The television series Animal Practice was apparently as popular with critics as it was with real veterinarians.

That’s not a good thing for the show.

NBC announced that it would run three more episodes for a total of eight aired episodes, and then the network will send the series to the failed-show graveyard.

The television series, which featured Weeds star Justin Kirk, began losing audience members by the thousands soon after it debuted. According to Entertainment Weekly, Animal Practice quickly became the lowest-rated broadcast show in its time slot.

In addition to its shortcomings in the numbers department, the show raised the ire of PETA and other animal welfare groups, which claimed that Dr. Rizzo, a character “played” by The Hangover’s Crystal the Monkey, was the subject of cruel treatment by the show’s makers. PETA said that forcing Crystal to wear a lab coat and likely prompting her to “smile” by introducing the stimulus of fear was cruel and caused her to suffer.

Anyone interested in viewing the remaining episodes of Animal Practice can view them Wednesdays on NBC at 8/7c.

Comments (4) -

4pawsUnited States
10/25/2012 8:15:18 AM #

I'm disappointed that AAHA would choose to use PETA as a legitimate source to discuss animal treatment on this show. PETA thinks that keeping ANY animals domesticated - even as pets - is animal cruelty. It's hard to say whether or not the monkey "doesn't like" the lab coat, but I would bet that the animal handlers are very gentle with him. (Do any of you plan to put some cute costume on your pet this Halloween? Are you all animal abusers?) Plus, that monkey probably smiles on a hand signal much like a trained dog would wave or beg to a signal. Hollywood animals get top notch care - arguably better treatment than their human counterparts. Hollywood animal handlers are not using scare tactics for training. They are using positive reward training giving animals desirable rewards when they perform an action. That monkey probably gets far more mental stimulation and problem solving opportunities than its cousins in sanctuaries. (Not implying sanctuary animals live poor lives, but they often don't get to put their minds to work.)

It's upsetting that you are perpetuating PETA's radical views and harming the reputation of so many kind, hardworking animal trainers. Also, lumping PETA with "animal welfare groups" is poor taste. Animal welfare groups are improving conditions for animals without having the ultimate goal of demolishing the entire animal industry using power and scare tactics. (Need I remind you of PETA's cute little campaign where they put bloodied animal parts "toys" in "happy meals" and passed them out to kids in front of McDonald's?)

I wish AAHA would have chosen a different approach to discussing this TV show, like how it so poorly misrepresented what veterinarians do behind the scenes. We already struggle so greatly trying to help clients understand the value in the cost of veterinary care, then the show features a bunch of vets slacking off racing turtles, arguing about women, and stealing clients' dogs to do procedures against their wishes.... I think there were many more things wrong with the show that could have been pointed out without leaving everyone with the message that it was canceled because viewers were down and animals were abused according to PETA.

CritterCareNurseUnited States
10/25/2012 8:20:20 AM #

The trailers were funny, but NBC made a very poor choice in airing the full-episode "sneak peek" by breaking up the Olympic closing ceremonies--that sure didn't help the show's popularity any.

The humor was wry--which I can appreciate--but it did not translate well for the mainstream viewer, plus there were plenty of industry-specific errors in the content (i.e., the writers did not do their homework).

As an animal healthcare professional, I was looking forward to a different kind of medical show, but on a mainstream network it didn't pan out--plus the Wednesday night time slot was no place to compete with The Middle, which has established itself as a go-to comedy show. But, I'm just one voice....

Theresa K
Theresa K United States
10/25/2012 1:19:33 PM #

The show was worse than awful.  We were going to tape them and use them as movie night at our hospital.  10 minutes into the first episode we knew we have to do a real movie instead.  As for PETA...they take a worthy cause and turn it into a circus- no pun intended.  I doubt that monkey is anything but well treated.  

Lindy L
Lindy LUnited States
10/25/2012 10:33:00 PM #

I loved the show. I loved that Monkey. For once there was a happy show. No, the shows on this fall line up are only about killings. Great for our teens. The shows this season a very violent but I guess that is okay with todays world. Then we wonder why we have so much violence occurring.

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