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Christina Applegate to exit 'Up All Night' ... that's awkward

February 08, 2013|By Yvonne Villarreal
  • "It's been a great experience working on 'Up All Night', but the show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on," Christina Applegate said.
"It's been a great experience working on 'Up All Night',… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

"Up All Night" is in the midst of mother abandoment issues. Lead actress Christina Applegate has decided to depart the struggling series.

"It’s been a great experience working on 'Up All Night', but the show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on to other endeavors," Applegate said in a statement provided to The Times. "Working with Lorne Michaels has been a dream come true and I am grateful he brought me into his TV family. I will miss the cast, producers and crew, and wish them the best always.”

The "different creative direction" includes a major revamp of the single-camera comedy into a multi-cam production. That's in addition to behind-the-scenes turmoil that has seen the recent exit of series creator and executive producer Emily Spivey and a revolving door of showrunners.

At its onset, the modestly rated comedy was intended to shed light on new parenthood, with Applegate and Will Arnett starring as a couple unwilling to let go of their youth with a new baby in the mix. The workplace facet (Applegate worked at an Oprah-inspired talk show hosted by Maya Rudolph's character) got more attention as the series went on, presumably to give more screen time to Rudolph -- there was speculation that the show would continue to expand even further in that area as it entered its new format.

Before the show's September 2011 launch, Applegate expressed that relatability was a key factor in her decision to take on the role.

"It's the closest I've ever been to myself in a character — the sense of humor, the baby love. It's there," said Applegate, herself in the midst of first-time mommyhood.

So how does a show about juggling parenthood go on without one of the parents? It's unclear how, or whether, the show will continue after Applegate's departure. Production, set to begin this month, had not yet started on new episodes.

NBC had not returned a call for comment at the time of publication.

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