Questions about seasons and episodes

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 4 weeks ago
  • Answered
I have two questions:

1. Some TV shows, in particular comedy shows (e.g. Futurama, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) will produce a longer episode for DVD release and then later air the episode (sometimes broken into parts) as part of the regular show. Should this episode be added to the series as an episode (with a DVD release date) or as a standalone video title (with a TV premiere date) or both?

2. If a series has a different episode order in different countries, which order do we follow? If it's the country of origin, what if the show is a co-production and thus has multiple countries of origin? What if the seasons are significantly different in English-speaking countries to the country of origin, e.g. Pokemon, which has 6 series in Japan (with some series divided into chapters) but 21 seasons in the US?
Photo of Matt

Matt

  • 111 Posts
  • 26 Reply Likes

Posted 4 weeks ago

  • 2
Photo of Steve Crook

Steve Crook, Champion

  • 1305 Posts
  • 1601 Reply Likes
Hello Matt,
AIUI the IMDb looks to just record the details of the earliest screening of any series. You shouldn’t add details of any episode twice so if any episode(s) are shown again later re-edited into one longer episode, then the longer episode shouldn’t be shown. Maybe you could add something in the Trivia section about it.

Similarly, if a series is shown again with the episodes in a different order, then you shouldn’t show it as a separate episode or series here Maybe you could add something in the Trivia section about that as well.

Steve
Photo of Eboy

Eboy

  • 1080 Posts
  • 907 Reply Likes
Yes, alternate versions/trivia is the correct section if some episode is later re-released or re-shown in some other form than the original. This happens every now and then, with extended episodes on dvd/Blu-ray or alternate versions on different countries.

Season/episode order can also differ. This happens especially with children’s productions and animations when they’re (often later) sold to another countries or are added to streaming sites like Netflix etc.
Photo of Matt

Matt

  • 111 Posts
  • 26 Reply Likes
Re listing a title twice, this point in the Cast/Acting credits guidelines seems to suggest it should be:
If a title is later shown as an episode of a series then it should be added as a shell episode. No filmography credits relating to the original title should be added to the shell to avoid crediting the work twice on the name pages of those involved. If the individual contributed to new material relating solely to that episode i.e. hosting segment then they are valid credits and may be added to the shell episode). Please also add a trivia item and a movie connection linking the episode to the original title page.
Photo of Col Needham

Col Needham, Official Rep

  • 6154 Posts
  • 3290 Reply Likes
No, sorry, the documentation you quote here is for a different type of problem.   For example, the TV-movie Page Eight (2011) was first shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival (I was in the audience for this) and then later the same summer broadcast in the UK on BBC TV; it was later repackaged as an episode of "Masterpiece Contemporary" which is represented in IMDb as a shell -> https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2094454/

Each case might be subtly different so it is tricky to provide a single answer which covers every title you are asking about here, but generally a title may only fully exist once on IMDb; different versions with extra credits or longer running times etc should be explained in the alternate versions section as described at https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/alternate-versions/GB7UDDKCAAVFXCXH or, if more appropriate the trivia section. An example of how complex this can become is Aliens (1986) and its alternate versions section.  Outside of these current solutions, the technical complexity involved in fully representing the situation you describe is something for the distant future, sorry.  It would be confusing if you started to add additional versions of the same episodes as new episodes to all of these series so we need to stick to title pages for the original episodes as broadcast in the original order, with variations recorded as trivia / alternate versions. 

Hope this helps.
Photo of Matt

Matt

  • 111 Posts
  • 26 Reply Likes
Thanks for the explanation. To give a specific example, the Christmas special for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was released on DVD a year before it was broadcast as part of the series, but it's on IMDb as an episode rather than a straight-to-DVD video. How does that differ from the Page Eight situation? Is it the repackaging as opposed to just being broadcast exactly as it was originally released?
Photo of Matt

Matt

  • 111 Posts
  • 26 Reply Likes
I think my writing "or both" in my first question has led to a bit of a tangent. I assumed a title shouldn't be listed twice. I mainly want to know which one to use. Normally the IMDb guidelines lean towards how it was originally released.
Photo of Michelle

Michelle, Official Rep

  • 10928 Posts
  • 5983 Reply Likes
Hi Matt -

As Col mentioned above, each case may be subtly different and it's very difficult to compose a catch all policy for every instance. In these instances, we will factor in the intent of the release; if it was intended as an canonical episode of the overall series then we would list it as such (retaining the run time, cast list etc of the original release). If however, the title was intended to be a standalone upon initial release, then keeping it as a separate page would be our preference. This aligns with our 'One series or two' policy here: https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/title-formatting/G56U5ERK7YY47CQB? which suggest that factors in decision making include "how the series is marketed when released and perceived by the public".

I hope this helps clarify.