NBC’s Up All Night kicks off Season 2 tonight at 8:30/7:30c, and while all of the major players are still around — including Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph — the charmer will look and feel slightly different.
“It’s now more of a friends-and-family show, as opposed to a home show that’s also tied into a workplace,” series creator/showrunner Emily Spivey tells TVLine, elaborating on the comedy’s previously reported revamp. “[It’s about] the smaller stories that explore Chris and Reagan’s relationship, and then their friendship with Ava.”
Here, Spivey further discusses the tweaks to Up All Night‘s sophomore run, introduces the comedy’s newest face, Luka Jones, and gushes over guest star Sean Hayes.
TVLINE | How prominently will baby Amy be featured this year?
She’s sprinkled through. We have [the twins who play Amy, Carly and Delaney Prince] saying a few words, and I’m writing an episode now that centers around Amy’s first haircut and Chris’ fervor to capture that on film in a very specific way.
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TVLINE | What can fans expect from the addition of Luka Jones as Reagan’s brother?
We wanted to open up different aspects of Reagan and Chris and also have a permanent family member around. Luka’s character informs Reagan’s history because she’s very Type A and he’s very lackadaisical…. He and Chris really are brothers in that way. So, we’re trying to keep Reagan light, and she’s trying to rein them in. He’s got a son, too, so we wanted to introduce him and show a different aspect of child-rearing that maybe Reagan doesn’t agree with completely. We’re just getting to know him and his character, so he’ll be more integral as the season goes on. Luka’s just really fun and sweet. And hopefully we’ll be introducing more of the family members and expanding the world [in that way], as opposed to just adding different characters to the workplace.
TVLINE | And you have Sean Hayes coming on as Ava’s old accompanist. Why does he resurface?
His character is symbolic of Ava having to make amends as she comes out of the bubble that was the Ava show. She’s having to examine how she was to people during that time, when she was on top of the world. She runs into [Sean’s character] Walter, who was a casualty of her arrogance — she cut him loose when she hit the big time — and she’s just always going to be trying to make it up to him. Sean is such a delight, and is so much fun on set. He’s just so, so funny. Hopefully we’re going to get as many episodes out of him as we possibly can. He’s doing something on Smash, so we’re working around his schedule. But I would have him in every episode if I could! [Laughs]
TVLINE | Will we perhaps see another ’90s music video of Ava’s, this one co-starring Walter?
Probably not, but you never know. [Laughs] We’re trying to get away from the showbiz-y side of it a little bit and keep Ava’s stories down to earth. But I love flashbacks, so there’s always room to see who they were in the past.
TVLINE | Any plans to have Blythe Danner return as Reagan’s mom or Jason Lee as Ava’s ex?
It’s still up in the air, but we’d love to. As soon as everything starts to settle down in terms of resetting this world, we’re definitely going to have those people back.
TVLINE | And while we’re at it, is there still a place for Megan Mullally now that Ava has been cancelled?
Yeah, we love Megan to death. If someone’s good and fun, it’s easy to have these people show up.
TVLINE | How about a new love interest for Ava? Will she ever really settle down?
We do want that for her eventually, but for storytelling purposes it’s more fun to see her look for dudes and try to go on dates. It opens up a whole other story area if she’s not attached. But eventually she will be. If we get to go long enough, we’d love to see her have a baby or adopt a baby or something.
TVLINE | Is now a good time to start following Up All Night, given all of the tweaks from Season 1?
You’ll be able to watch that first episode and know exactly where everyone is and enjoy it even if you haven’t seen the other episodes. We worked really hard to make sure everything was nice and clear for viewers who weren’t watching last year. Hopefully it’s all neat and clear — and funny!