NBC is putting an end to all the post-Olympics monkey business.
Two years after making viewers go ape by interrupting the closing ceremony of the London Games with a preview of the simian sitcom Animal Practice, the broadcaster is taking a much more cautious approach in Sochi.
The plan for next Sunday’s prime-time broadcast is to air two hours of edited curtain-closing footage, followed by the commercial-free premiere of Growing Up Fisher. The single-camera effort stars J.K. Simmons as an irascible blind attorney and is of a piece with NBC’s move toward broad family comedies.
While Fisher is certain to draw a healthy amount of sampling—at the very least, the closing ceremony should provide a lead-in of some 20 million viewers—if recent trends are any indication, the artificial buzz generated by a postevent premiere will be ephemeral at best. (After bowing out of a blockbuster 49ers-Saints game on Nov. 17, Fox’s Almost Human the very next night plummeted more than 25 percent in the 18-49 demo.)
On Saturday, immediately after the final night of competition, NBC will roll out its other new midseason comedy, About a Boy. Originally developed for Fox in 2003, Boy stars David Walton and Minnie Driver. Both shows will have their time slot premieres on Tuesday, Feb. 25.