TL;DR: There may be a lot of unexpected monitored shows and/or queued downloads. Check your Sonarr instance.
Just under 2 days ago TVDB had another api ‘accident’ where they advertised many series as being without episodes. Given their existing 24h caching issue this problem persisted for far longer too.
This lead to many Sonarr instances removing the episodes from the UI (leaving the files in place, of course).
(I’m certain that at one point in the past we had a protection that would refuse removal of all episodes, but it evidently fell through the cracks somewhere. I’ll find out what happened with that safeguard later.)
Yesterday, given the 24h delay, I switched skyhook to another tvdb api that would allow us to bypass the 24h cache and get the episodes back quicker, hoping it would prevent more instances from being affected. This worked till about 6 hours later when the tvdb api started to experience serious performance issues. Long story short, we couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t happen again.
So earlier today, just before going to work, I decided to switch off tvdb sync entirely until I could deal with it in a more controlled manner.
The problem with this cycle of events is that Sonarr defaults ‘newly appeared’ episodes as monitored (although a series level monitored flag overrides that).
Also, any such episodes with airdates in the past are automatically searched if the series+episode level monitored flag is enabled. (Feature to search in case tvdb was ‘behind’)
Normally that would be fine, but in this case this leads to potentially numerous old and watched episodes from being redownloaded unintentionally, and the reason for me to pause tvdb sync for now.
Note that if the series was unmonitored, it will have stayed unmonitored and no searches or downloads should’ve been triggered as a result of this issue.
We apologize for this clearly undesirable behavior and we hope to remedy it minimizing further impact for users.
We’re considering the following actions:
- Update Sonarr to prevent old reappearing episodes from being monitored, I’m thinking about anything older than 2 weeks.
Done in v3, Done in v2 develop & master
- Update Sonarr to prevent automatic search in that scenario as well.
Done in v3, Done in v2 develop & master
- Alternative: Preserve Monitored/Unmonitored flags for seasons and episodes in Sonarr in case they reappear. (More work, not realizable on short notice)
- Investigate why the ‘no episodes’ safeguard disappeared in skyhook/sonarr and re-implement as needed. By for example only allowing removal of all episodes if they have no airdates or are all in the future (Upcoming shows).
- Determine how many shows have no episodes in skyhook but have in tvdb. (To determine how many series are still affected)
Done, 919 shows
- Formulate a strategy to get the episodes back to the user without again causing the search. (The Sonarr updates above would do that, but not everyone gets application updates in time)
Done, going to serve modified responses to unpatched sonarr instances
One possible strategy I’ve considered is to first have the episodes of affected shows reappear without airdates, and at a later time reintroduce the airdates. This should prevent the automatic search for such old episodes. It wouldn’t solve the monitored flag, but it should at least prevent a ton of indexer hits and possible downloads.
2020-03-12: Patch went out to Sonarr v3 beta that: (22.214.171.1247)
- Prevents the auto-search on episodes older than 14 days. This is to limit damage when tvdb completely reorders series in the future.
- Unmonitor old episodes when the series was completely empty. This is to prevent new monitored episodes when I turn tvdb sync back on.
2020-03-12: Patched skyhook that:
- Prevents any future update which causes all episodes from a series to be removed.
- Temporarily blocks updates on shows with zero episodes currently. (basically this list) This is to allow us to turn on sync again, while giving sonarr instances time to update.
2020-03-12: Re-enabled tvdb sync (except essentially, for those 919 shows)
- (PS: Tvdb api is very very slow atm)
2020-03-13: Patch went out to Sonarr v2 develop branch (126.96.36.19943) with the same fix as released for v3 beta
2020-03-13: Updated skyhook to give it the capability to serve modified responses to unfixed sonarr instances. So unfixed instances will get empty episodes for the affected shows till they’re updated to the fixed sonarr versions.
2020-03-13: After confirming the above fixes worked on v3 beta and v2 develop, we released Sonarr v2 master (188.8.131.5244)
Actions needed by you
Update to latest version of Sonarr (either v2 or v3 beta), Refresh all your shows, check your show monitored flags
- v3 beta: 184.108.40.2067
- v2 develop: 220.127.116.1143
- v2 master: 18.104.22.16844
If you’re a ‘watch and delete’ user, then you’re very likely affected by this issue. Check your sonarr instance for unexpected downloads. Also check the shows and unmonitor as needed.
If you have a private tracker that’s now hit with an excess of downloads, please check your Ratio and HnR status. I hope that the staff of such trackers will be understanding, but please let me know if any particular tracker desires direct confirmation from us in the case of HnRs that may have resulted from this.
For myself under 1% of the shows were affected, but this likely varies per user. So any user with older unmonitored episodes should check their system.
- Some users have noted that you can set the ‘Older Priority’/‘Initial Priority’ to Pause for some download clients (Sabnzbd/Nzbget/Qbittorrent/etc). This would also pause upgrades for older episodes. So it’s definitely a temporary stopgap measure you can take.
- In Sonarr v3 you can disable the Auto Search for indexers. It’s what’s used to determine whether automatic backlog searches are allowed.
In Sonarr v2 that option doesn’t exist separately and iirc Manual Search is used instead.