Christina Applegate on Up All Night's 'First Christmas' and the Thursday Move: 'It's a Relief'

NBC’s rookie comedy Up All Night wraps its fall run this Wednesday (NBC, 8/7c), and it’s going out on a jolly note.

Christina Applegate — who stars opposite Will Arnett as Type A mega-mom, Reagan — spoke to TVLine about the Christmas celebration the comedy has in store (Hint: It’s a doozy!), what fans have to look forward to when new episodes resume, and how she feels about the show’s big move to Thursdays.

TVLINE | What does an Up All Night Christmas celebration look like?
It’s Baby’s First Christmas! Traditionally, Chris and Reagan have not gone all out for the holiday, but [their daughter] Amy sees a decorative display and gets very excited. Of course, it’s then Reagan’s Type A-mission to give her a Christmas-exploded-all-over-the-house kind of holiday. And in the interim, Blythe Danner, who plays Reagan’s mother, shows up again and we have a nice reconciliation about what the holiday means.

TVLINE | Speaking of Blythe, I’m not sure anyone knew she’d be back beyond her first episode with Richard Schiff. Is this something that we will continue to see?
I think she wants to come back, so we’ll see when she’s available. And I know [upcoming guest star] Megan [Mullally] also wants to return, so we’ll try to find a place for them both at some point.

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TVLINE | In its short history, Up All Night has recruited some impressive guest stars. What’s the secret?
We’ve just been very lucky. Megan came in so last minute for her episode and we’re lucky to have had her. She’s so incredibly talented and funny. And Blythe is someone I wanted to play my mom, so we pursued her actively for awhile. I didn’t care what we had to do to get her out here from New York, she was the most perfect person for the role. I’ve known her for a long time and I really appreciated her taking time out to do the show.

TVLINE | Can you talk a little about what I call the show’s high sweetness factor? It’s obviously a comedy, but it comes with more heart and feel-good moments than most.
What’s nice about Chris and Reagan is that they’re not the typical sitcom couple, where they bicker constantly. They’re very much in love, they are friends and confidants — and they have to be. They are a triangle now — the baby and the two of them — and baby is on top. And they are just trying to keep their relationship a priority. We also have such incredible love for those babies [who play Amy]. What’s great is that because Will and I are parents, we’re incredibly protective of those two little girls. We love them with all of our hearts. They are the sweetest things and it’s beautiful to be a part of their lives. So, this show is coming from a real place. Will and I are careful to make sure we stay in those confines of reality about how it truly goes down. For awhile there they would have Reagan come home from work and not even say hi to the baby and that never made any sense to me. [Laughs]

TVLINE | The relationship between Reagan and Mya Rudolph’s Ava is also one that’s developed really nicely.
Yeah, as we were establishing the show, we had to concentrate on what was happening in the home. Mya’s side of everything was really a work in progress because the Ava show was a new concept that we hadn’t originally done in the pilot. But we really wanted to make sure people understood why Ava and Reagan had been friends for so long. We didn’t want to be sappy about it, but we did want it to be clear why they’ve stuck with each other. We actually have an episode coming up with a scene where they are talking in her dressing room and I asked if we could do it while Reagan tried on all of Ava’s shoes. I just wanted to show these two women being girlfriends because that’s the kind of conversation they’re having. And it worked so beautifully. It’s a really sweet moment and I’m happy we did it.

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TVLINE | Care to tease anything else coming up?
Oh, New Year’s Eve! It’s a good one. So, we have this New Year’s Eve game night at home and Reagan, we come to see, is incredibly competitive. To the point of being offensive to everyone. Jason Lee makes an appearance [as Ava’s boyfriend, Kevin] in that one, as well as [Ava assistant] Missy and her boyfriend. And the one with Megan is called “Rivals” and it’s all about jealousy. Reagan is spinning out about Chris having another playdate mom-friend. They are really close and funny together and it irks Reagan a lot, because that kind of banter is their thing.

TVLINE | And the next time we see Up All Night, it will be nestled comfortably in its new Thursday night time slot at 9:30 pm.
It’s exciting. I was shocked. It was something we really wanted, because 8 pm on a Wednesday opposite X Factor and Survivor is daunting. And when you’re a new show it’s harder to open a night like that. But I just hope that we fit within this night of workplace comedies. I definitely feel like it’s such a sigh of relief to be on such a great night with such great television.

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  1. Dean says:

    Great. Community gets the brush off (never mind that it was up against juggernaut Big Bang Theory) so Up All Night can squeeze in on Thursdays.

    • Danyelle says:

      No, wrong – Community fans’ legitimate beef is with Whitney which doesn’t deserve *any* time slot, and if nbc wasn’t stupid to save it, everyone would be on the air. Up All Night is very charming and funny. Whitney is dead air with negative redeeming value.

      • Nick says:

        Look, both shows suck, so lets not fight over which show is screwing Community more. NBC is a terrible network, and we just have to accept that.

  2. ScrubsGuy says:

    Should have just swapped Whitney with Up All Night, but there’s always been one less-than-great entry in the Thursday night block. Dunno why they don’t put Community after Office – it’s numbers were pretty decent back then.

    Also, I feel sad that they’re beating The Office like a dead horse; it gets the ratings, but at the expense of any type of creative integrity. I saw the NBC JAM promo they did between season 2 and 3, and it’s a sad reminder of better days.

  3. april-ann says:

    Having gone through the “baby boom” myself already, I tried but found this show redundant. I tried because I do like all the stars in it, but Up All Night just makes me yawn (really intensely). I won’t watch it any more on Thursdays than I would on Wednesdays. Bye-bye must see tv, bye-bye (and I mean that in the cutest baby way possible).

  4. kevin says:

    Moving UP ALL NIGHT to Thursdays is a “sure thing” but WHITNEY move to Wednesdays is destined to get canceled after season’s end and we really won’t know if NBC continues to be the bearer of bad news for ratings next Fall.

  5. Davey says:

    I like the cast for Up All Night but I just can’t get into it. It’s funny for about 2 minutes and then not. Just like The New Girl. It’s hard to write comedy TV.

  6. Aprilcot26 says:

    While I enjoy Up All Night, it’s hard not to be resentful now that they’re benching my beloved Community so it can move to Thursdays.

  7. laur2222 says:

    its against xfactor and survivor now and the ratings aren’t good she says. well the move to thursday is gonna be just as bad i think. at 930 on thursdays it will be against greys anatomy, bones ( when it comes back in march), and wutevers on cbs. however i think greys and bones are pretty popular shows. i don’t think that spot is much better. however i watched most of these episodes and i didn’t like it as much as i thought i would. i do like christina and maya but the show isn’t that great.

    • Steve says:

      Yeah I agree. I don’t know the demographics of Up All Night’s audience but I imagine it has a very large female audience. Also, I thought Grey’s Anatomy was the #1 female show on television (or something like that) so Up All Night probably has even worse competition now.

  8. Jamie says:

    Up All Night is a great show. While I’m upset Community is being benched, I can atleast be happy a funny show like this is still on the air. Fellow Community fans, don’t get mad at Up All Night, get mad at Rock Centre with Brian Williams and Harry’s Law for getting to stay on the schedule despite having lower ratings than Community. Let’s just try to be happy atleast Will Arnett has a show that doesn’t appear to be gettign cancelled.

  9. Melissa says:

    I love thier home life, much better than her work life, they need more of that in the show, and more of “dad- baby home life”
    like the time REagan came home and he wanted alone time after a sweet potato incident- i want more of that
    i have a 1 year old and my husband and i love this show so much!

  10. MK says:

    I’m looking for work, if you guys need a proofreader (MAYA Rudolph, it’s right there in the tag)