Today’s News: Our Take – Up All Night’s Maya Rudolph on Playing an Oprah Wannabe

Maya Rudolph  | Photo Credits: Craig Barritt/

The Christina ApplegateWill Arnett sitcom Up All Night hasn’t even premiered yet, but already co-star Maya Rudolph has gotten a promotion.

Speaking to reporters at the fall TV previews Monday, NBC Entertainment Chief Robert Greenblatt announced that portions of the pilot would be reshot to recast Rudolph’s character, Ava, as a daytime talk-show host. “We decided to change the workplace altogether to give Maya a better platform to do her thing,” Greenblatt said. Applegate will play a producer on Ava’s show. (In the original pilot, Applegate and Rudolph played partners in a PR firm.)

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The change makes sense to series creator and former SNL writer Emily Spivey. “It was closer to what my actual experience was working on SNL and having a baby and going back into the workplace,” she said.

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Rudolph has some experience with the role, having spent years impersonating Oprah Winfrey on Saturday Night Live. “She actually said she loved it,” Rudolph said of Winfrey’s reaction to her impression. “She was very happy because she said I was the first woman to actually play her.” Added Spivey: “[Winfrey] thanked us for not putting her in a fat suit.”

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But Ava’s no Oprah. “This character’s journey is going to be someone who is trying to get there,” executive producer and SNL creator Lorne Michaels said. “She’s certainly not at the point of celebrity.”

Up All Night, starring Applegate and Arnett as new parents, premieres Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 10/9c on NBC before moving to its regular timeslot on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8/7c.


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