|Web address||http://www.tvtome.com/ (defunct)|
|Type of site||Entertainment|
|Owner||CNET Networks, Inc. (now part of CBS Interactive)|
|Created by||John Nestoriak III|
TV Tome was a U.S. based website devoted to informational guides for English-language television shows and the people involved in their production. It was run mainly by volunteer editors, with the assistance of user contributions. The site was founded by John Nestoriak III, who gave the founders of epguides meta editor status at TV Tome, they were; George Fergus, Dennis Kytasaari and John Lavalie.
The site had over 2,500 complete television series guides, over 3,500 developing television series guides and filmographies for 250,000 actors and crewmembers moderated by a five member crew. TV Tome also appointed forum moderators on TV Tome who moderated four of six TV Tome General Forums and the television show forums. In addition to the television series guides, TV Tome had a forum for each television series with information regarding episode interpretation and discussion.
A spin off site, Movie Tome, was established in August 2003. Originally, a video game tome and a music tome were planned as well, but with the purchase of TV Tome and Movie Tome, and seeing as how GameSpot and MP3.com equate to those sites, neither came into existence.
On April 22, 2005, TV Tome officially announced its absorption by CNET, much to the dissent of many members. CNET announced plans to relocate the site to its TV.com domain, which was acquired in 1996 for use in conjunction with the short-lived syndicated television series of the same name. A preliminary version of the new site launched on June 1, 2005 and on June 13, 2005, the site was permanently redirected to TV.com with an entirely new layout. CNET bought TV Tome for US $5 million in January 2005.
TV Tome was made up of three main types of pages, which can be comparable to TV.com's pages.
Main show page (summary)
Contained overall information about a television series, divided into six sections:
- Intro — contained a description of the program's premise (and sometimes other details, such as character profiles, series history and telecast schedules)
- Information — contained specific details about the show, such as its network, status (New Series, Returning Series, Hiatus/To Be Determined, or Cancelled/Ended) and country of origin
- Cast — a list of the show's regular cast members, with their roles and links to their information pages
- Crew — a list of the show's regular crewmembers, with their positions and links to their information pages
- News — a section for current news items regarding the show
- DVDs — a section for DVDs of the show that had been or were scheduled to be released to the public
Contained information about one installment of a series, divided into seven sections:
- Information — contained specific information about the episode, such as its original air date, its producer and director, and a list of its guest stars
- Synopsis — a brief summary of the episode's plot
- Subsequently added was the recap subsection, which provided a full synopsis of the episode, including the ending. (Users had to click on the "recap" link to access this information, as it usually contained spoilers that fans wouldn't want to read until after viewing the episode.)
- Notes — trivia about the episode, or any information that doesn't belong in the other sections
- Quotes — memorable dialogue from the episode
- Goofs — technical, factual, or continuity errors contained within the episode
- Analysis — an examination or critique of the episode
- Cultural References — lists and explanations of real-life events and/or media that were indirectly or directly referenced within the dialogue and action of the episode
Additionally, each episode could be voted upon by users, thereby creating an aggregate rating on a scale of 1 ("awful") to 10 ("awesome"). All episodes' ratings were displayed on their respective pages, as well as on a separate page that featured the entire series, listed episode-by-episode (in order of highest to lowest TV Tome rating).
Contained information on a person associated with television, divided into five sections:
- Biographical Information — contained standard information about the person, such as his/her name, birthdate, death date, etc.
- This section often featured a link to a separate biography page, containing in-depth information on the person's career and/or personal life.
- Notes — trivia about the person, or any information that doesn't belong in the other sections
- News — a seldom-used section for current news items regarding the person
- Crew Credits — a list of links to TV Tome and Movie Tome pages that credit the person for crew work
- Acting Appearances — a list of links to TV Tome and Movie Tome pages that credit the person for on-screen appearances, divided into subsections:
- Starring Roles — a list of links to the main pages of shows in which the person regularly appeared, along with their roles
- Guest Starring Roles — a list of links to television installments in which the person was billed as a guest star
- Co Starring Roles — a list of links to television installments in which the person was billed as a co-star
- Movie/Mini-Series/Special Roles — a list of links to Movie Tome pages of movies, miniseries and television specials in which the person appeared
Also linked to, was a message board (a forum dedicated to discussion of the person and his/her projects), moderated by the person's TV Tome editor[s].
The summary page and the individual episode pages featured links to other sections, including:
- Episode List — all of the program's episode titles and air dates (arranged chronologically), with links to individual episode pages
- Episode Guide — a page (viewable for the entire series or season-by-season) that listed the information, short synopsis, and notes sections from the individual episode pages
- Goofs Guide — a page that listed all of the program's goofs (also contained within the individual episode pages)
- Episode Reviews — reviews written or approved by the program's TV Tome editor[s]
- Features — a compilation of articles pertaining to the series and/or the people involved
- Cast Guide — a thorough list of cast members, divided under the headings Stars, Recurring and Guest Stars
- Crew Guide — a thorough list of crewmembers, including writers, directors, producers and others
- Forum — a message board (dedicated to discussion of the series and the people involved), moderated by the corresponding TV Tome editor[s]
epguides was created July 11, 1999, by George Fergus, Dennis Kytasaari and John Lavalie. The three creators were given meta editor status at TV Tome and Movie Tome. epguides gradually moved most of its guide data to TV Tome, continuing to maintain its episode list pages primarily as an alternative portal into the TV Tome database. It is in many ways a "no frills" site, giving basic episode titles and airdates, and very basic notes for some shows, leaving more extensive coverage to other websites. Following the sale, it maintained the same relationship with TV.com for a time, operating as a simplified ad-free front end into their episode guide database. It eventually began a relationship with alternative database TVRage.
The TV IV
Several people on the Something Awful forums, who were unhappy about TV Tome after its acquisition decided to rebuild the content and created The TV IV in July 2005. The TV IV runs MediaWiki software, but has disabled anonymous editing and has licensed the content under the Creative Commons license (cc-by-2.5).
TVRage was bought June 14, 2005 and went public October 26, 2005. It is independent and uses a custom-made software base. TVRage contains both television show guides (episode guides, show cast, show crew, show forums, character guide, news about the show, awards, show tidbits, merchandise and links), people guides (biography, galleries, picture, links, trivia, list of credits), and Network Guides (history, shows, etc.). Several former TV Tome/TV.com editors have since adopted show guides there. The site is currently ranked 3,751 (US) and 6,541 (Global) on Alexa as of November 30, 2012.
Independently from TV IV another community effort has begun to rebuild what was lost through the TVTome acquisition. Since, August 2005 the TVFriends project is hosted by Wikia (which also runs on MediaWiki). Unlike The TV IV, it is open to anyone without registration. Wikia mandates the use of the GNU Free Documentation License. It is now part of Wikia Entertainment.
EPisodeWorld (short EPW) was created after TV Tome's acquisition in 2005 and went public on September 25, 2005. The founders were equally unhappy with the loss of TV Tome and what it had to offer and independently started this project to rebuild what was lost and more and offer information beyond informational guides for English-language television shows by also listing guides for the same and more shows in other languages (including German, French, Italian, Japanese, Finnish, etc.). The goal is to offer information to the often international fanbase and not to limit it to English speaking fans and officials.
EPW is open to anyone after a free registration to discuss episodes (in all languages the episodes are available in), adding episodes and their information in all languages (episode names, plots, cast, writer, director, air dates, news about the show, notes, music) and to keep track of "bookmarked" (favourite) shows (upcoming seasons and new shows) and actors' and artists' appearances (including their songs listed by episode and in music guides). As of April 24, 2010 EPisodeWorld lists more than 6000 international shows with 35,2079 episodes (of which 62814 are non-English (17.84%)).