In a highly unusual move, NBC has decided to make a big change on the comedy Up All Night. The series, which currently films in a single-camera format, will return after a winter hiatus having been converted to a multi-camera format. Producers are hoping the change will give the show more energy – and no doubt better ratings as well.

Both of the female stars of the series have plenty of experience working in front of a live audience, so the change shouldn’t rattle either of them much. Christina Applegate worked for years in front of Married With Children’s live audience and of course Maya Rudolph is an SNL alum, so it doesn’t get much more live than that. Still, changing from a single-camera format to a multi-camera is pretty rare for a show already in production, especially mid-season. Up All Night will go on hiatus for three months over the winter so that the necessary changes can be made to the sets.

Deadline says that the change also comes with an increased episode order for the series. The original 13 episodes for Season 2 have been increased to 16, with the final 5 being filmed in the new format. The last of the single-camera episodes, which is filming right now, will air in December with a spring return anticipated around April or May. NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt thinks the changeover will be smooth:”
“We think we can make a seamless tradition to the new format. Also, we’re committed to the multi-camera form and this will give us another show to consider for next season in this new format.”

Although he merely says the show will be “considered” for another season, it does seem to give Up All Night a stronger likelihood of a renewal. It seems like a lot of effort to put into the show only to cancel it, but in the end it will depend on how the change works, and what kind of ratings it brings. Currently the network has only Guys With Kids and Whitney as multi-cams; this brings the total to three.

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