Game Show Yanked From TV, Setting off Viewers

Game shows are a regular part of some TV viewers' days, and you don't want to mess with that schedule. Case and point, fans of one beloved game show were thrown into a fit of anger when a recent episode was abruptly yanked. Viewers of the British game show Countdown took to social media to express their disappointment when the scheduled Friday, Dec. 3 episode was abruptly canceled. Instead, the network replaced it with an episode of Find It, Fix It, Flog It, a fellow Channel 4 series starring Henry Cole and Simon O'Brien.

Countdown, which was the first program to be aired on Channel 4, is hosted by Anne Robinson, Susie Dent, and Rachel Riley. The show sees two contestants competing in three game types – ten letters rounds, four numbers rounds, and the buzzer round – during which they must solve a series of number and literary brainteasers for the chance to move on in the competition. The show typically airs on Channel 4 on weekdays at 2:10 p.m. local time. However, when 2:10 p.m. came around on Friday, Dec. 3, a narrator announced, "now in a change to listings, it's Find It, Fix It, Flog It," Express reported.

The announcement seemed to anger many Countdown viewers, some of whom even took to social media. Reacting to the abrupt schedule change, one Countdown fan asked, "uhm where is [Countdown] please [Channel 4]." Somebody else questioned, "[Channel 4] why have you not put [Countdown] on? TV just said ' in a change to current listings' that don't say where today's episode has gone..." A third person tweeted, "[Channel 4] I would like to know where today's edition of Countdown vanished to as it was scheduled on every TV guide going. Instead we ended up with Find It, Fix It, Flog It....[angry about that]."

Amid the flurry of tweets, Channel 4 eventually released a statement via Twitter addressing the schedule change and the decision not to air an episode of Countdown. Channel 4 explained, "We've experienced temporary technical issues related to the new operating process that was put in place after the outage. We are working to rectify it as quickly as possible but can confirm that the peak schedule is unaffected."

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The Friday, De. 3 issue marked just the latest instance of a network upsetting viewers with an abrupt schedule change. Back in October, ITV angered fans when British morning show This Morning, which typically airs until 12:30 p.m., ended at 12:15 p.m. and the daily episode of Loose Women was canceled. The schedule change was due to Chancellor Rishi Sunak's unveiling of the Autumn Budget 2021 in the House of Commons that afternoon. The announcement was broadcast locally, leading to some interruptions to regular TV schedules.