Videos of cute animals and babies always score a ton of hits on the Internet, and this season, NBC execs introduced a new strategy to try to poach YouTube’s much, much larger audience by adding more adorable furry creatures and infants to its primetime lineup. The cornerstone of NBC’s experimental new “people think babies and animals are cute” model is its Wednesday night sitcom block of Animal Practice and Guys with Kids, which premiered last night to lower-than-expected, Vimeo-sized ratings, a far cry from the YouTube-level Nielsens NBC executives had expected. Animal Practice earned a paltry 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demo, down considerably from the 4.1 the show scored during its post-Olympics preview last month, while Guys with Kids improved on its lead-in ever-so-slightly with a 1.6. The fact that Animal Practice and Guys with Kids failed to go viral doesn’t bode well for NBC’s midseason sitcoms Kitten Sleeping on a Bookshelf and Toddler Can’t Stop Laughing.
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