American Idol + FOX + TiVo = Rage
FURIOUS is the only way to express how my wife felt at the end of last night's "American Idol" - and it had nothing to do with who won and who lost.
She sat down to watch the show on our DirecTV TiVo DVR last night - not when the show started at 8 pm but about an hour or so later, after our evening routine of dinner, dishes and getting the kids ready for bed. She sat through two hours of AI, waiting like millions of others, for the results. But at the 2 hour mark in the recording, during the final commercial break just before Ryan Seacrest was to announce the winner, the recording stopped.
She missed the end. Thanks to the Internet, she was able to eventually find out who won. And Good Morning America replayed that final AI moment this morning. But it just wasn't the same.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened to us. But who's to blame? DirecTV? TiVo? The networks? Maybe we should be extending our recording times but a couple of minutes on the TiVo, like I do for sporting events. Why would American Idol - or any reality show, sitcom or police drama for that matter - need to go into "overtime?" Why not start and end on-time? Since clocks are set by DirecTV, Comcast and the others who deliver programming via set-top boxes, this shouldn't be hard to figure out. It's not like the VCR days when we had to set the clock manually. Technology is smarter than that today.
Based on our own viewing habits, it appears that ABC is most reliable at following the clock. We've yet to miss a beginning or end of "Ugly Betty" or "Grey's Anatomy". But I think my wife summed it up best when she said, "If the show is scheduled to run from 8-10, then start at 8 and end at 10. What's so hard about that? Starting at 8:02 and ending at 10:02 is unacceptable."
In a DVR age, is it too much to ask that the traditional broadcast networks follow the time schedule? Especially at a time when Internet-based video programming is moving from the sidelines to the playing field, trying to lure viewers (and advertisers) to their platforms?
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