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'Animal Practice's' Justin Kirk Takes THR's Fall TV Poll

The star of NBC's new workplace comedy on doing something different, working with animals and his advice for Kevin Bacon as he embarks on his first series-regular role.

Animal Practice Pilot Justin Kirk - P 2012
Neil Jacobs/NBC
"Animal Practice's" Justin Kirk

Justin Kirk is going from Showtime to NBC primetime, starring in the network's freshman comedy Animal Practice.

The actor is currently the eighth and final season of Weeds, on which he co-stars as Mary-Louise Parker's nutty brother-in-law, Andy Botwin. Now Kirk is moving to center stage as a twisted vet who loves animals but doesn't always feel the same about their owners.

For the role, Kirk has the unique pleasure to work alongside what NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has dubbed the network's best-testing character of the fall: Crystal the Monkey.

The Hollywood Reporter challenged Kirk to our Fall TV poll, where he touched on everything from the dangers of working with animals (snakes!) to his advice for The Following's Kevin Bacon as he prepares to tackle his first series-regular gig.

TV REVIEW: NBC's 'Animal Practice'

The Hollywood Reporter: Did the broad appeal of Animal Practice and doing something different draw you to this role?
Justin Kirk: I had no plans on anything. I was doing a play in New York, and Bob Greenblatt -- who used to be my boss at Showtime and is now my boss at NBC -- e-mailed me and said, "It looks like you're wrapping up; do you want to come do this with us?" So here we are.

If you like X, Y and Z, you'll like my show.
If you like Justin Kirk, Crystal the Monkey and tigers, you'll like our show.

STORY: TCA 2012: NBC's 'Animal Practice' Cast Upstaged by a Monkey

What was the funniest thing that happened while filming the pilot?
The snake emitting some sort of juice on Bobby Lee's face, which caused an allergic reaction. At least it was funny for me and the snake; I don't know about Bobby. There's a scene in which he's got a snake wrapped around his face, and it's written as the snake coming close to choking him. I said, "You know that snakes don't realize they're acting, right? Like, "When you call 'Cut,' I'll chill!" But Bobby is alive and his face looks fine, so everything is good.

If you weren't starring on this show, what show would you want to be on?
I'd be on Girls (laughs). I did a movie that Lena Dunham co-wrote that will be out in October called Nobody Walks, and I think she's great. I don't know who I'd play, I don't try to say, "Here's my dream this or that"; I just get excited seeing a script.

STORY: JoAnna Garcia Joins NBC's Freshman Comedy 'Animal Practice'

If you could scrub anything off your résumé, what would it be?
There is quite literally a movie I did and I knew the script was bad and sure enough it shows on cable a lot. But a lot of people go to work on movies and TV, so I'd never disparage.

Advice for new series regular Kevin Bacon?
Get a monkey!

Dream guest star?
[Weeds co-star] Hunter Parish, but he'd have to play an animal of his choice.

Animal Practice previews Sunday following the London Olympics' Closing Ceremony and launches in its regular day and time at 8 p.m. Sept. 26 on NBC. Will you watch? Hit the comments with your thoughts.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit