‘Night Court’ Star Melissa Rauch Breaks Down Season 2 Paternity Cliffhanger, Hopes for Season 3

The actress and executive producer also details why adding Nyambi Nyambi was a “seamless transition” and if Marsha Warfield could return again

Melissa Rauch as Abby Stone and Ryan Hansen as Jake in the "Night Court" Season 2 finale (Nicole Weingart/NBC)

Note: This story contains spoilers from the “Night Court” Season 2 finale.

The “Night Court” reboot wrapped up Season 2 with a bang — and a paternity cliffhanger.

The second season finale, which premiered Tuesday, brought back original cast member Marsha Warfield as Roz, who tied the knot with her fiancé Loretta (Indira G. Wilson). It was a full circle moment from when she was first reintroduced during the Season 1 finale of the NBC sitcom.

“At the end of last season, when we first had the reunion of Roz and Dan (John Larroquette), we knew that it was her bachelorette party [and the wedding] was an idea that we all started discussing then as something that we felt would be a really exciting moment for Roz’s character and to make ‘Night Court’ history,” Rauch told TheWrap.

As the ultimate fan of the original series, Rauch said the experience was “meta” for her since she was just as excited as Abby to see the “Night Court” wedding, saying, “There’s a very fine line between Abby and myself as far as being over the moon this was happening.”

During the wedding, Abby and Jake (Ryan Hansen) tried to keep their growing relationship casual, but failed to do so, prompting his mother (Julia Duffy) to stop by the reception. She then told Abby about her former dalliance with a lawyer at the court house, leading Abby to the realization that Dan might be Jake’s biological father.

“We’re really excited to explore what that is going to be and start crafting what the resolution to that mystery is,” Rauch said. “We were all really thrilled with that idea [of leaving] Season 2 on that very fun cliffhanger.”

While “Night Court” has not officially been renewed for Season 3, Rauch hopes to pick up where the NBC sitcom left off in a potential next installment, which she said would be a “continued dream come true.”

“I would love to do this show for as long as we possibly can,” Rauch said. “Being a fan of the original ‘Night Court,’ to get to walk onto those sets every day and to get to work with John, who I grew up loving, and [have] Marsha as a part of this family is really special.”

Below, Rauch discusses Abby’s dating journey in Season 2, why adding new cast member Nyambi Nyambi was a “seamless transition” and whether Warfield might return for future seasons.

TheWrap: We’ve seen Abby dating around this season and things start to heat up with Ryan Hansen’s character, Jake. How did you want to craft her dating journey this season?

Melissa Rauch: We were really excited to show this different side of Abby. Last season, she came in a bit domesticated, ready to settle down with her fiancé, and then just realized it wasn’t the right thing for her by the end of Season 1. It launched us into Abby in single-mode, where we’re able to have her explore dating for the first time in New York City. Then it was really great to explore this new relationship with Ryan Hansen. Abby is sort of crushing on him when he comes in as a human resources guy and we springboarded them into a relationship, and figured out next steps for them.

Can we expect to see Marsha Warfield back for Season 3? What discussions have happened so far?

Absolutely. Marsha is such an immense touchstone and real north star as far as that the whole “Night Court” dynamic goes. Once we get a green light on Season 3, I’m sure we’ll get to really start having those conversations. I’m just so excited about the opportunity to work with her more and more because not only is she just such a gifted actor and just this brilliant comedian, she’s also just a really wonderful and special person. There’s something about when Marsha speaks, she’s truly speaking from the heart — it’s pure love.

Looking back on the season as a whole, what reflections do you have on restarting quickly amid the strike and making this 13-episode season work?

I was extremely grateful that we were able to get up and running as fast as we could. The strike was hard on this entire industry and really devastating, and the fact that we were able to get back so soon, and get our crew back on set as fast as humanly possible was a real gift. The work stoppages were quite a mountain to climb, so jumping right into and getting the season running as quickly as possible was a real gift.

This season also welcomed Nyambi Nyambi after Kapil Talwalkar exited the show. How do you think his character shifted the dynamic of the crew and will he stay on board?

Oh, absolutely. Nyambi is such a talented force — he has just such incredible instincts and he’s just such a pro. He was a real seamless transition. There was such an ease to it from moment one. I knew him from when I was on “The Big Bang Theory” and he was on “Mike & Molly” — our stages were right across from each other, and we would always enjoy talking to each other, but it was not in the capacity of getting to be on an actual set and getting to be coworkers. Getting to work with him, if we get another season, is something that I’m really looking forward to.

This season also brought back the Wheelers. How did that come together and why was it a touchstone you wanted to revisit?

As a fan of the original, the Wheelers are just such an iconic part of “Night Court” history, and getting to have them come back and step into literally the same place that they were years ago was really spectacular. It was similar in the sense to how I felt about Roz having her wedding there. Abby was so excited to get to meet the Wheelers, but I too was so very excited to get to meet the Wheelers and both Brent Spiner and Annie O’Donnell are so talented and so great at what they do that they really so naturally slipped back into those roles.

One thing I’ve been curious about since Season 1 is the backstory of Abby’s sobriety. Is that something you would dive into a little bit more in Season 3?

It’s a really wonderful layer that we built for Abby. In the first season, something we were laying the groundwork for was that Abby wasn’t optimistic because she was naive or that she didn’t know better, it was that she was an optimist and someone who’s choosing light, because she’s seen darkness. This is an active choice every day of her life. When we did that episode in Season 1, it was building the architecture for the dimension of Abby and I would absolutely love to do more with that layer of her in a potential Season 3.

What strides do you think Abby and Dan had this season, and where do you see them going moving forward?

Abby and Dan have this special surrogate father-daughter relationship that the seeds were definitely planted for in Season 1, and that’s just continued to grow and flourish. When Abby shows up on Dan’s doorstep, she’s originally going there because she needs a public defender, but she quickly realizes that he needs her just as much as she needs him, and that’s really the foundation for their relationship.

You see this special relationship between him and Abby, and even though he’s slow to admit it, I think there’s a real desire for Dan to continue this relationship — one that started because of the touchstone of [the late judge Harry Stone], but now I think there’s a real love and a real bond between the two of them.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The “Night Court” Season 2 finale will stream on Peacock beginning Wednesday.


One response to “‘Night Court’ Star Melissa Rauch Breaks Down Season 2 Paternity Cliffhanger, Hopes for Season 3”

  1. Michael Knight Avatar
    Michael Knight

    Oh yes! Another good show ruin. This can’t help yourself can you. I won’t be watching this show next season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.