Though it aired a little earlier in the evening — and with a bigger lead-in — NBC’s preview of fall comedy Animal Practice did not match the numbers achieved by a similar experiment last Wednesday with Matthew Perry‘s Go On.
Fast official ratings for Sunday night have the sitcom averaging 12.8 million viewers and a 4.1 rating in adults 18-49 between 10:58 to 11:20 p.m. ET. Go On, which aired 11:06 to 11:30 p.m. just four nights earlier brought in 16.1 million viewers and a 5.6 adults ratings. Animal Practice retained 49 percent of its lead in, down just 5 percent from the score achieved by Go On.
The numbers, good or bad, mean very little in the long run. NBC’s decision to premiere the two new series before their official debuts is more of a sampling effort than a ratings ploy. The returns won’t be measured in official national Nielsen reports or included in any averages.
All of the early eyeballs for Animal Practice might not necessarily have been a good thing, though. NBC received flak last night for editing 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 — by cutting away from the broadcast and then returning to coverage after airing Animal Practice and local news.
The Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics averaged 31 million viewers.