Nellie Andreeva

Better With You star JoAnna Garcia has been tapped as the female lead opposite Justin Kirk in NBC’s new fall comedy series Animal Practice. The office comedy stars Kirk as George, a House-like veterinarian, who loves animals but usually hates their owners (especially the new woman who runs the clinic). Garcia will play that woman, George’s intelligent and beautiful old girlfriend, now engaged to another, who is assigned to run the animal hospital. Garcia replaces Amy Huberman who played the role in the pilot.  Co-starring on the series, created by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka, are Tyler Labine and Bobby Lee.

Related: ‘Animal Practice’ To Recast Female Lead

Garcia took a winding road to the fall schedule this season. She was originally attached to a multi-camera family comedy project written by Better With You creator Shana Goldberg-Meehan, which sparked a bidding war before landing at ABC with a production commitment but ultimately didn’t go to pilot. Garcia was then quickly cast as the female lead in CBS’ untitled Greg Malins/Greg Berlanti comedy pilot, which came close to a series order but ultimately missed the cut, making WME-repped Garcia available. She was immediately approached for Animal Practice and, after negotiations and a chemistry read with Kirk, was cast in the role.

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