Monkeying Around: NBC Commits One Final Flub — in the Eyes of Some Already Unhappy Viewers, Including ‘Glee’ Star Kevin McHale — as It Bids Farewell to Olympics

Aug 13, 2012  •  Post A Comment

NBC made more fans unhappy on its final night of Olympics coverage Sunday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Wrapping up two weeks of Olympics coverage marred by complaints over tape delay and various missteps, the network stirred up more criticism when it edited out parts of the closing ceremony to show a preview of the new comedy "Animal Practice," the story reports.

The editing meant that performances by Muse’s Matt Bellamy, Ray Davies of the Kinks and a second song by George Michael weren’t seen by viewers, the story says.

Before a commercial break, viewers were told by Bob Costas that the network would return to "wrap things up," but after the break he told viewers that the remainder of the closing ceremony wouldn’t air until an hour later, following a preview of "Animal Practice" and local news, according to the piece.

Viewers including "Glee" star Kevin McHale were peeved by the interruption, with McHale writing on Twitter, "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."

NBC was criticized throughout its Olympics coverage for its insistence on using tape delay, prompting viewers to create the Twitter hashtag #NBCFail, as previously reported.

At least one viewer said the closing ceremony interruption warranted another #NBCFail mention.

"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," one viewer wrote, according to the story.

Another previously reported misstep by the network that incurred a flood of criticism involved the awkward choice of a promo for “Animal Practice” featuring a monkey doing gymnastics, which immediately followed comments by Costas on the significance of Gabby Douglas’ achievement in becoming the first African American woman to win the all-around gymnastics gold medal.

9 Comments

  1. More no patience “I want it NOW” whining.
    NBC’s ratings for the broadcast show they know what they’re doing; to mischaracterize their decisions as “flubs” just because some people (including a celebrity) disagree us disingenuous at best and a lie at worst.
    People in the business should know it’s all about delivering eyeballs to ads, and NBC has done that, admirably.

  2. Seriously? Quoting ONE anonymous viewer plus one cranky celeb to justify summarizing NBC’s Olympic coverage as “marred by complaints over tape delay and various missteps” ?
    This is the social media equivalent of the old joke “a letter poured in.”
    It’s fair to criticize but let’s keep these complaints in a real world context: they’re a tiny fraction of NBC’s enormous audience –and the coverage itself was a miracle of technical and production precision.

  3. Frankly, I think the NBC coverage was WONDERFUL. It was FREE. In never feel I can complain when I get something for FREE. If I wanted something in real time I could get it on-line. If I wanted to watch something later I could record it. There was more Olympics coverage than ever before. You could have it your way, whatever that way was. There are some people that would complain if you gave them a new car that the color wasn’t what they wanted or the car didn’t have some accessory that they wanted.
    NBC had terrific numbers. It was the most watched Olympics in history. Yet this article chooses to accentuate the negative. Out of the millions of viewers that loved the coverage, TV Week chose to highlight “one viewer” that didn’t like the coverage. That is SICK.
    The USA had a great Olympics and the NBC coverage was great. TV Week might try accentuating the positive instead of the negative.

  4. Cutting off the closing ceremonies for a show preview was indeed a tacky and greedy misstep. If NBC felt the need to cut the ceremonies in two the least they could have done was show the rest of the event in its entirety. I’ll never understand that move. The way it was cut was very abrupt. For someone who watched the games for the whole two weeks it was a little anti-climactic.

  5. Cutting off the closing ceremonies for a show preview was indeed a tacky and greedy misstep. If NBC felt the need to cut the ceremonies in two the least they could have done was show the rest of the event in its entirety. I’ll never understand that move. The way it was cut was very abrupt. For someone who watched the games for the whole two weeks it was a little anti-climactic.

  6. And on top of everything else, I thought Animal Practice was really weak, although the monkey was pretty good…. Go On was much, much better.

  7. Britain has gone gleefully Olympics-bonkers, and the media lead the chorus here.
    The BBC, though of course (and finally!) British-biased did a terrific job. Loads more extra on-air channels have been added and everything was also captured on their excellent website.
    Interesting — tech friends in USA tell me that a great number – hardly exact, I know — of Americans obtained UK VPNs in the last fortnight so that they could access BBC coverage for live and ad-free feeds.

  8. I was not able to glue myself to the set to watch all the Olympics. Iw atched when I could and DVR’d some.
    Overall, the coverage was good.
    I wonder where the Marathon went? I never saw any promotion of it. I caught 32 seconds in the network’s compressed hilights Sunday night.
    I will add my two cents to the grief expressed above about the Closing Ceremonies and the abrupt insert of ANIMAL PRACTICE. I am sure the NBC Sports Olympic Producers were not happy that the so-called Execs at 30 Rock inserted that piece of drek. Talk about a total lack of class, not to mention decorum.
    Peter Bright

  9. If “Animal Practice” is the best NBC can do right after the Olympics then the network has much bigger problems than a few viewers whining about tape delays. I thought the Olympic coverage was good (at least for the most part) – but “Animal Practice” was truly awful! That loud “CLICK” sound you heard was TV sets all over the country changing channels.

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