NBC Cancels 'Animal Practice,' Adds 'Whitney' to Schedule

'Animal Practice' (NBC)

Odds: 50-1

Kicking off Wednesdays with dubious sitcoms is, well, not a good strategy. Neither is working with animals. So despite a fine cast (Justin Kirk, Tyler Labine), there won’t be enough monkeyshines to save this one.

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TV Review: Animal Practice

NBC's Animal Practice is closing its doors.

The comedy, whose ratings have struggled in the 8 p.m. Wednesday slot, will be taken off the schedule, leaving a window for recently shelved Friday series Whitney.

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Animal Practice, from co-creators Alessandro Tanaka and Brian Gatewood and starring Weeds' Justin Kirk, had started its run with strong sampling during the Olympics, averaging a 4.1 rating with adults 18-49 and 12.8 million viewers Aug. 12. Its official time slot debut on Sept. 26 brought a 1.4 rating with the key demo and 5.2 million viewers, but it continued to slip, most recently pulling just a 1.0 adults rating.

NBC was high on the comedy when pitching it to Madison Avenue at May's upfront presentation in New York, introducing scene-stealer Crystal the monkey as its "highest-testing character" of the fall. 

The series will continue to air until Nov. 7, then Whitney rejoins the schedule in its former time slot Nov. 14. The move marks a homecoming of sorts for Whitney, which started on Thursdays and ultimately was moved to Wednesdays as a replacement for failed comedy Free Agents during its freshman run. NBC had slated Whitney to return to its new home on Fridays this week but yanked it -- and the return of cult favorite Community -- from the schedule to focus on building its Monday-Wednesday offerings. 

NBC recently handed out full-season orders for new series Revolution, Go On and The New Normal, all of which have been greeted with more success on the network's robust Monday and Tuesday.

There's still no word on when Community might get a premiere date or time slot.