Last night, American viewers had yet another reason to criticize NBC. The network decided to cut into the Olympics closing ceremonies with a preview for its new sitcom, Animal Practice. Though the closing ceremony was a little subpar (Russell Brand? Seriously?), NBC cutting out performances by Muse, Ray Davies, and George Michael was not well received. But was Animal Practice?
Well, viewership of the preview episode doesn't really count for much, but NBC's early premiere experiment did manage to attract quite a few eyeballs. Animal Practice nabbed 12.8 million viewers, according to TV by the Numbers, with a 4.1 share in the coveted adults 18 to 49 category.
The early episode managed to hang onto about 47% of the Olympic viewership, though it wasn't able to match the numbers generated by the similar early showing of the new Matthew Perry sitcom Go On, which managed to hang onto 52% of its Olympic audience. Go On's initial airing managed to attract 16.10 million viewers -- a pretty solid number.
Of course, the Olympics are a pretty big skew, and the shows probably won't manage to attract that kind of viewership in their normal fall timeslots. Still, there's higher buzz for both shows as a result; it'll be interesting to see what viewership looks like when they have their premieres proper next month.
Animal Practice is set at the Crane Hospital, which treats exotic animals. Go On stars Perry as Ryan King, a radio host coping with the loss of his wife.
Go On will premiere in its timeslot September 11. Animal Practice will follow on September 26.