Will Future TV shows Be Canceled In Mid-sentence?

You may wonder if ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" ran a little too cold yesterday.

The early morning sports-themed talk show apparently had some technical difficulties on Tuesday morning--and popped off the cable airwaves--for a longer than expected period of time. Apparently, the show just stayed off the air, at least in some markets.

That had TV bloggers snickering, bringing up that old joke regarding programs with bad ratings or bad reviews: Perhaps the show was cancelled in mid-airing. No, we don't think ESPN or any other programmer would ever work that way. But it got us at TV Watch thinking: Perhaps TiVo could add an extra function on its remote: A "Cancellation" button, which would not only stop the show on your TV set but others as well. Think of what this would mean to all those TV pressure groups that want to control what programming goes into other people's homes. It would be the ultimate turn-the-tables reality show for TV programming executives.



Had enough of NBC's "Joey"? Want to dispatch WB's "Twins"? Feel like frying up Fox's "Kitchen Confidential"? Here's your chance to become Kevin Reilly, David Janollari, or Peter Liguori--and you don't even have to have a meeting. As a matter of fact, as keen viewers of network TV, you'd be doing them a favor.

If enough viewers could press their remotes--reaching some critical mass, some significant percentage of U.S. TV households--then, poof! No need to wait for overnight ratings the next day. Give networks your instant focus group opinions and help them to avoid making those tough phone calls to nervous producers. Now network executives could simply say, "The decision's out of my hands. The viewers have spoken," which is kind of what they say anyway.

This would be perfectly in tune with Hollywood business practice, where no one wants to take the blame for any big, expensive TV or film entertainment gone wrong. (This is the opposite of the way all executives look to take credit for hit shows such as "ER," "The Simpsons," "Friends" or "Everybody Loves Raymond.")

"Cold Pizza" is still on the air. Too cold, you say? Point your remote and hit the microwave setting.

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