In the surprise of the year (not), NBC canceled Animal Practice Thursday after just four weeks on the air. The show was essentially a throwback to other failed chimp shows, including The Hathaways, Me And The Chimp, BJ and the Bear, and Mr. Smith – all four were designated as the worst shows in television history.
After Animal Practice‘s run ends on
November 7 October 31, Whitney takes over the Wednesday time slot the following week. Whitney was originally scheduled for Fridays, paired with Community.
Critically scorned before the show even premiered, the lackluster sitcom debuted out of NBC’s closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics (interrupting a performance by The Who in the process) and drew just 12.8 million viewers, which was actually a disappointment, given its lead-in. When Animal Practice premiered in its regular Wednesday night slot on September 26, the series drew 5.1 million and a 1.4 adult demo rating, but dropped to 3.8 million viewers and a 1.1 rating in its recent outing.
The show’s star believe it or not was a monkey – Crystal The Monkey, that is and he (or she) was a doctor at the vet’s office the show was set in (you have to see it to believe it.) NBC actually told buyers Crystal had “powerful reception among test audiences”.
Reading this, one would swear they’ve time-traveled back to 1978 and was pitched then-NBC president Fred Silverman on BJ and the Bear.
In an interview with Ad Age last month, SMGx’s Sam Armando (a unit of Pubclis Groupe, a media buying agency) said NBC executives “are high on (the show). I’m not sure they’re high on it because of the writing or if it’s a real good show, or because it tested well with the monkey.”
NBC execs were high all right – that’s how they greenlighted this piece of excrement.
With Animal Practice now canceled, perhaps there’s a future for Crystal the Monkey. How about writing a column for the Chicago Sun-Times’ Splash magazine? An animal from an unfunny TV show writing at a magazine… Why not? Besides, how bad could it be?
They hired Jenny McCarthy, didn’t they?