NBC's nascent comedy "Up All Night" is going to look different when it returns for its sophomore season. "Will & Grace" star Sean Hayes has been cast in a multi-episode arc as Ava's (Maya Rudolph) former accompanist, the network revealed on Facebook.

"Up All Night," which stars Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, is also ditching its show-within-a-show "Ava," and re-tooling around "smaller, lower-key home stories," Todd VanDerWerff, TV editor at the A.V. Club reported from set visit day at the 2012 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.

NPR's Monkey See blog also reported on "Ava" changing direction, tweeting, "They're basically dropping the Ava show and concentrating on home stories."

But while the show might be moving away from "Ava," it won't be moving away from Rudolph's character. "Maya Rudolph is not leaving. Ava will be doing other things," Monkey See clarified. Maybe reviving her R&B career with Hayes' character?

Critics were mixed on how Ava and her talk show setting worked within the context of what "Up All Night" did best. When the sitcom premiered, HuffPost TV critic Maureen Ryan wrote about the tension:

Ava is supposed to be both a powerful chat-show magnate and Reagan's regular-gal best friend, and it's not clear that "Up All Night" knows how to modulate between those two extremes. For Ava to be funny, she has to be selfish and clueless; for her to be Reagan's friend, she can't be all that clueless or excessively mean to her underlings. If "Up All Night" can't get that character right, it's not clear that the comedy's other charms will be able to compensate for its wobbly diva situation.

"Up All Night" Season 2 premieres Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Check out more NBC shows in the slideshow below:

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  • 30 Rock

  • Betty White's Off Their Rockers

  • The Biggest Loser

  • Community

  • Fashion Star

  • Law & Order: SVU

  • Grimm

  • Parks And Recreation

  • Parenthood

  • Smash

  • The Office

  • The Voice

  • Up All Night

  • Whitney

  • 1600 Penn

    Benjamin Stockham as Xander, Martha MacIsaac as Becca (seated), Bill Pullman as President Dale Gilchrist (seated), Amara Miller as Marigold, Josh Gad as Skip, Jenna Elfman as Emily Gilchrist (seated), Andre Holland as Marshall Malloy

  • 1600 Penn

    Amara Miller as Marigold; Jenna Elfman as First Lady Emily Gilchrist; Bill Pullman as President Dale Gilchrist; Martha MacIsaac as Becca; Josh Gad as Skip; Benjamin Stockham as Xander

  • Go On

    Allison Miller as Carrie, Khary Payton as Don, Suzy Nakamura as Yolanda, Matthew Perry as Ryan, Laura Benanti as Lauren, Julie White as Anne

  • Go On

    Matthew Perry as Ryan King

  • Revolution

    Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie, Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie , Zak Orth as Aaron

  • Revolution

    JD Pardo as Nate, Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie, Zak Orth as Aaron, Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie

  • Revolution

    Billy Burke as Miles

  • Revolution

    Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie, Graham Rogers as Danny, Tim Guiee as Ben, David Lyons as Bass Monroe, Billy Burke as Miles, Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie, Andrea Roth as Rachel, Maria Howell as Grace, JD Pardo as Nate, Zak Orth as Aaron, Giancarlo Esposito as Lt. Neville

  • The New Normal

    Ellen Barkin as Jane, Andrew Rannells as Bryan, Georgia King as Goldie, Bebe Wood as Shania, Justin Bartha as David

  • The New Normal

    Bebe Wood as Shania; Andrew Rannells as Bryan; Justin Bartha as David; Georgia King as Goldie

  • The New Normal

    Andrew Rannells as Bryan, Ellen Barkin as Jane, Nene Leakes as Rocky

  • Save Me

    Anne Heche as Beth

  • Save Me

    Anne Heche as Beth Waring

  • Save Me

    Heather Burns as Jenna, Alexandra Breckenridge as Carly, Michael Landes as Tom Waring, Anne Heche as Beth Waring, Madison Davenport as Emily Waring, Lamman Rucker as John

  • Chicago Fire

    Teri Reeves as Hallie, David Eigenberg as Christopher Hermann, Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills, Lauren German as Leslie Shay, Monica Raymund as Gabriella Dawson, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey, Eamonn Walker as Battalion Chief Walter Boden and Merle Dandridge as Kay Fitori

  • Do No Harm

    Steven Pasquale as Dr. Jeffery Kohl/Ian Price

  • Do No Harm

    Steven Pasquale as Dr. Jeffery Kohl/Ian Price

  • Do No Harm

    Steven Pasquale as Dr. Jeffery Kohl/Ian Price

  • Deception

    Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto

  • Deception

    Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto

  • Deception

    Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto, Victor Garber as Robert Bowers

  • Deception

    Victor Garber as Robert Bowers, Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto, Katherine LaNasa as Sofia Bowers, Tate Donovan as Edward Bowers, Laz Alonso as Will Moreno

  • Next Caller

    Jeffrey Tambor as Jefferson Mingus

  • Guys With Kids

    Anthony Anderson as Gary, Tempestt Bledsoe as Marny

  • Guys With Kids

    Anthony Anderson as Gary, Jesse Bradford as Chris, Zach Cregger as Nick

  • Guys With Kids

    Jamie Lynn Sigler as Emily, Zach Cregger as Nick, Tempestt Bledsoe as Marny, Anthony Anderson as Gary, Sara Rue as Sheila, Jesse Bradford as Chris

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