In 'Up All Night,' Christina Applegate is married with child
In the first episode of "Up All Night," which premiered Wednesday, Christina Applegate's character, Reagan -- a talk show producer and first-time mom -- must choose between a barbecue at rock royalty Stevie Nicks' home or quality time with her hubby and baby. And the outcome was a no-brainer: Stevie Nicks 0, Baby 1.
It's a decision Applegate is all too familiar with in her own life, a first-time mom herself to a 6-month-old daughter. And maybe Stevie Nicks is not in the equation, but the tug-of-war aspect of juggling parenthood with work definitely is, she said.
"It takes every ounce not to completely turn into mush when I leave each morning for work," the 39-year-old actress said. It helps that her daughter visits her on set every day.
Perhaps there will be a little more spring in her step now. With the finale of "America's Got Talent" serving as a lead-in, the premiere episode of "Up All Night," which aired Wednesday, drew strong numbers with just under 11 million viewers in the 10 p.m. slot and averaged an impressive 3.7 rating with adults under 50, according to Nielsen.
The show centers on first-time parents Reagan (Applegate) and her husband (Will Arnett) as they try to hold on to their youth while adding a baby to the mix. The cast also includes Maya Rudolph ("Saturday Night Live," "Bridesmaids") as Ava, the out-of-touch host of the talk show Reagan works for.
It's Applegate's third attempt at headlining a series since her role as Kelly Bundy in "Married With Children." Her NBC comedy "Jesse" was canceled in 2000 after two seasons. Her 2007 ABC series "Samantha Who?" had a similar lifespan, ending its run in 2009. A lot has changed in the TV landscape since then, among them: "They tell you you need to tweet things," she said.
Just don't expect her to require such activity from her daughter, Sadie.
"When I was a kid, we played with each other -- we were outside, we were rollerskating, we were on a bike, we were making up stories," she said. "I know that she is going to be influenced by outside people with this whole other world of seclusion that technology offers, but I'm going to do everything in my power to encourage a good 1970s childhood for her, when things were simpler. Where you scraped your knee and got back up, not where you were scraping knees and posting pictures of it on Facebook."
But, down the line, if her daughter were to have a Facebook page, at least she'd have some friends from the set to share photos with since Applegate isn't the only one bringing home with her to work: Maya Rudolph gave birth in July to her third child, son Jack, and brings him on set. Will Arnett also recently welcomed a son, the second for him and wife Amy Poehler.
"We’re going to have to get a daycare license or some sort of clearance with all these babies," Rudolph said recently during a break on set. "It feels cruel to drag Jack around. I feel terrible. I look at him and I want to apologize, like, ‘Sorry, dude, I know you don’t need to be here.’"
To read more about Applegate and her new role as mommy and TV mommy, check out Sunday's Calendar story.
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: Christina Applegate photographed on the set of "Up All Night" at CBS studios in Studio City. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.