NBC Puts Animal Practice to Sleep

Whitney returns to the Wednesday 8 p.m. slot on Nov. 14

NBC has euthanized Animal Practice.

Effective Nov. 14, the freshman comedy, which stars Justin Kirk (Weeds) and Crystal the capuchin monkey (The Hangover), will be pulled out of NBC’s Wednesday night rotation. The second-year comedy Whitney will replace Animal Practice in the 8 p.m. time slot, where it will lead into Guys With Kids.

NBC will burn off three final episodes of Animal Practice before Whitney returns.

After premiering Sept. 26 to just 5.19 million viewers and a 1.4 in the 18-49 demo—upon application of Nielsen’s C3 data, the rating inched up a notch to a 1.5—hopes for Animal Practice dimmed. The fourth installment of the show last night averaged 3.8 million viewers and a 1.0 rating.

NBC previewed the series on Aug. 12, in a special commercial-free broadcast in the midst of the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The sneak peek averaged 12.8 million viewers and a 4.1 in the demo, retaining nearly half (47 percent) of its 10:30 p.m. lead-in (27.1 million viewers/8.4).

The network had made Animal Practice one of the focal points of its 2012-13 upfront presentation. Last May, NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke told media buyers that Crystal was the highest-testing new NBC character of the development season.

Animal Practice is the second broadcast series to get put down this fall; last week, CBS’ Friday night drama Made in Jersey got whacked after just two episodes.

One of two comedies renewed for the current broadcast season, Whitney bowed Sept. 22, 2011, to 6.85 million viewers and a 3.3 in the demo. After that strong start, the show disintegrated, wrapping in late March in front of 4.09 million viewers and a 1.6 rating. 

NBC originally planned to set up Whitney in its Friday 8 p.m. slot, where it would lead into Community. Instead, the network scotched the Oct. 19 target date, saying only that both shows would eventually return.

A premiere date for the fourth and final season of Community has not been determined.