“It’s been a great experience working on ‘Up All Night,’ but the show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on to other endeavors,” Applegate says in a statement to Deadline. “Working with [executive producer] Lorne Michaels has been a dream come true and I am grateful he brought me into his TV family. I will miss the cast, producers and crew, and wish them the best always.”
The “different creative direction” for the show is a big one. It shut down production in December to make the switch from a single-camera show to a live-audience, multi-camera comedy. “Up All Night” creator Emily Spivey and showrunner Tucker Cawley have also departed in recent months.
NBC is apparently still moving ahead with the show despite Applegate’s departure — Deadline reports NBC may approach Lisa Kudrow about replacing Applegate. Last month, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke told reporters that the switch to multi-camera was “really worth [trying]” with a cast that included Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph.
Now one of those cast members is gone. The show has never attracted a big audience, and its numbers are down about 30 percent this season vs. last. The format change and possible recasting have a good chance of turning off those who have been watching. Maybe it’s time for NBC to cut its losses and move on.