HBO has ordered eight episodes of the new comedy from NBC Universal International TV, which — bringing us full circle — is the same operation that gives us PBS’s “Downton Abbey,” recipient of a good chunk of those 58 PBS Primetime Emmy Award noms that so wowed The Reporters Who Cover Television, and Kerger . . . but House Republicans and Romney, not so much.
NBC comedy rerun
NBC will rerun the pilot episodes of two of its new comedies — the Matthew Perry vehicle “Go On” and the Crystal the Monkey vehicle “Animal Practice” — on Tuesday at 10, after that night’s episode of “America’s Got Talent.”
This time, both shows will air with ad breaks. There’s a limit to how much ad time NBC’s willing to eat to get its new season sampled.
During the network’s coverage of the London Olympic Games, NBC aired those first episodes of both shows, commercial-free. “Go On” — in which “Friends” alum Perry plays a sports talk radio host attending mandated group therapy after the death of his wife — aired after Games competition Wednesday night and averaged about 16 million viewers; “Animal Practice” aired after the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, and averaged nearly 13 million viewers.
Technically, NBC “interrupted” its coverage of the ceremony to ensure that the “Animal Practice” pilot started before 11 p.m., when, historically, the worst enemy of a new TV series premiere is not the competition on the other networks, but a phenomenon known in the TV industry as “going to bed.”
Some people were annoyed that they had to wait until after “Animal Practice” to see a performance by What’s Left of The Who, for instance, and expressed their ire on social media.
The haters also included a fair-ish number of people who work for NBC competitors — a sort TV celebri-trolling.
“Glee’s” Kevin McHale, for instance, 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.”
It was unclear whether McHale felt that NBC’s pre-announced scheduling stunt would not have been a disgrace had the show been about something other than a “fictional animal doctor” — like, say, a fictional high-schooler.
“Animal Practice” exec producer Scot Armstrong decided to join the pile-on, tweeting, “I too am outraged,” and wondering whether NBC planned to air the second episode “in the middle of presidential debates.”
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/