Half-hour TV shows should not be listed as Shorts

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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A few weeks ago, there was a discussion on this board about whether certain animated made-for-TV programs, which each consist of a single broadcast and are not series, should be classified as "TV Specials" or "TV Shorts". The examples given were How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966).


In the discussion, I explained that these programs did not qualify as TV specials for IMDb, because they are fictional stories, and they didn't qualify as TV shorts, either, under the IMDb definition of a Short:
Any theatrical film or made-for-video title with a running time of less than 45 minutes, i.e., 44 minutes or less, or any TV series or TV movie with a running time of less than 22 minutes, i.e. 21 minutes or less. (A "half-hour" television program should not be listed as a Short.) If known, please submit the running time if we do not have one on record. Objective.
Both of these programs were made for television, so the "under 22 minute" limit applies to them. Both shows are over the maximum length to be a Short, at 26 minutes and 25 minutes respectively. Besides, they were both broadcast in half-hour time slots, and the definition says that a "half-hour" television program should not be listed as a Short. This is specifically stated as being an objective classification.

So I said that both programs should be classified as TV movies, not TV specials or TV shorts.

I also submitted requests to delete the Short genre from both of these titles. See submissions #191003-032207-723000 and #191003-060314-349000. (The Charlie Brown program had not been classified as a Short when the discussion started, but it acquired that genre shortly afterward.) And the Short genre was indeed removed, at least temporarily.

But it doesn't seem to have helped. Both programs are listed as Shorts again.

Why hasn't the Short genre been blocked from both of these titles? Col Needham has said in the past that when IMDb can solve a problem by throwing software at it, that is the preferred solution. And in this case, it's not a subjective question to decide whether these titles are Shorts or not. All you need is an algorithm along the following lines:

IF title-type = TV and running-time >= 22, THEN do not accept genre = Short

I'm not a programmer and that isn't proper computer language, but surely IMDb's programmers have the ability to put a rule along those lines into the database, and I hope that they will do so.
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gromit82, Champion

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Posted 9 months ago

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Will, Official Rep

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Hi gromit82,

Thank you for the report, I've removed the genres now and taken further steps to ensure that this doesn't happen again.

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gromit82, Champion

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Thanks, Will.

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