Baby Blues Keep Arnett and Applegate Up All Night: Our Fall TV First Impression

The broadcast networks have more than 30 shows debuting this fall, including Steven Spielberg’s dino-mite Terra Nova, J.J. Abrams’ Person of Interest, and a U.S. adaptation of the UK’s Prime Suspect. To help you prep for fall, TVLine is offering First Impressions based on the not-for-review pilots. Next on our list is…

THE SHOW | NBC’s Up All Night (Wednesdays at 8/7c, starting Sept. 21; sneak preview Sept. 14 at 10pm)

THE COMPETITION | Fox’s The X Factor (new), CBS’ Survivor, ABC’s The Middle and The CW’s H8R (new)

THE CAST | Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?), Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) and James Pumphrey

THE SET-UP | Applegate and Arnett play Reagan (aka “Ray”) and Chris, happily marrieds who within the first seconds of the pilot learn they have a baby on the way. One quick cut later, newborn Amy is warming their hearts… and turning their heretofore organized lives upside-down. Rudolph is Ava, Reagan’s hard-partying, living-large boss at the PR firm where she works, while Pumphrey is Ray’s assistant.

More First Impressions: Fox’s Terra Nova and New Girl, ABC’s Once Upon a Time, The CW’s The Secret Circle and Ringer, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and Person of Interest, NBC’s The Playboy Club

THE GOOD | As a father, I can attest that there is absolutely a single-camera comedy to be made about new parents discovering how the responsibility of raising a baby forces change and compromise into their marital and professional existences — and Up All Night does a good job of hitting several easy targets from the get-go. Applegate, a brand-new first-time mom herself at the time this was shot, wears the role well, while Arnett has once of his best (and better-modulated) roles since 30 Rock. Rudolph’s Ava, if a bit broadly drawn, offers good contrast, reminding Reagan how her devil-may-care life used to be.

THE… COULD-BE-BETTER | As said above, Up All Night covers a lot of ground in its premiere — perhaps too much. Dad’s first time braving the grocery aisles, the first Date Night conflict, the first babysitter, Ray’s first choice between work and home, the first time they stay out way too late to party way too hard, Chris’ self-loathing over being an Xbox-playing, Nordic Track-ignoring stay-at-home parent…. It is all in here; pace yourselves, people. Ava is very self-centered, which I “get” is the joke, but it also makes you wonder how she and Reagan became besties. If you take a drink each time a character sarcastically lobs the word “awesome,” you’ll be dead 18 minutes in. The show needs more cast members.

Fall 2011 TV Grid: Where Did Your Favorite Shows Land?

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | NBC took a bath in this time slot a year ago (with the short-lived Undercovers), then tried to duct-tape things with Minute to Win It, so I admire their pluck in looking to launch a new comedy night. But up against the sure-to-be-buzzy X Factor and ABC’s surging The Middle (with its own frazzled parents), baby Amy might not be the only one crying. That said, I do hope Up All Night finds some footing, because first-time parenthood is funny stuff.

Watch a video preview for Up All Night, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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19 Comments
  1. Michael C. says:

    Do not see this show passing the first season. But I will definately be watching this as I am a big fan of Christina Applegate/Will Arnett. The concept too sounds wonderful as well.

  2. Adam Newland says:

    There is no reason why Arnett and Applegate shouldn’t succeed on TV. They are both excellent comedic actors. That being said, I am concerned about the competition. I know Survivor’s numbers are down, but it still pulls in a steady stream of viewers. In addition, you know people are tuning in to The X Factor because we missed Simon Cowell whether we want to admit it or not.

    The show should be funny, but I do not have high hopes for its survival.

    • Tisha Look says:

      I completely agree with you. I think the show will be good but the competition will bury this.

      Hey NBC! If this show is as good as it appears to be, PLEASE move it to another time slot!

  3. Marc says:

    Would be a better fit 9:30 Thursday. I thought the cursing bit that opened and closed the ep was not nearly as clever as they thought it was. Also while I am sure this is relatable to many first time parents, a show on a mainstream network needs to appeal to more than that just that group. The fact is, this childless, adult, male, found Mya Rudolph to be the only really funny part. Id watch her charcter starring in a show in a minute. Totally agree with you how in the pilot, you don’t get at all how they are friends.

  4. Jake L says:

    This show sounds like fun, but The Middle is one of my favorites (and NOT available online), so I’m sticking with that. If NBC were to consider moving this to another timeslot, I might try it…but as it is, no. Already booked for that half hour.

  5. Joel M says:

    You guys should create a tab that has all of the tv first impression articles in one easy to locate spot like you do with the comic con stories

  6. Saracen Riggins says:

    I just wish they’d bring back Samantha Who…

  7. Mandy says:

    To help with the casting issues, maybe they should throw in another couple who sort of have it all together with say 3 kids and they could sort of mentor Ray and Chris. For diversity and interest sake, maybe a gay couple? Chris could befriend the stay at home parent, maybe they meet at a daddy group?

  8. Cana says:

    This show should be on the Thursday night block. It seems like a much better fit than Whitney. Also the cast of this show is a much better reason why it should be In the thursday night block. Also will arnett has been on the office, parks and rec, and he was amazing on 30 rock. He has made a impression on the thursday block. His show which also has two other brilliant comedic actors Maya Rudalph and christina Applegate. Is another reason why it fits with the Thursday line up. If Whitney gets cancelled and this show does not work In the wensday line up. Move it to Thursday’s.

  9. chris says:

    love Christina Applegate but can’t stand Will Arnett. Will watch the pilot since there won’t be anything else to watch that night but will be watching The Middle live.

  10. Kevin says:

    At least NBC wants 30 ROCK back for the time being until Tina Fey returns from maternity leave. UP ALL NIGHT seems so wasted and boring even not the same premise RAISING HOPE was.

  11. monahan says:

    This one has my pick for the surprise hit of the season. I think Arnett and Applegate have finally foufn some stride together. Here’s hoping! Also agree with Cana. whitney looks just horrible. Move Up now!

  12. Ashley says:

    I adore Will Arnett and this looks like a good role for him (as opposed to his comedy from last season) so I’ll definitely be checking it out. I do hope NBC decides to move it to the Thursday night line-up, however!

  13. greg says:

    i screened the original pilot at universal and am so looking forward to it. i was laughing the entire time.

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