The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.The CBC’s recent decision to cancel its cutting-edge ZeD program might allow it to boost its fortunes by allocating that money to produce more commercially appealing content, but it’s a loss for the evolution of digital media.  On the face of it one might be tempted to believe that ZeD was just a TV show, and of course, TV shows get cancelled all the time. But ZeD cleverly foreshadowed the rise of user-generated content in 2002, before blogging entered the common vernacular and years before most Canadians has even heard of Myspace or Youtube. That’s not to say that shows such as Da Vinci’s Inquest or Riverdale weren’t good entertainment in their own right, but I’m not sure you could argue that they were rewriting the rules for the evolution of media on the fly, as ZeD certainly seemed to do. However, like those other cancellations, CBC’s top brass, faced with low viewership and backed into a corner by hostile taxpayers and politicians, has sacrificed ZeD on the altar of commercial appeal in a belief that the way forward lies in an "audience first" (read: more US-style) approach to dramatic programming. But will the annals of history really laud the broadcaster for churning out cheap imitations of concepts already ground-breaking and successful in the US, or is it far more likely that the CBC will be remembered as an early participant in interactive television, thanks to programming like ZeD? In a financial sense, being too early to the game with a new concept is just as bad as being too late. But one will ensure you remain on the lips and minds of the industry for years to come, while the other will likely consign you to an also-ran in the digital media world of the future.