Olympics 2012: NBC Criticized for Interrupting Closing Ceremony to Preview 'Animal Practice'

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

Animal Practice Pilot Justin Kirk - P 2012

Surprised viewers also took the network to task for editing out parts of the ceremony, including performances by Muse and Ray Davies of the Kinks.

Some Olympics fans found yet another reason to be unhappy with NBC on Sunday night.

The network edited out parts of the Closing Ceremony -- including performances by Muse's Matt Bellamy, Ray Davies of The Kinks and a second song by George Michael -- and then at 11 p.m. abruptly cut away to show a preview of the new comedy Animal Practice.

Before the commercial break, announcer Bob Costas told viewers: "That concludes the Closing Ceremony. We'll be back to wrap things up after this."

After the break, he then revealed that the remainder of the ceremony, which the network billed as a "closing party," would actually air an hour later, following a sneak preview of Animal Practice and local news.

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"We'll be back from Olympic Stadium in about an hour for the London closing party, featuring The Who," he said. "Stay tuned now for a full episode of Animal Practice, a new NBC comedy, presented commercial-free."

The move surprised and frustrated some viewers, including Glee star Kevin McHale, who tweeted: "DEAR NBC. Interrupting the Olympic closing ceremony for an hr to air a show about a fictional animal dr. before it ends is a disgrace. Shame on you."

And the Robot Chicken account noted, "Doing a Twitter search for 'Animal Practice' right now is like tapping a keg of pure hate."

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While some people on Twitter praised the show, many others weren't happy about NBC's scheduling decision.

Tweeted Ski Vegas, "#NBCFail #AnimalPractice is now the most hated show in America before the first episode. Amazing."

Added another named Lawrence Escamilla: "I may not be a The Who fan, but cutting them off to show terrible Animal Practice is just another thing to add to the #NBCfail list."

NBC has been criticized throughout the Games for its decision to show the events on tape delay, sparking the creation of the Twitter hashtag #NBCFail.

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The Animal Practice preview also came about an hour after DirecTV went dark in Los Angeles for a half-hour during the Closing Ceremony, meaning some subscribers missed several of the show's performances. The satcaster cited a technical issue at its broadcast center for the outage.