The creator of NBC’s troubled sitcom Up All Night, Emily Spivey, has just left the show in the midst of a massive creative revamp by the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter. THR doesn’t give a reason for Spivey’s departure, but it comes during a turbulent season full of network retooling for Up All Night, which stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph. In October, NBC put the series on a three-month hiatus in order to convert it from a single-camera to a multi-camera show with a live audience – a rare, almost unprecedented move for a sitcom to make midway through its run. On top of that, last month, the network replaced showrunner Tucker Cawley (Everybody Loves Raymond) with Linda Wallem (Nurse Jackie) for the final five episodes of the season, which will serve as a test of the show’s new multi-cam format.
There’s still no date on when Up All Night will return, but production is scheduled to resume in February. Speaking at the Television Critics Association tour yesterday, NBC President Jennifer Salke told reporters, “We are not fools. We know that talented cast of actors aren’t growing on trees. They still thought there were stories to be told in that world and were collectively very passionate about telling them. We felt [being] in front of a live audience would be the best solution. It’s a bit of an experiment, but we think it’s one worth taking.” About the changes, NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said, “I think we’re going to keep the name. We’re still in the throes of creatively developing what the multi-cam version is, but I think it’s going to be starkly different. It will be the same characters, but there may be a high-concept twist to it that we’re still working on.” What’s the high-concept twist? My guess is that Christina Applegate and Will Arnett’s baby is now a monkey in a labcoat.