By Aly Semigran
Updated September 14, 2011 at 08:19 PM EDT
Trae Patton/NBC

While Buffy fans are still basking in the glory of Sarah Michelle Gellar being back on the small screen in her new crime drama Ringer, fans of Married… with Children ( …and Samantha Who? …and Jesse …and Friends, for that matter) will have reason to celebrate tonight as fellow TV icon Christina Applegate makes her triumphant return to TV as well.

In her new sitcom Up All Night, which premieres at 10 p.m. EST tonight on NBC, Applegate (pictured here with co-star Will Arnett of Arrested Development royalty) plays a new mom dealing with the perils of parenthood (turns out, babies don’t care if you have a hangover, they will still cry… loudly), all while juggling her marriage with her stay-at-home hubby (Arnett) and her career. (She works for a neurotic talk show host, played by Saturday Night Live vet Maya Rudolph. Okay, so this show pretty much brought back everyone we love.)

It feels almost wrong to suggest that Applegate, who defiantly battled — and beat — breast cancer, is underrated. After all, the beautiful actress has an Emmy to her name for her memorable guest stint as Jennifer Aniston’s truly heinous (in a hilarious way, of course) sister on Friends and earned Golden Globe nods for her work on her far too short-lived comedies Samantha Who? and Jesse. Still, Up All Night feels like it will finally be Applegate’s biggest TV success story, and one worthy of her talents, since her turn as Kelly Bundy on the classic Married with Children. This could — and, honestly, should — be a huge hit in the new fall season.

So, what sets Up All Night apart from the rest of her television efforts? For one, the show can appeal to parents and non-parents alike. The show never gets overly sentimental or still takes risks, despite having a plot that centers on a baby. (In fact, there’s a good amount of bleeped cursing in the pilot.) Still, the series will resonate (perhaps a little too much) with new parents and Applegate especially hits all the right notes of dealing with all the exhaustion, worry, and guilt that comes with the territory of going back to work after having a baby. Ah, what joy those little miracles are, eh?

Applegate is, without question, a star, and one with a keen knack for comedy (hello Anchorman!). Here’s hoping Up All Night allows her to further cement her status as a comedic TV star.

Are you excited that Christina Applegate is back on television, too, PopWatchers? Do you think Up All Night will be a big hit for her and Will Arnett? Do you plan to watch the show? What’s your favorite role of Applegate’s — television or otherwise? Share in the comments section below!

Read more: