Talk:Television film

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Television movies naming convention[edit]

There is an ongoing discussion about how television movies should be named. The main contention is that whether TV movies should be handled separately and be titled Movie name (TV movie) or treated under the film naming convention. Please leave comments at the original discussion. --Reflex Reaction (talk)• 19:07, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

CBS Theater?[edit]

This question concerns a graphic package. I found a few videos on YouTube, and they all seem to have something in common. In this one mini-series open, several stars light up and we go through a screen. Then, we start going down and see the words "CBS", "MINI", and "SERIES". I've been wondering, did the Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday movies have the same open? BTW, here's the link. CBS Mini-Series Open It seems to me that the viewer was at this really cool and really fancy movie theater owned by CBS. It would be called the CBS Theater. I hope this isn't off topic. 71.111.215.224 23:13, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I doubt it; made-for-TV films aren't necessarily miniseries.AlbertSM (talk) 20:06, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

This article should be called "Television film" and then, no more redirects for this article. --PJ Pete

Movie-length episodes are not made-for-TV movies[edit]

In my view, this article currently starts well and finishes quite poorly. It progressively confuses the terms "movie-length" with "movie", eventually leaving the viewer to believe that if they're watching something that's about 90 minutes, and it's on TV, it must be a "TV movie".

However, it's narrative intent, and not runtime or visual style, which are the distinguishing characteristics of a made-for-TV movie, The Movie-length episodes of television shows section is particularly egregious. Consider "Family Ties Vacation". Not only did it kick off the fourth broadcast season, but its critical importance to Paramount wasn't that it was a movie, but that it was a four episodes' worth of content. Looking at the single movie as four parts helped them fulfil a commitment they made to syndicators in the third season that Family Ties would ultimate have at least 95 half-hours, whether NBC cancelled or not. "Vacation" was made at least as much for its parts as its whole. And, really, so are many long-form stories for established television series. Ultimately, they bump up the syndication value for a relatively modest budgetary increase over a regular episode. And that, in fact, brings up another point. The budgets for these kinds of "movies" are a part of the regular seasonal budgets. Thus, they are, as a matter of practicality, "normal" episodes.

Now that last point doesn't apply to the cast "reunion". Budgetarily, these are separately costed. But contentually, they are a part of the overall narrative of the series. Their budgets are a direct result of the past work. Had there not been a preceding series, there would not be a need for the supplementary material. Thus, I don't call these "made-for-TV movies" either, except under very rare conditions. For instance, if a TV series released both a feature film and a television reunion in the same year and I needed to distinguish between the two, I might be inclned to call the on TV, the "TV movie". But, honestly, how many examples can you think of that fit that description? Producers will tend to make either a TV revival or a theatrical one—not both. To me, if it's a part of the narrative of a series, but it's a lengthier format, it's just a "special". In other words, there is a distinction between a "movie-length episode" and a "made-for-TV movie".

This may be clearer by looking at the case of British television than America. Just take a look at A Touch of Frost and Sea of Souls. These demonstrate the relatively common British phenomenon of later seasons being comprised, in fact, of two or three movie-length episodes. However, this change of format does not deter British broadcasters and DVD producers from marketing these movie-length episodes, produced for the same broadcast year, as an (abbreviated) season.

But, aside from this failure to take a global view of the term, the article lacks internal consistency for the American market. As it now stands, the article is at best ambiguous about the status of the final episode of M*A*S*H*. It's curious, to me, that the article is silent on the 90-minute "Goodbye, Farewell & Amen", but it certainly seems to imply that the episode is a made-for=TV movie. The problem with that is that it logically invalidates one of the articles initial assertions, namely that The Day After is the highest-rated TV movie of all time. Either long-form episodes count, in which case After is not the highest-rated TV movie of all time, or they don't.

To me, it's logical conundrums like this that make me believe the article needs to scale back, and look for a simple, incontrovertible definition of its terms. There's no one that would dispute The Day After as a made-for-TV movie. So it seems to me that the article would be best served by basing a definition upon the qualities of that production. When you really look at it, the absolutely vital truth abot a "made-for-TV movie" like After, is that it is produced as a one-off. That is, at the time that the producers make it, it's intended to stand completely on its own content, not to augment the narrative of a series. CzechOut 04:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree entirely. For instance, one particular sentence in this article stood out to me as being a glaring example of this misapprehension:
"However, although they may be advertised as movies, they are really simply extended episodes of TV shows, such as the pilot and the finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation."
While this may or may not be applicable to other television shows, the pilot and series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation ("Encounter At Farpoint" and "All Good Things...", respectively) were never advertised as movies. These episodes, along with numerous others ("Best of Both Worlds", "Chain of Command", etc.), were never presented as anything other than two-parters, usually season finale cliffhangers, and I've never heard of anyone misconstruing them as supposing to've been "movies". -=( Alexis (talk)00:48, 15 November 2011 (UTC) )=-
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexis Brooke M (talkcontribs) 00:48, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Move to multiple issues template[edit]

There were enough things wrong with this article that it began to accumulate a lot of "dead space" in trying to tag everything. Simplicity argued for the use of the Template:Articleissues. Many of these issues have been covered in the section above. However, one disadvantage of this centralizing template is that it fails to give useful information for the tone/essay tags. In an effort to preserve the criticism, I should point out that the sections previously tagged as requiring cleanup/reading like essays were those entitled Notable Examples and Production & Quality. I didn't tag these, so I don't know what, precisely, the tagging editor meant. However, I can assume that the issue is intimately tied to the general lack of references throughout. CzechOut 04:59, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Only American POV?[edit]

Why isn't there a nation-by-nation comparison? I've seen made-for-TV movies from England by the BBC and some South Korean ones, too. These all high production values and such. I understand, in America, the made-for-TV film has replaced or become the grindhouse that it is, but in other nations, this isn't the case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Coffee4binky (talkcontribs) 19:04, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Made for TV movies in other media[edit]

should it be mentioned that Conan O'Brian uses fictional made for tv movies as a running gag/skit? - -[The Spooky One] | [t c r] 14:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

"Cable" TV movies[edit]

I was reading the article about the made for TV Harrison Bergeron film, and noticed that it explicitly called the film a "cable television movie". To me, this implies that the film likely had themes which were either less accessible or more controversial than ones which would have been broadcast over-air or on "basic cable". I realise that this may not be the function of the word in the editor's mind when it was used, but I believe I'm not alone in reading this bias into the word. Should this be elaborated here? Should the differentiation be dropped entirely? I currently have no suggestion, and would simply like to bring this up. - BalthCat (talk) 06:37, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

TV Show Movie Anthology[edit]

Are full length episodes of anthology shows considered movies, or JUST TV episodes? or does it matter the length? IF every single episode is 60 minutes does that mean they're just episodes and not movies? If each episode is different length then it's also a movie? Shows like Hallmark Hall of Fame (each episode is different length) However 20th Century Fox Hour each episode is one hour long. So maybe they're just episodes? I'm not sure.

TV Special or TV Movie?[edit]

I noticed IMDb cites Magical Mystery Tour as a TV Special instead of a TV film, Wikipedia cites it as a film. What's the difference?