Viewers will continue to be Up All Night: NBC has ordered an additional five episodes of its Thursday comedy.
But in an unusual move, the comedy—headlined by Christina Applegate and Will Arnett as a couple adjusting to the sleep-deprived realities of new parenthood—is switching from a single-camera format to multi-camera one in the middle of its second season. The sitcom, which also co-stars Maya Rudolph, will shoot its final single-camera episode next week before going on a three-month hiatus, which will allow time for the show's stage to be converted to accommodate a live audience.
The network hopes the move will revitalize the series, which most recently posted a 1.6 rating and 5 share among viewers 18-49."This was an idea we and (exec producer Lorne Michaels) came to in order to infuse the show with more energy," NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in statement. "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."
It's possible the multi-cam schedule, which is less demanding than single-cam, also proved appealing to the series' lead actors, all three of whom are parents to young children.
Regardless, viewers won't notice the change until next year, when the comedy is expected to return for the first of its five multi-cam episodes in April. No official word yet on what will fill its Thursdays at 8:30 time slot until then, though Community is still awaiting a premiere date for its fourth season.
While the switch in format is unusual, it's not without precedent: ‘70s classic Happy Days began as a single-cam comedy before successfully going multi-cam.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)