Joel McHale's new workplace comedy, Animal Control, broke an impressive record when it brought in 4.5 million multi-platform viewers.
In 2023, appointment viewing is widely considered to be a thing of the past. The real numbers often roll in with delayed viewings on streaming services such as Hulu and Fox Now, and this is overwhelmingly the case for the premiere of Joel McHale’s new show, Animal Control. A recent Deadline article states that Animal Control saw a 114 percent increase in views, totaling 4.5 million multi-platform viewers, which is a record-breaking number.
While Joel McHale’s performance in Animal Control rightfully deserves credit for the high ratings, the delayed viewing numbers reveal an ongoing trend in how media is consumed. Catching a premiere is no longer met with a sense of urgency thanks to streaming platforms airing repeats that can be watched on demand. So long as you’re savvy about avoiding spoilers, the need to catch the premiere in real-time is all but a thing of the past.
But pulling numbers like this isn’t just by virtue of viewers idly tuning into a show after the fact alone. In this case, it’s clear that Joel McHale’s portrayal of Frank in Animal Control is clearly resonating with people and making them laugh. We mean, he has to be doing something right if Animal Control’s premiere trounced the numbers of the Last Man Standing series finale.
So what’s Animal Control about, and why is it clearly going to be the next big thing? Joel McHale portrays Frank Shaw in Animal Control, and he’s a man who understands animals way more than he understands the people he encounters. Frank is a former cop who was pushed out of his position in law enforcement for trying to expose corruption, and now his career has taken a turn as he becomes an Animal Control officer.
What do you get when you combine a cynical and eccentric former cop who’s down on his luck, problematic interpersonal relationships on the job, and a bunch of unlicensed ostriches, rabbits on drug binges, and bears breaking into hot tubs? You get a workplace comedy that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s also worth mentioning that Joel McHale’s Frank persona is incredibly knowledgeable and patient regarding animals, but interactions with his human counterparts are not without conflict.
Think of Animal Control as a critter-centric Reno 911. Everybody loves it when animals get into disastrous situations, and Joel McHale really leans into some slapstick territory in Animal Control that makes you wonder why a show like this wasn’t conceptualized sooner. Throw in a healthy amount of workplace cynicism and an amazing supporting cast, including Michael Rowland, Vella Lovell, and Grace Palmer, and you have the makings of a powerhouse comedy series that will hopefully continue to break records.
While we don’t currently know what’s in store for Joel McHale and co. in the early stages of Animal Control, we can only hope that we’ll see more of the same as the show evolves. In a world where everything is taken a little too seriously, a comedy that everybody can enjoy is a refreshing change of pace. Be sure to stay tuned to see what mishaps they get into next because we think Animal Control is here to stay for quite some time.