August 13, 2012

THE SKED: “Animal Practice” Not Best In Show

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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NBC wasn’t in any hurry today to release the ratings for last night’s “sneak peek” of its new sitcom ANIMAL PRACTICE, and now we can see why:  less than half the viewers for the Olympics Closing Ceremony stuck around to watch the pilot (and we don’t even know how many who tried the show tuned off during the 22 minutes).  In 18-49s, Practice had a 4.1 rating, down from 8.4 for the last half-hour of the Closing Ceremony.  That wasn’t as good as the 54% of Olympics audience retained by the preview of Go On last week, and the respective ratings of the 2 sitcoms (5.6 vs. 4.1) weren’t even close.

A 4.1 certainly isn’t a bad number, but Animal Practice was promoted like crazy during the 17 days of Olympics coverage and will never have a lead-in like the Olympics Closing Ceremony again.  Even with that edge (not to mention the help NBC gave it by starting the pilot at 10:58PM, when all the other networks still had their 10PM shows on), it couldn’t do better than a typical episode of Once Upon A Time.   That doesn’t bode particularly well for September, when it’ll be leading off Wednesday nights against real network competition.

Tonight’s big ratings question will be whether the exhaustive Olympics promotion for STARS EARN STRIPES and the season premiere of GRIMM will translate into viewers.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."