By Tom Gliatto Monica Rizzo Marisa Laudadio
October 03, 2011 12:00 PM

Up All Night

NBC, Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET/PT |

COMEDY

Up All Night, a new comedy about balancing parenthood and workhood, is adorable without being cute. It doesn’t gurgle and expect you to coo “Wookit da baby sitcom!” Even with Maya Rudolph as an Oprah-like diva who pronounces “insane” in-SAHN, as if to make the word somehow inapplicable to herself, Up All Night is mostly about documenting the small moments that a new mother and father (Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) are too tired to imprint on their memories. Arnett stays at home with an infant daughter, while Applegate returns to her job under Rudolph’s Ava, a woman so infantalized by personal neediness that anyone in her orbit is reduced to a babysitter. The challenge for the show-one met in the premiere by this very clever cast-will be to keep the domestic comedy from going too soft, and Rudolph from being too outrageously funny. Don’t wanna see the itsy-bitsy spider go down the spout.

Terra Nova

FOX, Sept. 26, 8 p.m. ET/PT |

FANTASY

In this time-hopping new series, Jason O’Mara and family travel from an unlivably polluted future (2149) back into the pristine, prehistoric past. There they join a colony of pioneers hoping to create a better world from the ground up. Kids will enjoy Nova-the two-hour premiere has CGI dinosaurs, which add snap to any viewing experience-but even with Steven Spielberg listed among the executive producers, this distant world doesn’t inspire much awe. And the story moves at the pace of a woolly mammoth dreaming of spring.

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