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Impotent tivo

Impotent tivo

May 24, 2007

My children and I have watched American Idol all season. Never missing a show.

Loving tivo in a way that is probably illegal in most states.

Last night when we were, where else, at baseball games past 7:30pm, no one was upset. “We have our bitch tivo at home,” we reassured each other. We were happy.

When we were eating dinner at 8:30pm, we excitedly talked about watching American Idol, speculating on who would win. A family divided. So we did what any good American family would do, we placed bets.

It was close to 9:30 when we sat down to watch.

We fast forwarded through all the commercials, except for the Idol commercial of course.

I answered questions for the kids like, “Who is that old guy?”

We were watching the part where the top 10 (?, ok you caught me I only half pay attention) were singing when suddenly it stopped. And on the bottom of the screen it asked if we wanted to delete this recording.


And the children who don’t really have a firm grasp of how tivo works screamed things like, “FAST FORWARD!!” or “PUSH LIVE TV!!!” Oh the yelling, the writhing on the floor, the rending of clothing, the swearing (oh wait, that last one was me)

Yes, we spent the entire season meticulously recording every episode only to miss the last 5 minutes. All that foreplay leading up to this.

It’s like when we were forced to watch the movie Citizen Kane in a college film class and leaving the room to use the bathroom only to miss the final scene. Everyone tells you it is the sled, but you can’t help thinking it must have been more dramatic to witness the revelation yourself.

At least I got $10 out of it.

Edited to add:

Turns out that I am not alone.

Posted by Chris @ 9:06 am  

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  1. CathyC says:

    Too funny!!! I can’t stop laughing. Those poor kids. (and you).

  2. Kelly says:

    Y’all need to go back & watch all of it! The EXTRAVAGANZA! The EXCITEMENT! The Over-Produced Money-Making Machine! (and I mean this in a good way :) (sorry for all the !!! That’s just how I think when Idol comes to mind.) I’m sure you can find the final minutes on youtube…if you still want to see it.

  3. Marci says:

    I think FOX tv went past 10pm just to annoy us tivo watchers. If it had ended on time, you wouldn’t have missed it! My kids would have been writhing around too, but we went to live tv just before 10pm to avoid such angst! I feel your pain. :)

  4. Denise says:

    Oh no!! It went past 10.. I’m Doooomed Dooomed Doooooomed!

  5. Keri says:

    I hate to admit that the same thing happened to me. I have comcast DVR, but I sat down around 9 to watch, Fast Forwarded, listened, etc. All of a sudden, DELETE recording? never saw who won. Had to read it online.

  6. bgirl says:

    My husband started to “kid around” with the remote during the last 15 (tivo’d) minutes of Lost last night. I tried to explain that it was the most important 15 minutes of my life, and if he screwed it up I would have to leave him…before I grabbed the remote and hit him in the junk.

  7. Mary (MPJ) says:

    Oh, we learned the hard way with a Survivor finale to pad those recordings! We add an extra five minutes of recording time on to our favorite shows. We also love TiVo more than some living things in our house; I would part with the cat before TiVo!

  8. Kellie says:

    I SO feel your pain!! I sat down at 9:30 to watch it, got all the way to the end and my DVR stopped with 5 minutes left, too. Apparently, Idol ran longer than the two hours. Dammit…

  9. Amy says:

    yeah those Fox morons made it go to 10:05. I’m pretty sure they did it just to teach us DVR freaks a lesson. Never depend on your tivo bitch to get it all :)

  10. Lori says:

    I WAS SO MAD!!! I agree with you Amy, I think FOX did it on purpose…oh well that’s why we have internet!

  11. Anthony says:

    Same here. We watched this week’s first AI and a bit of the second, took some time away to do some chores, and then “finished” watching the finale. It was clear that we weren’t going to get the results when they were still singing with 1 minute left in the recording. Galling. Why sit through all that saccharine only to miss the real reason we were watching? My wife frantically hit the web, while I flipped through the “news” channels. Eventually the CNN scroll gave us the news. And on the plus side, I got to see Rosie and the ex-Survivor gal duke it out on that crazy daytime show.

  12. Cate says:

    24 Finale, Season Five. You might have heard the scream at your house when my DVR pooped out on me during the second hour. Do what I did. Go to youtube and watch those final five minutes online.

    So frustrating! Always pad your Tivo.

  13. Personal Chef to 2 says:

    And this is where luck is on my side … I have yet to add a DVR/TIVO to our home.

    I saw the entire show. I believe the time on our digital cable box said 10:09 when the final credits finally ran.

    Not to rub it in - but I thought it was a great great show.

  14. Diatribal says:

    YES. I feel your PAIN! I had to endure the whole episode, only to have my unintelligent DVR ask if I wanted to delete my show before it was finished. Why no, I wanted to see the rest of the damn program!!!

    I *still* have not seen the end yet. I do know who won, but I have not actually seen it.

    Grr. New-fangeld contraptions.

  15. whoorl says:

    My DVR didn’t record the show at all! I pulled it up on my list last night, pressed play and nothing. Black screen. Argh!

  16. Courtney says:

    I know! Fortunately we didn’t start watching it terribly late and caught up right before the recording stopped. I would have been FURIOUS!

  17. Toni Jill says:

    Well bless your hearts! We just happened to be watching and DVRing at the same time and I was freaking out b/c I was afraid Fox would go to the news at 10 instead of showing the last of it. Sorry you all missed it but like I heard someone say on the radio this morning - I think we all kinda though Jordin would win and the finale wasn’t as grandioso as I expected, and then running over they cut out as soon as the other 11 contestants started hugging her. I wanted to see her with her parents, family, etc. Just a little bummed but I am sure Jordin is on Cloud 9 this morning! Have a fantabulous Thursday! Always, Toni Jill

  18. HeatherB says:

    Oh my gosh!!!! This happened to us also. Luckily we had gotten to the end of the show right about 9:15 and live tv was still on Fox. So after some frantic escapades on my part…in which my mother couldn’t figure out what all my pointing and yelling to “no not that! push the other thing” was about, she finally threw me the remote and we could rewind and see it.

  19. Heidi says:

    We tivo only a few things in our house, but they are also very sacred. We decided since this is the last week of school we would go see Shrek on Monday night. My husband picked me up from work and as we were driving to the theater realized Heros was on that night - season finale. He was so worried it would not tape, being that it would run at a different time and a different length he wanted to go back home. I told him that it would work and we don’t need to waste the time going back home. A couple of moments later, I had a small panic attack that if it really didn’t tape I imagine my husband would have killed me. Thankfully my parents know he is a Heros freak and would figure out the coincidence of my death and the season finale of Heros. I was safe though, it did tape exactly as I had predicted. I am sorry for your loss, the last five minutes can be some of the most important in the long months of taping and watching and rewatching a tv show. I have also learned this season the benefit of a computer. Many shows will air the show after on their website. So if your connection is fast enough you can actually watch a show a couple of days later, huddled around your tiny little laptop. What would my life be like without a tv, tivo or a computer? I horror the thought…

  20. Carolynn from Western Australia says:

    Well we do have Foxtel here DownUnder but not American Idol, although they have had Australian Idol which I have to confess at not having watched.

    BUT, can I be so ignorant to ask what TIVO is? Is it some sort of recording mechanism?

    CJ :-)

  21. Susan says:

    OMG, I would have flipped! That has happened to me during the last, say, 30 seconds of a show — inevitably, the best part (especially on season finales). I scream all sorts of obsceneties at the t.v., too. It is such a helpless feeling!!!

  22. inthefastlane says:

    We were watching and recording at the same time and our comment was that people who had TIVO’d it only were going to be pissed off. How nice to be right :)

  23. Yogamum says:

    This happened to us as well — our new DVR didn’t record the end, nor did our old TiVo, but luckily the old TiVo hadn’t switched channels on the tuner by 9:15 so we got to see the ending.

    I do think Fox did that on purpose. We should bombard them with hate mail!!!

  24. Holli Smith says:

    You and everyone else I know! Thank goodness I was home to see the last 5 minutes! I fast forwarded through the rest of the hyped up junk… I just wanted to make sure my girl won! YA FOR JORDIN!!!

  25. Yvonne says:

    Wow!!! That happened to me, too!!! How weird, and I thought I did something wrong! Nice to know it wasn’t just me. I had to find out who won by watching the news…..

  26. the speckledpup says:

    welcome to my freaking world….welcome.
    I am the queen of these type of snaffooos.

  27. Suzanne (JoyfulChaos) says:

    we also pad our dvr with extra minutes on both sides (especially idol), set it for top priority, and check it early in the day every tues. and wed. just to be sure it’s set. and spent the whole show tuesday night voting - taking turns when our redial fingers got tired (we made it to the dvr within the alloted 4 hour voting time)we are way too addicted to that show.

    and you bet on HER?! please tell me you just thought she’d win, not that you wanted her to win?!

    (good grief, i just reread that comment and realized just how freakish we sound. oh well.)

  28. Nicki says:

    You are the second person today that has had the same complaint. All I can say is thank someone that we decided to watch it live!!!

  29. Valeta says:

    My dvr does that sometimes. It really stinks. :(

  30. Jamie says:

    I for some strange reason, added extra time to the end of recording American Idol yesterday. Fox went over about 15 minutes last night. That stinks!

  31. a happier girl says:

    I feel your pain. My DVR did the same thing. I was curled up in bed ready to go to sleep too. I couldn’t stand the idea of waiting until morning to find out who won. E! and CNN newscrawls at the bottom of the screen didn’t have it so I finally had to get up and get online.

  32. Mary O says:

    The same thing happened to us! I bet Fox got all sorts of complaints.

  33. Katie says:

    I actually haven’t watched the finale yet (our DVR is usually good about getting the whole show when it goes over though) and I’ve been “lala, I won’t read you!” around the web today to avoid spoilers. And then American Idol sends me a thank you email for my Idol Gives Back donation with a big picture of Jordin, congratulating her. *sigh*

  34. cristen says:

    How awful! I do wonder if it was intentional that they ran over, to get you TIVO lovers…I missed the end of Survivor myself last Sunday and was rather pissed. A friend pointed out how much that chick who was 3rd off looks like Shrek, and now I think that every time I see her…

  35. Lacy says:

    Ugh…I’m so sorry. This is a situation where “season pass” isn’t a good idea. The finale went a good 15 minutes over last night, and unless you specify to go over - TIVO takes a cigarette break at the one hour mark.

  36. Shannon @ Rocks in my Dryer says:

    We are equally addicted to AI, so I understand your frustration. At least you got to see Blake do his cool beat-boxing with Whats-His-Name, the rapper guy, right?

  37. MotherReader says:

    Same thing happened to me, and I have to say, that it helps just a tiny bit to know that my pain of last night was shared by DVR/TIVO people allllll over.

    I have had the busiest week and I was so looking forward to relaxing with the American Idol finale, fast forwarding through all the commercials and boring stuff. But I was tricked by a Fox.

  38. Leeann says:


    It happened here the exact same way. I couldn’t believe it!! I ran upstairs and got online to find out the results. I was quite peeved. They really should have planned it better, IMO.


  39. Katie says:

    Maybe it was a worldwide phenomenon, because ours went out at the same point, but since we were more or less live we were able to switch over just as they announced the winner. I don’t even watch idol, but even my jaw dropped at the lousy timing the TiVo had.

    And p.s. it’s not illegal to love TiVo that much. We have 2 and I might love them a little more than my fiance. But just a little. Really.

  40. jennifer says:

    lol no i feel your pain. really. i do.

    i have one thing to say


    yep. torrents arer the best thing since…well….ever

    you will never stress again. well, with all those kids you may stress just a little. but not about missing a favourite show


  41. Barb says:

    I had ten minutes until I had to take my 5 yr old to ballet. I do what I always do when I have a couple of minutes play online. Reading your blog, I knew where you were going. I got to the paragraph “Delete?” At exactly that point, my computer gave me the message “Windows is shutting down”. What? “Windows is configuring new updates” I started yelling at my computer “I didn’t tell you you could configure, what the….”. When I finally got back online tonight, I discovered that your family’s reaction sounded like mine to my computer.
    Your site brings back a lot of childhood memories, I grew up with six brothers and I can’t tell you how many times I will read something you blog and remember something from years ago that I have forgotten. By the way, if your boys are anything like my brothers, your daughter is going to have a hard time dating.
    Thanks for a lot of laughs

  42. Deputy's Wife says:

    I feel your pain, but I am laughing my ass off here…

  43. Blythe says:

    OMG YES! I was beyond mad. i was out grocery shopping while it aired and I got through everything only to have it crap out on me. Sucked having to read about it online. I need drama dagnabbit!!

  44. Sleeping Mommy says:

    No you weren’t alone, we only got it because we are able to back up our DVR an hour and the channel was still on Fox. Since we were only behind by about 45 minutes from it being live we were able to catch the last five minutes. If we hadn’t I would have been pissed.

  45. Ashley says:

    That happened to us also…