Seeking a way to gauge whether a multi-camera, Christina Applegate-less version of Up All Night can work besides thinking about it for a minute or listening to other people, NBC says it will go forward with shooting at least one episode of the show this season. Deadline reports that the decision was handed down after Applegate announced she was leaving the series, upon which NBC executives apparently said, “So our little-watched sitcom that’s been through nearly as many premise and character changes as it has showrunners in just two seasons, and has most recently been retooled as a multi-camera sitcom as a last-ditch effort to salvage it, has now also lost its main star? Well, instead of shooting a test run of five more episodes, let’s definitely just do one then.”
That trial episode that is somehow preferable to finally just letting go of Up All Night already will be directed by sitcom legend James Burrows, thus adding a (probably very expensive) distinguished pedigree to the experiment of which, at the very least, NBC can someday say it gave every shot, for whatever that’s worth. Still unclear is whether the show plans to replace Applegate with rumored contenders such as Lisa Kudrow for a Hogan Family-like continuation—possibly exploring all the hilarious situations new parents can get into when one of them suddenly dies—or simply write around her. For example, maybe now her character is always taking showers, so she’s only glimpsed in silhouette. Also unclear is whether anyone will actually see this episode beyond the network. Though it’s not like it really matters, considering they’ve basically been making this show for themselves for two years now.