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As Night Court Waits For Season 3 Renewal, I Love What The Stars Told Us About Reactions From Fans

 John Larroquette and Melissa Rauch in Night Court Season 2.
John Larroquette and Melissa Rauch in Night Court Season 2.

Night Court was one of NBC's first shows to return in the 2024 TV schedule, and the hit sitcom didn't slow down in its second season with everything from Big Bang Theory reunions to characters from the original run of the series returning. Unfortunately, the network had not yet announced a renewal for Season 3 when the Season 2 finale aired on March 26, despite the much earlier renewal last year. So, as the wait begins for news of Night Court's future, let's look back at comments from the Season 2 series regulars and standout guest stars that I can't stop thinking about, regarding the audience reactions they've experienced.

Abby smiling in Night Court
Abby smiling in Night Court

Melissa Rauch (Abby Stone)

Melissa Rauch originally came to Night Court just as an executive producer, but plans changed and she stepped into the lead role as Judge Abby Stone. She was already a fan of the original show, making it all the more special for her when Season 1 brought in Marsha Warfield as Roz and then Season 2 brought her back. Speaking with CinemaBlend and other outlets at the Season 2 press day, she reflected on the live studio audience reaction to seeing Warfield:

We also wanted to keep that moment because the moment in the studio audience was, I think, one of my top favorite moments ever at a live taping of a show. Watching Marsha come out and seeing her stand across from John [Larroquette]. I mean, I had tears streaming down my face. In the audience, we're lucky enough to have a lot of people who come who are fans of the original and they come back sometimes, week after week. And so I looked over to see some of the people that I knew had been fans of the original, and the guy did a double take. And I saw him grab the person next to him. He was going 'Oh my god, oh my god!' Watching the audience and watching them, there was such electricity in the air.

Warfield went on to return in the Season 2 premiere as well as the Season 2 finale. She was the first of the original series stars to reunite with John Larroquette for the revival, but not the last. Rauch also raved about watching Larroquette work, saying:

I call him an Olympic athlete of the multi-camera sitcom. Watching him in front of a live studio audience, it's mind blowing. There is truly nothing like it. It's really a relationship almost, and like a rhythm that you form with the audience and it informs so much of what you're doing and it's so beautiful to get to watch him on a show night, and how he's really a musician. And he is a musician as well, but there's a musicality to how he performs in front of an audience. It's like watching jazz, and to study him doing that, you're truly watching a musician do comedic jazz in front of a studio audience. It's amazing. It's really cool to see.

Talk about high praise! As a longtime star of The Big Bang Theory, Melissa Rauch came to Night Court with plenty of multi-cam experience herself. Is it any wonder that Rauch and Larroquette joining forces was such an immediate hit for NBC in 2023, even if it hasn't yet been renewed in 2024?

John Larroquette on Night Court
John Larroquette on Night Court

John Larroquette (Dan Fielding)

John Larroquette was of course the only original series star to reprise his role as a series regular for Night Court's revival. Sadly, part of this was due to the deaths of many of his former co-stars, leading to him describe filming as "it's like I see ghosts." Ahead of the season that reunited Dan not only with Marsha Warfield's Roz but also the Wheelers, Larroquette shared his own thoughts on viewer reactions to the show. When I asked during the Night Court press day if the early Season 2 renewal gave him any confidence for starting the new season, he said:

Yes, certainly. The fact that the audience reacted to it as they did – and I don't give myself any credit for that. I think that Melissa Rauch has such a huge following because of her wonderful work on Big Bang, and also the the format of Night Court. People were, I think, somewhat nostalgic about that and felt good about that. I suppose having my old face appear on it gave some people a connection to the original that they might not have had with just a whole new cast. But I am convinced that the show would have been as successful with or without me.

While we'll never know if the show would have hit as hard as it did right off the bat without Dan Fielding, he continued to deliver laughs as well as heartwarming moments with Melissa Rauch's Abby in the second season... and presumably will do so into the third, if Night Court is renewed!

Olivia de Beaufort and Lacretta in Night Court Season 2
Olivia de Beaufort and Lacretta in Night Court Season 2

India de Beaufort (Olivia) And Lacretta (Gurgs)

India de Beaufort and Lacretta were the other two series regulars who returned for Season 2, alongside Melissa Rauch and John Larroquette. As Olivia and Gurgs (respectively), they spend a lot of time in the courtroom, which can lead to a lot of giggles as the jokes start flying. Speaking with outlets at the press day, de Beaufort opened up about experiencing live studio audience reactions to bloopers:

Honestly, my favorite audience reaction, which just feeds into it and makes it worse, is when one of us breaks. [laughs] Because they're so tickled by seeing you emerge from your character, and then that makes it worse, because you'll be doing the scene and they know that the part's coming that keeps getting you each time and then they'll start laughing and then you're laughing, and then you end up turning and going, 'No, you lot pack it in! You got to help me out. Nobody laugh!' [laughs] And it is nice. It's like having an extra series regular in a row.

Considering the popularity of gag reels, what wouldn't be fun about watching actors crack up live on set? Olivia and Gurgs don't always share the most scenes, but they have had some touching storylines, and Lacretta said "I agree, what she said" after de Beaufort described the experience of breaking on set.

India de Beaufort as Olivia and Paul Scheer as Carnes in Night Court Season 2
India de Beaufort as Olivia and Paul Scheer as Carnes in Night Court Season 2

Paul Scheer (Carnes)

Paul Scheer had plenty of TV comedy experience before joining forces with Rob Huebel to play attorney duo Pellino and Carnes on Night Court, thanks to shows like The League and Black Monday. According to the actor when we spoke over the phone, coming to Night Court was a "dream come true," but also his first sitcom experience with a live studio audience. He said:

This is the first time I've ever done a multicam show where an audience is watching, and it was thrilling because you immediately know what's working, what's not working. You know how to lean into something or pull back from something. The set is so collaborative that you are constantly making everything better. That audience, the thing that I was impressed with was they feel different, like they're not just there because 'Oh, we came from out of town and we want to go see a taping.' They felt like they were there [because] they wanted to see Night Court. They were with us in every take and they constantly were just ready to laugh. It was great. It was a great experience.

As of the end of Season 2, Scheer has only appeared in one episode of Night Court. That said, his pitch for a Pellino & Carnes spinoff is definitely one that I'd check out, so hopefully he'll at least get to turn up in a third season.

Melissa Fumero in Night Court Season 2
Melissa Fumero in Night Court Season 2

Melissa Fumero (Jasmine)

Melissa Fumero spoke with CinemaBlend shortly after Brooklyn Nine-Nine hit Netflix's Top 10 list, opening up about playing a "really extra" PTA mom by the name of Jasmine on Night Court. Like Paul Scheer, she came to the show with plenty of sitcom experience, but primarily not with a live studio audience. When I mentioned that Night Court is known for having an enthusiastic audience, Fumero responded:

They were so excited to be there, and the way they they cheered when the cast would come out, I was like, 'Oh, this is an audience of fans.' Obviously it's hard to tell if they're fans of the original or of the new version, but they were very clearly Night Court fans. Just the way they're looking at the set and noticing things. You could definitely feel it.

I'm not sure that we should count on seeing Fumero back as Jasmine, since Night Court didn't particularly set the character up for a return, but it's hard to rule much of anything out when it comes to this show.

Abby and the Wheelers in Night Court Season 2
Abby and the Wheelers in Night Court Season 2

Kate Micucci (Carol Ann Wheeler)

Prolific voice actress and Big Bang Theory alum Kate Micucci guest-starred in Season 2 as Carol Ann Wheeler, the daughter of the infamous Wheelers played by Brent Spiner and Annie O'Donnell in the original series. Speaking with CinemaBlend, she opened up about joining forces with Spiner and O'Donnell, and had glowing praise for the Night Court studio audience:

Basically my favorite thing to do is to do a sitcom in front of a live studio audience… Whenever we get to do it, I'm always pinching myself, because it feels like a dreamy thing. It feels like it's the best of all the worlds. You get to put on a play, in a way, but it's being filmed for TV. It's all of the things and the audience was awesome! So much fun. It's a long night for a studio audience, and they didn't miss a beat. It was such a fun thing to be a part of. Definitely you could tell there's a lot of Night Court fans. There's family of some of the cast. It was just a really great experience.

Night Court very much left the door open for a return from Carol Ann, although Dan probably wouldn't be too happy about it! Micucci said "I'm so there" when asked if she'd be up to return in a third season, so if the sitcom is renewed, there's a chance!

Brent Spiner and Annie O'Donnell as Bob and June Wheeler
Brent Spiner and Annie O'Donnell as Bob and June Wheeler

Annie O'Donnell (June Wheeler)

Annie O'Donnell and Brent Spiner reprised their roles as June and Bob Wheeler almost four decades after playing them in the original series, and they proved that the disastrous Wheelers could still bring the laughs. After explaining how she prepared to play June again so many years later, O'Donnell addressed the studio audience experience:

It really is [fun]. It really is. And [Melissa Rauch], by the way, is just the most darling of people that I have ever met. [laughs] She is just a beacon of light, and so warm and so welcoming. The whole cast was so kind and welcoming to us. It was great. They really made us feel at home.

Annie O'Donnell also confirmed that she'd "love to" come back to Night Court again to play June Wheeler, and said "fingers crossed for all of that" when it comes to a new season. At the time of writing, all any of us can do is wait for official word on a third season.

Hopefully that word comes sooner rather than later! Considering the glowing praise for the studio audience from all of these stars, I can't stop thinking that so many people would be thrilled with the show returning in the 2024-2025 TV season. For now, you can always revisit the first two seasons of the Night Court revival streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.