In a bid to infuse the show with more energy, NBC comedy Up All Night will be switching to a multi-camera format in front of a live studio audience when it returns from a winter hiatus next spring. The network also ordered three more episodes, bringing the second season total to sixteen.
Wrapping production next week, Episode 11 of the sophomore series will be the last episode of the show to be filmed using the single-camera format so prevalent among comedies on television today. Once it is completed, production on the show will be shut down to make the necessary adjustments for the new format.
After all eleven of the single-camera episodes have aired, Up All Night will go off the air from December until April or May, when the family comedy starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph will make its multi-camera debut. During the delay, the stage and set will be reconfigured for a multi-camera setup with a live audience while writers work on scripts for the five new episodes, scheduled to begin production in February.
Although the show has struggled in the ratings, the last two weeks have seen a promising upturn with a 1.4 rating in adults 18–49, improving on its 30 Rock lead-in both times.
The idea for the conversion came from executive producer and Saturday Night Live godfather Lorne Michaels in an attempt to create some momentum for Up All Night. It doesn't hurt that new showrunner Tucker Cawley was a top writer and producer on CBS's multi-camera family sitcom hit Everybody Loves Raymond. As a former staff writer on Saturday Night Live and MADtv, Up All Night creator/executive producer Emily Spivey also has a strong background in shows with a live audience.
"We know what the multi-camera audience does for the live episodes of 30 Rock, plus after seeing both Maya and Christina do SNL within the past few months, we knew we had the kind of performers — Will Arnett included — who love the reaction from a live audience," said NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt. "We think we can make a seamless tradition to the new format. Also, we're committed to the multi-camera form and this will give us another show to consider for next season in this new format."
Up All Night will join Whitney and Guys With Kids as the Peacock's only multi-camera comedies, not exactly an elite group. Despite the great cast and concept, the show just doesn't click like it should, so maybe this big change will help. What do you think?