October 31, 2012

As Frankenstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast on Monday, NBC announced its own monstrous creation — the Frankensitcom!

“Up All Night,” the single-camera comedy about a couple (Will Arnett and Christina Applegate) raising a baby, will be retooled in the middle of its second season, returning this spring as a multicamera sitcom, recorded in front of a live studio audience.

Executive producer and “Saturday Night Live” co-creator Lorne Michaels came up with the idea, noting NBC’s success with “30 Rock’s” live episodes. “Up All Night” co-star Maya Rudolph is an “SNL” alum, and Applegate spent years on “Married With Children,” so the actors are used to crowds.

The radical reshuffle comes after season 2 dropped the workplace setting (more of the show now takes place at home) and switched up the cast (in: Luka Jones; out: Jennifer Hall). “Everybody Loves Raymond’s” Tucker Cawley took over as show runner, though the series’ light tone — somewhere between “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation” — remained largely unchanged.

But with new sets and live laughter, “Up All Night” will return as something completely different: a strange patchwork of two sitcom formats.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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