundered for an audience and identity for its first season and a half. The show is currently on a prolonged hiatus as the show plans to change formats from a single-camera comedy to a multi-camera, traditional sitcom with a live audience. Up All Night has also gone through a revolving door of showrunners since it began.
Losing one of its three main stars is a massive blow for the comedy and now it’s fate is up in the air. NBC has yet to comment, though conflicting reports say that the show may be dead or it will continue with its revamped format. Basically, Up All Night is now the Schrodinger’s Cat of comedies.
The big question now is: What should they do? The original plan was to film five new episodes with the multi-camera format, but is it even worth it now that Applegate is out?
Here are four possible ways to handle Up All Night’s future.
The simplest (and most likely) scenario is simply to cancel the show. It never really caught on and it’s doubtful that changing its format to something that doesn’t work for NBC will make any difference. With Applegate gone, it’s probably best to just end it.
Recast the Role
One of the odder options is to simply recast the role of Reagan Brinkley with a new actress then add a quick throwaway line about how she looks a little different when it comes back. Roseanne did it with Becky, though recasting a lead role is a bit more extreme.
Kill Off Reagan
This is kind of dark, but the show could just have its new mother killed in some ridiculous way (skydiving accident?) and then continue the show as a sitcom about a widowed single father of a young child trying to reenter the dating world. Obviously they would need to have some sort of time lapse of a few years to have it make sense.
Keep Reagan Off-Screen
Many shows have done ongoing storylines where a character is unseen during the entire run. Frasier did it with Niles’ wife Maris and The Big Bang Theory does it with Howard’s mother. Implementing this age-old sitcom device might be a little difficult for a character as vital to the show as Reagan, but I suppose they could pull it off by always explaining that she’s shopping or taking a nap.
What do you think NBC should do with Up All Night? Is there any point to continuing the show without Christina Applegate?
(Image courtesy of NBC)