The Who, Hunter Hayes to Perform, Johnny Cash to Be Honored at Grammy Nominations Concert
The Who, Hunter Hayes to Perform, Johnny Cash to Be Honored at Grammy Nominations Concert

who

Some Olympics fans found yet another reason to be unhappy with NBC on Sunday night.

The network edited out or greatly delayed parts of the closing ceremony, including performances by Muse, Ray Davies of the Kinks and a second song by George Michael, and then at 11 p.m. abruptly cut away to show a preview of the new comedy "Animal Practice."

Before the commercial break, announcer Bob Costas told viewers: "That concludes the closing ceremony. We'll be back to wrap things up after this."

Spice Girls, George Michael The Who Rock Olympics Closing Ceremonies; Digital Album Released

After the break, he then revealed that the remainder of the closing ceremony -- which the network billed as a "closing party" -- would actually air an hour later, following a sneak preview of "Animal Practice" and local news.

"We'll be back from Olympic Stadium in about an hour for the London closing party, featuring The Who," he said. "Stay tuned now for a full episode of Animal Practice, a new NBC comedy, presented commercial free."

When the network returned at midnight Ryan Seacrest greeted viewers with "Welcome to the London closing party." "Now it's time for the big finale." The delayed set consisted of a medley performed by legendary rock band The Who, which included the songs "Baba O'Riley," See Me Feel Me" and "My Generation."

As the Associated Press reported, The Who were on hand for just eight minutes. And, "Olympics host Bob Costas came on afterward delivered a rhapsodic postscript before declaring a wrap for NBC's Olympics coverage at 12:35 a.m. For this, viewers had waited an extra hour on a work night. Many of them might have been wondering why the ceremony package couldn't have aired intact, ending conveniently at 11:08 p.m. and only slightly delaying NBC's monkey business."

The move surprised and frustrated many viewers, including Glee star Kevin McHale, who 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."

And the Robot Chicken account noted, "Doing a Twitter search for 'Animal Practice' right now is like tapping a keg of pure hate."

While some people on Twitter praised the show, many others weren't happy about NBC's scheduling decision, which also cut out segments of performance art and an official thank you from the Olympic Committee to its volunteers, which had the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium cheering loudly.

Muse - Survival (live London 2012 closing ceremony Olympics games) from Magmuzin on Vimeo.

Tweeted Ski Vegas, "#NBCFail #AnimalPractice is now the most hated show in America before the first episode. Amazing."

Added another named Lawrence Escamilla: "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."

NBC has been criticized throughout the Games for its decision to show the events on tape delay, sparking the creation of the Twitter hashtag #NBCFail.

The "Animal Practice" preview also came about an hour after DirecTV went dark in Los Angeles for a half-hour during the closing ceremony, meaning some subscribers missed several of the show's performances, including the Spice Girls and Eric Idle.

Reached for comment by Billboard.biz, a rep for NBC said: "The Who was aired in our show immediately following late local news.
Parts of the Closing Ceremony were edited for various reasons." The rep also said specifics about which performances were edited were not available at press time.

(Correction Appended: The original post of this story erroneously reported that the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" was performed but not aired, when in fact the band did not perform that song.)