The interactive entertainment network system has a headend connected to multiple user interface units in individual homes via a distribution network. The user interface units are operable in a video-on-demand (VOD) mode to order and receive video content programs from the headend. The VOD mode is activated when the viewer tunes to a designated VOD channel. In the event that a viewer orders a video content program, the headend transmits the ordered video content program to the particular user interface unit. The viewer can watch the program at their leisure. In the event that the viewer changes from the VOD channel to a non-VOD channel prior to completion of the ordered program, the headend automatically pauses transmission of the ordered video content program. When the viewer once again tunes to the VOD channel, the headend automatically resumes transmission of the ordered video content program to the user interface unit. In this manner, the viewer is afforded flexibility to watch the ordered program at their own schedule, and is not penalized by missing part of the rented program simply for changing channels.