This is related to an earlier question, but the advice there doesn't work for me. My disk space is full. Whenever I open iTunes, it tries to download some purchases that I don't want anymore (old Lost episodes) that I haven't wanted for years. All that I want to do is cancel these downloads. Deleting them in itunes doesn't work. The recommended advice on an earlier question is to finish downloading them, then delete them, but I can't do this for diskspace reasons (there are about seventeen episodes, so it's not practical for me to sit there and slowly deleted enough diskjunk to download an episode at a time, then delete the episode - and even if it were, it seems rude to hog this much bandwidth.) Any other solution?
I had a download (a Lost episode in fact) that wouldn't stop downloading. Even though it was already in my library, it would download every time I checked for purchases and then error out at the end of the download.
I don't remember everything I tried, but a tried a LOT of things to get it to stop. The only thing that eventually worked for me was contacting iTunes Support: http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/contact/
They had the item removed from my queue within a couple hours. It will probably expedite things if you give them the exact episode names and numbers as they appear in the iTunes Store.
Remove Them from Store=>Purchased Playlist
iTunes 10.7.0.21 on my Windows 7 machine seems to automatically download only those items in the Store=>Purchased "playlist". In my case, deleting a movie from Store=>Purchased stopped it from being added to the download queue automatically.
To download purchased items that have been removed from Store=>Purchased, go to Store=>Purchased=>Download Previous Purchases and find the item there.