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Hosed by American Idol: yet another Idol overrun keeps some Glee fans from seeing last number



Crystal When will American Idol finally crack down on its producers and get this show to end on time?

Bad enough that past overruns cut off important performances and ejection reveals. But this time, Idol's bloated length threatened the network's other hot show, Glee -- pushing back its highly-hyped Madonna episode by about three minutes and cutting off the show's last production number for anyone who used a DVR to tape it.

(Memo to Fox - having your host warn people that the next night's show is going to run long, during a portion of the show which has already run long and already is cut off by people taping it, might not be the best tactic)

Fans were hurriedly sending Twitter messages as become clear Idol would run over by several minutes, warning others that their DVR's would likely cut off the end. The messages didn't work for some, who saw their local affiliates start newscasts at 10 p.m. though Glee still had one big dance number left -- their critically acclaimed take on Madonna's Like a Prayer.

Glee_madonna One angry Facebook user accused Fox of deliberately trying to get Glee viewers to sample Idol: "It seems to me that the FOX logic is this: 'We'll trick people who watch Glee but don't watch AI into seeing the last few minutes of AI, and they'll be hooked'!" wrote reader Ned Averill-Snell on my Facebook page. "Memo to Fox: Anybody who doesn't watch AI by now (like me) is not going to start. All you are accomplishing is pissing off Glee viewers." 

Such ire is no surprise. Glee's Tuesday episode, a masterful tribute to Madonna, drew loads of critical accolades and praise as a creative high point for a series already on a serious roll.

So why did producers allow a timing snafu which cut off one of the best performances in one of the show's best episodes? In the process, they snarked off both Idol fans -- who saw the end of AI clipped on their DVRs -- and Gleeks worldwide.

The problem was compounded by the amount of popular shows on Tuesday, including an ejection episode on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, NBC's Biggest Loser, the finale season of ABC's Lost and two of TV's most popular scripted shows, CBS' NCIS and the spin off NCIS: Los Angeles. The glut of widely-watched shows creates a logjam that makes recording an extra five minutes a tough task for those with other interests. (I wound up using a dusty VCR to record ABC's shows, despite having a DVR set to Loser and Idol)

Those who had relied on recordings found themselves flocking to iTunes and to catch the ending their DVR missed, cursing Fox for not figuring out how to squeeze seven performances into an hourlong show after 10 years on air (below, is a shot from the sequence you missed, if you DVR'ed it).


If you did miss the end -- or weren't aware you missed it until you read this post -- you can watch it all again below, or click through to the end.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:07pm]


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