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August 13, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The Who at Olympics Closing Ceremony

For a time it seemed as if NBC had seen the error of its ways by agreeing to stream the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics live on Sunday afternoon. And then it appeared to undo all the good will that it had created by interrupting its evening broadcast of the ceremony to preview its upcoming sitcom, Animal Practice. The telecast effectively blacked out the performance by the legendary British rock bands The Who, the enormously popular band The Muse, and Ray Davies, who was the lead singer of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group the Kinks. What NBC needed, wrote Ed Masley, the Arizona Republic‘s pop music critic, was someone “with the slightest understanding of the history of British pop to edit the Olympic closing ceremony.” If that had happened, he wrote, “we could have seen Ray Davies, the most quintessentially British of British Invaders, performing the most quintessentially British song we would have heard all night, ‘Waterloo Sunset.'” But would NBC’s strategy produce big ratings for its new series? After all, people had complained about the lack of live coverage during primetime, yet the network’s telecasts drew record ratings for a non-U.S. Olympics. Actor Nate Barlow thought not, tweeting, “Why #nbcfail ranks last: no better way to turn people off a new show than to preempt @thewho & other rock legends for it.”