So the question is, do I retool my story idea to set it before the end of the show, which would be a great deal of work, indeed? Or do I roll the dice and send it to them as is, hoping it'll knock their socks off? They prefer working with published authors, so my chances are low enough without playing fast and loose with the rules, but one thing the guidelines did say was "please consider playing around with the novel format: tell the story backward, in flashback, or through the eyes of another character". I wonder if a later time frame qualifies as a similar "thinking outside the box" process.
*sigh* No wonder so many good writers never try to get published -- the process tends to crush the spirit.