TORONTO (CP) _ When did Dr. McDreamy finally profess his love for Meredith Grey? What happened to Izzie in the hours after her fiance Denny died? And is it finally curtains for The Chief and his wife?
Many Canadian fans of "Grey’s Anatomy" were puzzled by plot gaps and apparent inconsistencies Thursday night when CTV inadvertently aired the second episode of the season rather than the hotly anticipated premiere. While the network blamed the mistake on a "satellite feed error," it was little consolation for viewers who had waited an entire summer to learn the fate of the libidinous interns at Seattle Grace Hospital.
"Can I just say that CTV is a crappy, irresponsible network?" wrote one blogger, carmen16.
"I know errors happen, but this is one of the biggest shows on TV these days. (I’m) just not impressed."
"Stupid people who don’t know how to push buttons right. I am most seriously displeased," posted another who identified herself as Lynda.
On CTV, the show airs at 8 p.m. ET, while the U.S. version airs at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Many fans who tuned in to CTV said they couldn’t quite put their finger on what was wrong with the show.
"We were trying to figure out if they were just artfully leaving some gaps for the viewers to figure out what happened, or if indeed they were airing the wrong episode," said one blogger.
After the mistake became clear (ABC aired the correct version), fans took to the Internet, begging viewers who watched the CTV episode not to ruin it for them.
"Now that I know that Canada got next week’s episode, I’m going to be frightened of spoilers constantly until next week!" wrote jasminelily.
"If you live in Canada, please don’t include any spoilers about the second episode!" implored a blog on the USA Today website.
Rick Lewchuk, a senior vice-president at CTV, said there were no "red flags" to indicate the network had received the wrong episode. He said the show CTV aired even had the proper "slate" _ an introductory frame identifying it as Season 3, Episode 1.
"Those are the kind of things our operator would look at to make sure they had the right feed," Lewchuk said Friday. "These feeds will come in quite close to airtime … the turnaround time is very short."
It’s also highly unusual, he said, that a future episode would be ready a week early.
"It wouldn’t even occur to anyone that it’s possible that the second episode got fed out that far in advance."
CTV spokesman Mike Cosentino said Disney called the network to apologize for the mistake ("Grey’s Anatomy" is distributed by Buena Vista International, the production arm of Disney) and confirmed it was a human error in their Burbank, Calif., transmission centre. Still, the slip-up could not have come at a more inopportune time for CTV, which has made much of the show’s new Thursday night timeslot.
"After a whole summer of pimping the new timeslot, CTV showed the wrong episode of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ last night," said one blogger, alias-elaina.
"How did they screw THAT up? Someone is so fired."
Some bloggers even cited rumours that the episode CTV aired was originally supposed to be the season premiere, but producers changed their minds and shot a new episode. Cosentino could not comment on those suggestions. He called CTV’s glitch a "good news/bad news scenario."
"The bad news is viewers missed Episode 1 …. the good news is _ Episode 2 is fantastic."
CTV said it will air the season premiere next Thursday, when it had originally planned to show Episode 2.