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NBC cancels ‘Animal Practice,’ sets Nov. 14 return for ‘Whitney’

By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times –

NEW YORK — The outlook for monkeys working in Hollywood got a little bleaker Thursday: NBC has bumped the zany veterinary sitcom “Animal Practice” from its lineup to make room for the Nov. 14 return of “Whitney.”

Following heavy promotion during the London Olympics, the series debuted to strong ratings (and dreadful reviews ) on Aug. 12, but numbers have declined precipitously since. Wednesday night’s episode was the lowest-rated network broadcast during the hour, drawing just 3.8 million viewers.

While NBC has yet to officially use the “c” word — cancellation — the move means “Animal Practice” has quietly been put out of its misery.

The end of “Animal Practice” also means Crystal, the well-paid capuchin monkey who was the show’s biggest star — no offense, Justin Kirk — will now have to cross her little furry fingers in hopes of another “Hangover” sequel.

But the news Thursday wasn’t all bad, at least not if you’re a Whitney Cummings fan. NBC will burn off three remaining episode of “Animal Practice” before “Whitney” returns next month. The sitcom, which started out on Thursdays last season but was bumped to Wednesdays, was originally scheduled to air Friday nights starting Oct. 19.

But NBC pulled “Whitney,” along with the quirky comedy “Community,” from Fridays a few weeks ago without immediately rescheduling them. NBC has yet to set a return for “Community.”

Although the cancellation of “Animal Practice” suggests the network may have gone a wee bit too broad with its comedies this season, NBC has regained its footing with the modest success of new shows including “Revolution,” “Go On,” and “The New Normal,” all of which have been picked up for full-season orders.

“Animal Practice” is the second network series to face likely cancellation, after CBS’ “Made in Jersey,” which was pulled from the network after just two episodes. Another NBC sitcom, “Next Caller,” wasn’t even that lucky: The Dane Cook vehicle was dropped form the network’s midseason schedule last week.

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