Christina Applegate is leaving “Up All Night” after two seasons in a major set back for the NBC sitcom.
The surprising announcement came Friday afternoon, just weeks after creator Emily Spivey departed the series (which may have played a part in Applegate’s decision), and leaves some big questions about the struggling show’s future.
“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, according to Deadline. “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.”
There’s no word on how “Up All Night” plans to handle such a major loss, but for now, NBC reportedly plans to move forward on production of the show’s third season.
The network is allegedly looking for potential replacements for Applegate, with Lisa Kudrow said to be under consideration, according to Deadline. It’s not unheard of to swap actors for a major character on a TV series, the two Darrens of “Bewitched” come to mind, but it’s unusual and risky.
Applegate starred as working mom Reagan in the family comedy about a couple adjusting to life with a new baby, with Will Arnett as her husband and Maya Rudolph as her bossy bestie.
Applegate’s unexpected exit comes just as the NBC sitcom was in the midst of a major overhaul, changing formats from a single-camera comedy to a multi-camera comedy.
The show has been in a state of constant upheaval since it launched in 2011, between tweaking creative elements within the show and the behind-the-scenes merry-go-round of showrunner turnover — original showrunner Jon Pollack left last May and has been replaced twice since.
Applegate gave no hints of any discord or plans of departing “Up All Night” when she appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” not that long ago. Watch Her Interview Below.