Up All Night

Trae Patton/NBC

WWK Fall TV Preview 2011

Dear TV gods, please do not let Will Arnett and Christina Applegate's new NBC comedy Up All Night go the way of their most recent (short-lived) TV projects.

We need this show. We need them on our TV sets. And we're kind of in love with them as parents—or rather, make that endearingly flawed parental train wrecks. Who do karaoke. And drink. And use phrases like "mug of butt."

Dear everyone else: If you don't have an obsession with Arnett or Applegate, and/or you're not a new parent yourself, you may be wondering if this show is for you. Well, here is your answer:


Read on to find out why!

Up All Night
Time-Slot Competition: Survivor (CBS), The X Factor (Fox), The Middle (ABC), H8R (CW)
 Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Nick Cannon
We just watched the new, final version of the pilot with the addition of Cannon

Like the awesomeness that is Raising Hope, Up All Night is a "baby show" in which you rarely see the actual baby. No Olsen-twin type cutesiness here. Just some good solid belly laughs and a few heart-tugging moments courtesy of this new little bundle, including the show's opening scene in which married couple Christopher (Will) and Reagan (Christina) find out they're gonna have a baby and completely freak out. (Then come to terms in a very funny way.)

The story then picks up after the baby (Amy) is born, when Reagan is returning to her job as a daytime talk show producer—Maya Rudolph plays the daytime queen and Nick Cannon her sidekick. (In the original pilot, Maya's and Christina's characters worked at a celebrity publicity firm; the change open ups the workplace storyline, giving it new energy.)

While Will Arnett has already totally nailed the wacky character-actor thing (Arrested Development, 30 Rock, anyone?), even you longtime fans may find his new role on Up All Night refreshing. It's Will's first straight-man gig, and he's a pretty relatable and solid father at that. Even better? His chemistry with Christina Applegate is palpable, and Christina is as charming, self-deprecating and funny as always. The casting could not be better.

And of course, the masterminds behind this series aren't too shabby either: Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels and creator Emily Spivey (Parks and Recreation, SNL). Applegate is also a producer on the show.

"I read the script and I really laughed because it was dangerous," Applegate tells me. "It's about a kid and the parents but it's like, 'Who are these people? They might mess a lot of things up.'"

And Arnett insists this show isn't just for new moms and dads.

"Emily Spivey wrote the show as very real and very accessible," Arnett explains. "If you happen to have young children, you'll relate—but also, it is real legit funny. And it has heart."

Which might explain why even on the third viewing of Up All Night's pilot episode, we can't make it past the final two minutes without choking back tears.

Final Verdict: Will Arnett + Christina Applegate + solid writing + an adorable little baby you can totally ignore if you want to = win.

Fall TV Preview 2011: Up All Night
Up All Night?
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