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Extended episode of 'House' could plague DVR users

November 19, 2008 |  5:22 pm

Each week, about 4 million viewers watch Fox's medical hit "House" on a DVR, making it among the most-time-shifted shows on TV. Those folks should be careful Tuesday, though, when a program runover could cause recording devices to snip off the last eight minutes of the show.

Fox has scheduled "House" to run until 9:08 that night. The producers asked for more time for an episode in which Hugh Laurie's cranky doc and several patients are taken hostage by a gunman. The extended episode will push back the rest of Fox's schedule; "Fringe" will start right after "House" and run until 10:07 p.m., delaying the local news.

The problem is that some cable systems -- including Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles -- have so far not updated their program guides to reflect the switch. So DVRs for those systems could be programmed to quit recording "House" at the usual time, and thus wind up cutting off the episode's climax. (Some other systems, such as DirecTV, seem to have the correct information.)

DVR cutoffs are a frequent annoyance for fans, and this is not the first time that "House" has been affected. Numerous viewers complained that their recording devices sliced off the final minutes of the season opener back in September.

A Time Warner spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comments.

To be on the safe side, viewers might want to operate their DVRs manually on Tuesday. Or they could just watch TV the old-fashioned way: Live.

-- Scott Collins