If you were among the group of MTV viewers who sat in front of your tubes Tuesday night to catch the final episode of T.I.‘s Road to Redemption, you’re probably a little disappointed and wondering what the hell is going on. According to MTV News, the show’s finale has been postponed until next Tuesday, April 7th, due to a computer glitch. The episode that aired this past Tuesday was a re-run. Michael Hirschorn, an executive producer of the show, said this type of screw-up has never happened before.
“Basically, as I understand it, it’s a kind of screw-up that’s never happened before,” Michael Hirschorn, an executive producer of “Road to Redemption,” told MTV News on Wednesday (April 1). “The materials for show were collected for final assembly, everything was good and signed-off, and then the media became corrupted. It was sort of like having a file on a home computer, and the computer screws it up — only much bigger than that.”
To get a little more in-depth, while still trying to explain things in words we can all understand, here’s what happened: According to Hirschorn, the interview with T.I. and Sway, along with a segment in which T.I. reunites with the kids he had mentored during this season of “Road,” was filmed last weekend in Atlanta (hours after the rapper was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for felony weapons charges), and was taken to an editing facility on Sunday to be cut into “Reckoning.”
The editing process was completed on Tuesday afternoon, at which point the Atlanta facility gave Hirschorn the news that the show was ready to be transferred from the digital-editing program onto an actual tape. Ideally, that tape would then be placed in a playback deck and the show would be sent via satellite to the Network Operations Center in New York, which stores the show digitally until it is sent to your cable channel for live broadcast. Only that didn’t happen with “Reckoning.”
According to Hirschorn, some time after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, it became apparent that something had gone wrong with the editing software (or, the file containing the show itself), meaning that the editing facility in Atlanta couldn’t transfer the show to tape. The facility spent the next hour re-booting the software and attempting to transfer the show to tape once again. And once again, there were problems.
Shortly before 8 p.m. — 60 minutes before the show was scheduled to broadcast — it became clear that the show wasn’t going to be able to be sent to the Network Operations Center via tape, so Hirschorn and the editing facility began to think of other ways of getting the show on-air. In super-tight instances, the show can be fed live from the facility to the N.O.C. (meaning it would basically be broadcast live from a tape deck in Atlanta to your TV), only, since the show was unable to be taken off the editing software, this also wasn’t an option.
So, with less than an hour until “Reckoning” was scheduled to air, and with technicians in Atlanta working furiously to get the show off the computers, it became clear that something was going to have to give. MTV Programming made the decision to push the broadcast back until 11 p.m., with the hopes that the issues would be cleared up. Of course, this was all news to T.I., who found out just as he was sitting down in his Atlanta home to watch the special.
“I wasn’t able to speak to Tip until after 10 p.m.,” Hirschorn said. “By the time I spoke to him, he was still clearly disappointed but philosophical about the whole thing.”
Of course, “Reckoning” didn’t make the 11 p.m. airing, either. And according to Hirschorn, technicians never were able to extract the material from the computer — “They worked until 2:30 a.m. trying to make it happen,” he said.
“I’m obviously upset and feel terrible that we let the viewers down,” Hirschorn said. “It’s a fantastic show and the interview is remarkable … it’s rare that you ever see a public figure that honest and that up-front, and it was meant to be the culmination of a powerful series that we and Tip were so proud of.”