Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Television

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International Broadcasts[edit]

There is a dispute between me and Favre1fan93 about international broadcast on Agent Carter. Is it limited to only English-speaking countries? I added the Middle East and Southeast Asian broadcasts because they air it in English. Maybe changing WP:TVINTL to include all countries that air shows in English? Dcbanners (talk) 11:38, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

This issue was discussed, at length, at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Television in late 2013. Essentially, Favre1fan93's position is what was agreed upon. --AussieLegend () 12:30, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
DC, the reason we don't include every country that is not English speaking is because it would ultimately be an never ending list. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, and the non-English speaking countries have their own Wikipedia. Yes, it was aired in English, but the country itself is not an English speaking country.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:53, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
What about Asian (Phillipines, Singapore, Malaysia) and Middle Eastern (UAE) countries that have English as an official language? Dcbanners (talk) 13:02, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Theoretically, if "English" is the primary language of the country, then yes. Not an official language, the primary language. Again, we're not an indiscriminate collection of information, so the random Middle Easter country (which btw, English is not the primary language there, it's a secondary language that is taught) that is primarily English may not be relevant. In the end, you're right that the MOS needs to be updated. It should say "where English is the primary language", not "English speaking countries", as many countries speak it even though it isn't their primary language.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:30, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Is this list sufficient to help guide the decisions? List of territorial entities where English is an official language I admit, I've added India, the Philippines, South Africa to some of these lists because someone once argued that these are English-speaking nations, which is what WP:TVINTL requires. If we mean "primary language", I propose we tweak TVINTL accordingly. Also I'm really bummed that Dcbanners was hit with a 72 hour block for edit-warring over this, considering it was based on a misinterpretation, and thus was easily-preventable. Dc, keep a cool head! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 15:35, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I think we need to tweak the MOS to be "primary language". The list for "primary" is much smaller, and if we say "official" then, as you've provided, we're opening the door to an extremely long list that does not serve the readers. We're not here to list every single broadcast of a show (which is not the spirit of the MOS for international broadcastings).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:03, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
The MOS should explicitly list the countries to be included and not depend on a fuzzy definitions of inclusion per primary, official, de facto, de jure usage. I too am bummed by the excessive 72 hour block on a valued contributor for basically trying to do the right thing and tripping over something that deserves a slap on the wrist. 24hrs is normal for this, WTF. Geraldo Perez (talk) 16:17, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Sadly, I believe it was his second block for edit-warring. I agree with adding more specificity to the MOS. I pretty much always agree with adding more specificity to the MOS. So who do we care about? Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK. Who else? The Caribbean? Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:25, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say "fuzzy definition" is accurate if you say only "primary" language. The countries kind of tell us if it is their primary language or not. "Official" isn't necessarily primary. I think if we get into the habit of going so specific that you say, "you can only use these ones", you're going to limit the page and create more problems and edit wars. This is because, by just saying "these countries" and not providing a rational reason, people that believe a particular country warrants inclusion are going to edit war over it. If you say, "just primary" then at least you have something to fall back on. You can point out that the country does not recognize "English" as the primary language.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:31, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the 5 major English-speaking countries only as there is likely to be universal acceptance for inclusion as both major and notable. There should be demonstrated a strong consensus for inclusion of other countries in the list and that discussion should be part of the MOS discussion, not part of each article. Geraldo Perez (talk) 16:38, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That is a slippery slope to go down, I cannot think of the last time I've seen any project regulate such specifics in articles like that. Film doesn't do it, and that is our closest medium (they are released in far more diverse markets as well). I'll be interested to see what others think (though, it would probably be best to have this discussion at the MOS than on the main project page).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:57, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Closest is MOS:Film#Release which basically says notable only. If we followed that we would only list broadcasts that had significant coverage in reliable third party sources with more than a directory listing for the broadcast section. That type of guideline I could get behind and it would significantly reduce the size of the International broadcast section if followed. That would also mean that whether or not the broadcast was in an English speaking country becomes irrelevant if there is significant coverage to support notability. Geraldo Perez (talk) 17:16, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not saying that I agree with that approach, but it is certainly better than arbitrarily identifying a select few countries to include. It would definitely affect the international broadcast section, by virtually making it obsolete in most articles (which is not necessarily a bad thing, considering how prevalent the giant tabular lists are that contain every country and their TV channel that a show appears).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 17:24, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
I would be more supportive of changing the wording to "primary language". Using the article Cyphoid linked to above, if the show is in English, that would be: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia/NZ/"Australasia", Nigeria, Singapore, and Caribbean nations. Out of all of those, in a general case setting, you probably will not find info on the Caribbean nations or Nigeria. That leaves then a potential of up to six broadcast listings (again, for English). We have to remember that Wikipedia is not a TV guide, so we can't be listing things indefinitely. However, I would be supportive of using this language, with a mix of Geraldo's suggestion of including significant coverage broadcasters. In any event, whatever changes we make, they must have clear definitions. So if we go with the first option I mentioned, what exists for us to link to, for users to check if a language is the primary one for a certain country? And any more notability guidelines for the second option? Because some users may come out with "X show got picked up by this network. That's notable!" - Favre1fan93 (talk) 00:05, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Just as an FYI to my first question I posed, this site may be an option, if we could link to it. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 00:10, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. A wider range of acceptable nations isn't the death knell for TVINTL, but requiring sources would certainly help manage the cruft. Sure, Nigeria may be a primarily English-speaking nation, but if nobody can provide reliable sources, the content could be omitted. The lack of sources is probably the biggest obstacle for TVINTL. I barely trust the various "reliable" sources in the US ( for accurate airdates for big-money US shows, but even beloved Canada has a dearth of reliable sources. Frankly, I'm not sure why TVINTL is even a thing with the source pool being so poor. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 03:19, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I would be really happy to deprecate the International Broadcast section completely, grandfathered for existing articles but strongly discouraged for new and replace it with a release section similar to how it is done with film articles. I have never seen the value of a section that just lists a bunch of countries and dates. Table or not this is still TV guide type data. There should be more well-referenced meat in this type of section. Geraldo Perez (talk) 04:35, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
If you get rid of the section, then you cannot grandfather older articles. Articles would need to change. We've never grandfathered stuff in the past. When we got rid of trivia sections, we didn't let articles keep that that already had them. When we removed IMDb as a source we didn't let articles keep them that had them.
That said, I'm not against dismantling it. I think that any relevant international broadcasts can be listed in prose form in the basic "Broadcast" section. Most of the time, you're talking about (maybe) a paragraphs worth of information anyway. It is rare (not unheard of) for a TV article to have a really fleshed out international section that is more than just listing countries, dates, and probably TV channels. That said, I would not get rid of the sections that are fleshed out into well developed pieces.
So, I think we have 2 decisions here. First, do we get rid of the idea of "international broadcast" and follow the film route of only including notable releases? Or, do we just more specifically define what should be included in an international section?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 05:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't particularly see the value of the section since as a list it invites unsourced cruft, and as a prose section it is limited to a scant few examples of English-speaking nations, most of which are unsourced. Do we need an RfC to deal with this? I remember the Rayna Jaymes canvassing situation after we passed the Series Overview guidelines, and I think at least one other editor was critical of the changes, as if we were hiding the discussion or something... I could go either way though, between deprecating the section and being super-specific about what the section should contain. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 07:08, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't see any encyclopaedic value in the current format. I actually see more value in the old tables as a way of demonstrating the world-wide recognition of the various series, but obviously we don't want to use tables again. Something along the lines of "The Real Wikipedians Who Have No Lives has been marketed in 33 countries including Angola,[1] Botswana,[2] Bolivia,[3], New Zealand,[4] South Africa,[5] and Yemini[6]." I feel that's likely to cause more problems than it solves though. --AussieLegend () 08:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I feel if we get into a situation where we go more the Film project route, we are going to get in a very murky area of what is notable and what isn't. To me, it is somewhat easier to define that with a film, because under that guideline, you have the generally single release date in the country of production, and then notable releases become known. With television series, you have so many other factors such as delayed broadcasts in other territories, broadcasters changing after so many seasons, etc. If we only go on notability, some series, in my opinion, would not feature info that, to me is worthwhile to have. For example would a series say as Doctor Who only be limited to the UK info, or would the US get included too? Also, at least for network shows, probably 90% of the time a US show is tied to a Canadian broadcast. That's why I feel there should be some thing like the primary language to define what is and isn't included. That way, we would have a clear cut knowledge of it (and again, with any broadcasts not falling under that heading if it is indeed notable). - Favre1fan93 (talk) 04:07, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

@Cyphoidbomb:, what we will need to do is decide here what we want to do and how it should look. Then, we go to the MOS and make an official proposal. Following that, we will need to do legitimate "canvassing" to all the projects to let them know of the proposed change to give them ample time to either agree or disagree. This way, no one can say we're hiding anything.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:38, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Amending the MOS[edit]

@Cyphoidbomb:, @AussieLegend:, @Geraldo Perez:, @Favre1fan93:, @Dcbanners:, We discussed at length what to do about the International Broadcast information, now we need to decide exactly how it will look. Let's start discussing the change here please.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:47, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

In terms of organizing the framework of what needs to be done, shall we start with a to do list? I'm not sure where exactly we left off. We're not deprecating TVINTL. Did we agree on whether we want to add specific nations or keep the vague "English-speaking nations" as supported by List of territorial entities where English is an official language or the CIA world fact book. Please feel free to add and change below. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
To Do
  1. Resolve consensus: Do we want to deprecate TVINTL compltely?
  2. Resolve consensus: If we do not want to deprecate TVINTL, do we want to name specific nations we are interested in, or keep it vague? ex: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland, US, UK vs. English-speaking nations only? Obviously we keep the language that tells editors what to do about noteworthy events in non-English-speaking nations. (Simpsons/ProSieben example).
  3. Require references as a deal-breaker for inclusion.
  4. ????
  5. Address backlash from editors who never participate in discussion here, but hate the new proposal...

Item 1[edit]

  • Do not deprecate - Though I could go either way on whether or not the Broadcast section should be deprecated. In my experiences gnoming the kids' TV articles, I rarely see a broadcast section that conveys useful information. It's usually an long list or table of nations, typically unsourced, or a short list that is typically unsourced. I do, however, see the value in keeping the Broadcast section around for more significant TV series (like prime time comedies or dramas) for which there would naturally be more attention, more sources, and presumably more information to convey. For this reason I am somewhat reluctantly leaning toward not deprecating. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 16:07, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Deprecate - I'm ok with removing, with a new write-up that discusses how to identify notable international releases. I don't think that simply airing overseas is notable, at least not in a specific venue (unless otherwise stated). We can have a blanket statement, with sources, that says something to the effect of "it premiered internationally on date x".  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:31, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Item 2[edit]

If we're not deprecating TVINTL completely, then my vote is to just stick with "Primary English" (as in that is the official language of the country), with notable exceptions provided via source. Said exceptions could be outlined in the MOS.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:54, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Is the primary language of a country really the right deciding factor? It seems to me the Broadcast section should be focused mainly on country/countries of origin, and other English-speaking countries should be subject to the same notability considerations as non-English-speaking countries, and covered in the same way. To do otherwise would seem to involve an English-centric POV, wouldn't it? --Fru1tbat (talk) 20:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
That's my point. If we go by what you're suggesting, that would basically deprecate the idea of "TVINTL", and turn into a purely case-by-case basis instead of a "accept everyone" approach that it is now. I'm saying, if we don't do that, then we need to set a standard for how to identify which are appropriate to list, which to mean should be only countries where English is the official language (there's a list).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 21:49, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Another suggestion: Should we include premieres for future seasons internationally. They are reliably sourced and English broadcasts. It's important to keep international broadcast up-to-date. Dcbanners (talk) 02:18, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I disagree with this approach. We'd just end up with a giant list of "this season aired in this country on this date, and this country and this date. Then this season aired....". You'd have an entire page devoted to broadcast dates for a show like The Simpsons. Remember, being verifiable does not mean it should be included.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:25, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Multiple season information is just as important as the premiere date. I was thinking about adding it so the international broadcast doesn't get out of date. If there are a lot of seasons (example: CSI), then I will agree with your idea. The premieres can go on the season pages. If there are few seasons and there aren't separate articles, then it can all go on the main page. In addition, there are tons of articles (such as Grimm) that are like this. Dcbanners (talk) 10:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
We're not a current events website, so there isn't a worry about "out of date". Just listing every date of broadcast, for every season, in all countries (whether limited or not) is just creating a collection of indiscriminate information, not to mention getting back to this TV Guide type of approach (which is forbidden as well). The fact that there are articles that already do this does not mean that it should be done. There are ton of articles that list every broadcast in a giant table, and the MOS clearly says not to do that.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:16, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
We actually are a current events website. The main page lists them in the "In the news" section. We're not listing every broadcast date for every season, just only a few. A lot of good/featured articles list future seasons. If you think it's a "TV Guide", then we should just remove the broadcast section entirely. If so, then we need to remove timeslots that are in virtually all ratings tables. I don't mean listing every broadcast in a table. Information that's "out of date" is not useful. Dcbanners (talk) 18:13, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
The question that needs to be answered is what is notable. Why do we need to have season premiere dates for all countries that air a show? Why are they notable? I think it's safe to say that it has been agreed that the country of origin is notable. It has not been established, though, that all other countries are as well. And just having a "broadcast" section does not make it a "TV guide" - some of it is valid encyclopedic information. --Fru1tbat (talk) 18:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
What about listing info for only Canada, United Kingdom/Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Those are considered the "major" English countries and reliable sources for those countries abound. Dcbanners (talk) 19:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I think what Bignole and Fr1utbat are saying, is that there is no inherent notability. If Canada releases a TV series that airs first in Canada, what does it matter that it airs in the US on ABC? Maybe in an article on "Series broadcast on ABC" there would be relevance. There are some exceptions. For instance if a Canadian series first aired in the United States, or was produced for a US audience, then it might be noteworthy to include information about both national premieres. But providing this information for all English-speaking nations without any real context to indicate the importance of the information doesn't seem particularly useful. It's like we're just ticking boxes on a form—"South Africa, check. Ireland, check." Would we reasonably expect to find this information in a print encyclopedia? Cyphoidbomb (talk) 20:08, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Is enwiki meant to be a collection of notable encyclopedic articles that happens to be written in English or is a collection of notable articles of interest only to the English speaking world? If the former, then restricting content to only what is assumed to be important in primary English countries would go against those goals and that includes what is in the broadcast section of TV series articles. A simpler standard would include info that we can demonstrate with reliable sources meets our notability standards irrespective of country or language and exclude info that we can't demonstrate notability for. Generally we can assume notability in the country of origin or first airing or we probably couldn't demonstrate notability for an article all. As I mentioned before, I think MOS:Film#Release strikes the correct balance and I suggest we do something similar. Geraldo Perez (talk) 20:32, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Also look at Category:Television series by country - will the manual of style cover all that is listed there? Geraldo Perez (talk) 20:45, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Geraldo Perez. If we remove non-English broadcasts, then we might as well remove anything that isn't related to an English-speaking country. MOS:Film#Release won't work here because there isn't a website that lists every international release. IMDB lists foreign release dates for films. In addition, several "primarily English" nations (such as Jamaica) don't have sources for this, but large non-English countries (like Germany; this website is very good because it has episode guides) do. Dcbanners (talk) 21:00, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I think Geraldo's point is that in WP:FILM, they only list foreign information when it is notable, not simply because it exists (or doesn't exist). We're not here to track every international release of a TV show, but if something notable happened in Japan, Germany, or the United Kingdom with relation to the broadcasting of say Jane the Virgin, then we would note it. If not, then we wouldn't simply note "Jane the Virgin premiered in Country X on date Y." It's just indiscriminate information. There is no context as to why that is relevant. Timeslots are relevant in ratings tables because there is context. You're seeing how the show compared to other shows in that slot. That is not true for broadcasting dates. It holds little value other than to say, "Hey, it appeared here too". Since we're not a TV Guide, then it isn't like people should be coming here to find out if a show is airing in their home country. Also, Wiki itself is not a current events website. We have a section on the main page for current events, that is not intended to mean that articles are written from that perspective. See WP:NOTNEWS, specifically the "not all verifiable events are suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia", and #2 in that list.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 21:11, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I think we should go with something like "The series airs in (number) countries". Many television shows (such as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Walking Dead) air on the same channels in different countries through various feeds. I believe it's unnecessary to list every broadcast if they air like that. Dcbanners (talk) 21:15, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree. That was something that I proposed above, that we just have a basic statement of, "The Walking Dead has also been broadcast in various international countries, the earliest broadcast being January 29, 2015." (or something like that). Everything else, in my opinion, should be based on notability of the broadcast.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:38, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Item 3[edit]

Sorry I'm late, guys. I personally believe that we should not deprecate the International broadcast parameter, but we should make the countries mentioned specific to each language Wikipedia. Much of the international broadcasters I've seen are, for the most part, unsourced and hard to verify for those who don't speak a particular country's language. Unless a show originated in a non-English speaking country (in example, Japanese anime), we should stick with English-speaking countries when dealing with international broadcasts. ElectricBurst(Electron firings)(Zaps) 08:44, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Are you saying any country that speaks English, or where English is the primary language? Those are two different things, as many countries speak English, and you can technically translate their websites on Google Translate.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:20, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe we should go by what language is mainly used in television. For example, in Israel international shows are shown in English with subtitles, but it's not the primary language of the country. Dcbanners (talk) 18:26, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Bold edit made[edit]

I've made a bold edit to the section in question that brings it in line with the MOS:FILM understanding of this. If someone wants to revert my edit, I'd appreciate it if reasoning was provided as to why such wording shouldn't be used here. Mdrnpndr (talk) 15:57, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm ok with it. It just removes any need to define it beyond notable releases. I say we give this a bit, and notify the other projects (not sure if we did that when we started this discussion) and if there are no clear objections we start updated articles.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:33, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
So if my understanding is correct, a network show that originates in the US, where we would previously mention broadcasts in Canada, the UK, and the Australasia region, based on this wording change, we would not be mentioning these three regions along with the US, unless there is some notability to them? - Favre1fan93 (talk) 18:54, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
That is basically my understanding of the change—which I agree with. Notability should be more than a line in a scheduling guide and should be supported by some meat in a reliable source such as a review or some discussion about the series at the very least. Geraldo Perez (talk) 19:05, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I have another question the regarding this wording change. What then of international broadcast ratings? If we aren't mentioning in the broadcast section, why then should we mention their rating info? - Favre1fan93 (talk) 17:50, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
I think if we're mentioning a premiere rating, then you would also include the date of the premiere for context. If it's the average rating for a season, then I don't think that it matters in the big picture. Film doesn't necessarily include the release dates for overseas, but they will include the box office information that goes with it.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 17:52, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
So in an episode article we could add airing information for non-country-of-origin broadcasts if we also added ratings information for said broadcasts? - adamstom97 (talk) 10:34, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm assuming that you would so that you have context for the rating. YOu don't have to, obviously. I wouldn't mandate it or anything, as film articles don't typically add those release dates when they add box office information. I just don't think it harms anything if you're saying something like, "The Simpsons' episode X brought in 5 million viewers in Australia when it aired on Date Y."  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:22, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

It's been over a week since the bold edit was made and no objections have been raised, so it appears to be the new consensus at this point. Also, just to confirm: all of the interpretations of the intention of the wording change noted in this section are indeed correct. Mdrnpndr (talk) 21:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

No, it's too early for that. One thing that I have issue with is the removal of "English-speaking countries". We have had prior discussions about this and it has always been consensus that we do not include non-English broadcasts. --AussieLegend () 23:47, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
There was no consensus on this matter that I'm aware of besides the widespread agreement that there shouldn't be indiscriminate broadcast listings. Mdrnpndr (talk) 23:52, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The issue of what to include has been discussed at length. As a result of these discussions, there has been widespread conversion of broadcast tables to prose format and removal of all non-English listings from many (thousands possibly) articles. Your change opens the way for something that might be notable in Hungary but nowhere else to be added, which might be of use in the Hungarian Wikipedia, but not in the English Wikipedia. --AussieLegend () 00:17, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
MOS:FILM seems to manage, so why can't MOS:TV? Mdrnpndr (talk) 00:23, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Films and television are somewhat different, even though they do have similarities. --AussieLegend () 00:36, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
"I'm a conservative because I'm a conservative." Mdrnpndr (talk) 01:30, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Please note that we do not "declare" consensus after a fixed period. Consensus happens when discussion has finished. Until now, nobody has specifically addressed the issue of the removal of "English-speaking", which does have consensus to be in the MOS, based on previous discussions, so it needs wider discussion before it can be removed. The limited discussion that has been held here cannot be considered to be consensus. For that reason I am again restoring "English-speaking countries" to the MOS. Do not delete it again until others have had the opportunity to weigh-in on the discussion. If we agree to remove it, then it can be removed then. --AussieLegend () 01:59, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I can understand that concern Aussie, but I think that argument could be made for everything internationally for that matter. You can easily say that just because that's significant there doesn't mean that it's significant in the US. It doesn't matter if it's significant in the US (or nowhere else), it was significant period. If we have a reliable source providing commentary on a subject, just because it's in another country doesn't negate the significance. I think that the important thing here is that simply airing a show in another country is not significant by itself, no matter what country (exceptions exist, as they do for everything, but as a general rules of thumb). By saying, "there needs to be something notable about the release" in a blanket sense, you remove this need to just list every English speaking release. I don't think that TV and Film are so different that how they handle releasing information should be different. TV and Film are far more alike than they are different, and some of the basic areas of concern for their pages tend to be alike. I don't know how many times I go to pages and since giant lists of release dates that serve no real purpose as far as information goes. This update removes that and forces editors to put forth effort to find critical commentary to support why this is somehow needed to advance the article in a positive direction.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The point I was getting at was that the notability issues in a non-English language country are a lot harder to verify, as the sources are generally not in English. While that of itself is not insurmountable, it opens itself to abuse because TV articles are themselves subject to high levels of abuse. (One of our articles is in Wikipedia's 100 most fought over articles) I specifically picked Hungary because there are anonymous proxies in that country and I see a lot of cases of Hungarian airings being added to the remaining international broadcast tables. What I expect will happen is that something will be added to an article with non-English sources and it will remain in the article for some time, possibly years, before somebody comes along and deletes it because the sources don't support the claim. This is exactly what happened when we tolerated the broadcast tables, and was only resolved when we enforced the English only part. And, even if the sources are contentious, it's difficult for English speaking editors to try to enforce the removal of such content if another editor keeps adding it claiming notability. In any case, I don't see what is wrong with editors are encouraged to instead detail noteworthy (see next paragraph) foreign broadcasts, from English-speaking countries, through prose form. This still allows the requirement of being noteworthy, but retains the "English-speaking countries" requirement. --AussieLegend () 04:08, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
We are supposed to write about notable subjects and notability does not have to be demonstrated with English language sources in general. We write articles in this wiki in English but that should be the only tie to English and not a requirement for what is notably included or not. With various translation program we should be able verify non-English sources as being supportive or not when references are required. I really object to restricting info about notable airings to just English language countries, however defined, as I feel that goes against the spirit of what we are trying to accomplish on Wiki. If something has significant coverage we should include it, no matter what language or country it pertains to. Likewise is something has just minor directory type passing coverage it should be excluded even if it is in English for an English language country. Geraldo Perez (talk) 04:33, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Interesting, after looking through a lot of articles today, the requirement for something to be noteworthy will effectively remove the "Broadcast" section from just about every article I looked at, making WP:TVINTL largely redundant. This only slightly less than what Mdrnpndr was aiming for back in 2013 when he suggested removal of the section from the MOS.[1] --AussieLegend () 04:31, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
If that is the result, so be it. If there isn't enough non-trivial info for a section we shouldn't have one. Geraldo Perez (talk) 04:35, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
As much as I'd like to take credit for such manipulative brilliance, I'm afraid you're quite mistaken. The changes proposed back then would have had the effect of allowing pretty much every single channel that ever aired a particular show to be listed on that show's page. The changes being discussed here would prohibit pretty much every single such channel from being listed since each channel's airing of the show must be individually notable. In other words, these are basically two diametrically opposed approaches. Mdrnpndr (talk) 04:54, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, no, at the time listing only broadcasts from English-language countries in prose form was encouraged, which practically limited most articles to, at best, 2 or 3 sentences detailing broadcast in English language countries as the result of earlier discussions. Prohibiting "pretty much every single such channel from being listed" happened when we decided to get rid of the tables after those earlier discussions. The wording of the changes doesn't require individual notability, only noteworthiness, and what is noteworthy is rather subjective. --AussieLegend () 05:31, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think it would remove the broadcast section. It would largely remove any international mentionings, mostly because they tend to just be the passing "it aired on this day and this channel" type of references. A general broadcast section is going to include any notable releases of a show. If we're talking comic book related shows (which are growing), then they typically see a lot of coverage at various ComicCons. At the end of the day, what are we talking about losing? We're talking about potentially losing a small paragraph (or a large table) of information that basically say, "it aired here on this day". I don't think that's an ultimate detriment to a reader. I can't see people coming to Wikipedia just to find out if a show aired in another country and then leaving as soon as they find out. I'm sure there are some, but there are still some readers that look for trivia sections (and we don't include those anymore).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 05:22, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Most broadcast sections only contain international mentionings. See for example The Big Bang Theory#Broadcast and the first paragraph of Arrow (TV series)#Broadcast. If we look at Arrow, all that might be left is "Arrow premiered on The CW network from October 10, 2012, during the 2012–13 television season." That seems rather "American-centric", which we need to avoid. --AussieLegend () 05:41, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
There are certain items that will generally have a centric focus to their country of origin, releases are generally one of them. If it got rid of the paragraph, again, I don't think it's a real loss. For Arrow, the statement can easily be moved to the ratings section, since that most correlates to that information. It ultimately goes down to the fact that simply being released in another country is not itself all that noteworthy. I think basic statements of "it was released in various countries over the course of 2014 and 2015" is all that's really necessary to convey the message of international broadcasting. Otherwise, we get to where we were/are, with just basic listings of every release (whether English or not). It comes across as indiscriminate information.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:19, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with getting rid of the current format, I said above that it's useless, but I'm concerned that "noteworthy" is too subjective and, removing "English-speaking" is opening us up to a completely different set of problems with content. --AussieLegend () 13:31, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
So, are you proposing that it says something along the lines of "Noteworthy English speaking countries"?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:45, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Just FYI, I'm going to oppose any wording that combines "noteworthy" and "English-speaking" (or any similar terms) per WP:CREEP. Mdrnpndr (talk) 14:30, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I oppose any Anglo-centric based restrictions to any article in Wiki. Geographic scope talks to deletion discussions but I think the reasoning is valid. If something is notable it should be included and not restricted because of location. Weighting coverage to location of origin will likely happen as that is likely to be where most reliable sources that cover the subject are located and notable airing of TV shows in the language it is created in will most likely be in locations that speak that language. Also TV series such as Violetta (telenovela) do not originate in an English speaking country and an English-language restriction on its international coverage seems very unwarranted. Geraldo Perez (talk) 15:50, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
My concern with removal of "English speaking" is that it has been in the MOS for a long time and limiting content to English-speaking countries has always had strong support in the past so, if we're going to remove it, we need a strong consensus. I must admit that I find it ironic that "English-speaking" was apparently originally added to the MOS in order to combat "American-centric" editing. I don't like the word "noteworthy" at all, as it is too subjective. WP:N governs the creation of articles, it doesn't prevent non-notable content from being added to articles, but I feel we should be asking for notability, which noteworthy is not. To some, mention that the series aired in another country is noteworthy. Mdrnpndr has made recent edits insisting on "reliably sourced",[2] so maybe we should be looking at some wording along those lines. --AussieLegend () 16:27, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I think that if we add examples of what "noteworthy" is, then we should be ok. In the very least, saying it's not "it simply aired on this day" should help combat that problem. English-speaking was originally added to remove the never-ending lists of release dates in every country on this planet, not so much to prevent an American-centric page.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 16:36, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Bignole about need for examples for what we need to see. It doesn't need to meet notability requirements for an article but it should be more than a passing mention in a program listing and it should come from some source not connected with the production or the network. It looks like we have some forming consensus to remove the "English-speaking" restriction if we can find wording that restrict the list in some other way. Geraldo Perez (talk) 17:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, providing some examples would be a good idea. I'm sure somebody can find some somewhere. The articles I checked were pretty dismal. --AussieLegend () 18:02, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
A fairly reasonable broadcast section is at Violetta (telenovela)#Broadcast. Some light references but the Spanish language one is easily verifiable using Google translate and is at a good level of coverage for this Spanish language TV series being broadcast in Spanish in the US. Geraldo Perez (talk) 18:28, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Most of the content there seems to fail the "noteworthy" test. --AussieLegend () 18:57, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have to say, that largely looks like "it appeared here on this date". That seems to go against what we're talking about.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 19:26, 28 February 2015 (UTC)


User:AussieLegend appears to be the only user opposed to the previous version of the page, yet it is this user's version of the page that is the current one. Can someone please explain to me why this user has been allowed to edit war that user's preferred version of the page into being the current one? Mdrnpndr (talk) 01:56, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Because it reflected the previous WP:STATUSQUO. I personally would like the phrase "from English-speaking countries" stuck due to the, in my opinion, inappropriate Anglo-centricness of it. Geraldo Perez (talk) 02:04, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Here's the solution. Notify the several key TV-related wikiprojects and we'll see if anyone disagrees. That will get your wide-spread consensus.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:18, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
That's not a solution and you know it. Our resident edit warrior will simply claim, once again without justification, that consensus has not been established, even if there are no objections from others in the meantime. Mdrnpndr (talk) 02:43, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
If they are notified and no one objects, then it is a consensus. Silence is acceptance in that case, because they would have been given the option of challenging the change.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:05, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Did you even read his objection above? "No, it's too early for that." No mention of project notifications there... or other editors' opinions, whether in agreement or not... or indeed anything except a conveniently unspecified timeframe. Mdrnpndr (talk) 04:01, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Lack of acknowledgment from one editor on what needs to be done does not negate the need. Yes, you have a small consensus on this page, but it is based on who frequents this page. Considering how impactful the edit will be toward TV articles, it's best to notify the other projects so that they have time to say if they agree or not. Simple as that.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 04:09, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Mdrnpndr Please stop being so aggressive and uncivil. The rest of us respect each others opinions, even if we don't agree with them. Your persistent failure to collaborate with other editors is clearly blinding you to what has been said in the discussion. Quite frankly, I'm sick to death of your attitude; edit-warring and then accusing me of doing so, and coming to my talk page, being uncivil and then accusing me of being uncivil, then crying on another editor's talk page that your block history is not your fault. It has gone well beyond a joke, to the point of being completely unacceptable. For the record, since you seem more interested in fighting than following the discussion, I've already said (nearly two months ago) that I don't see any encyclopaedic value in the format that we currently use. I've said above that the reason I oppose the removal of English-speaking is because I feel that we're likely to see a return to the old "table days" because "noteworthy" is a subjective term. However, and I've already said this too, but you've ignored it, that I agree with providing examples and, if we could do this in the same way that we've done for the series overview table, then I'd agree to removing English-speaking from the text. However, as I've said before and as Bignole has pointed out above, the "consensus" that you see here is limited and has wide-reaching effect so others really need to be involved, or at the very least, notified of this discussion. And yes, I've also talked about that on your talk page. --AussieLegend () 10:26, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Since you don't want me posting this at your talk page I'll say it here: any further accusations of this kind will be considered outright Wikipedia:Harassment and dealt with as such. Mdrnpndr (talk) 13:21, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
This is not the place for threats, please limit your posts to addressing the issues under discussion. --AussieLegend () 15:25, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:BOLD hypothetical question about Wikipedia:TVCAST#Cast_and_characters_information and notability[edit]

Some shows, such as The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone, consist almost entirely of episodes unrelated to one another. Ergo, there is no "main" cast, because almost every episode is about a completely separate cast of characters from previous or subsequent episodes. While it may not be noteworthy or practical to list every episode's cast members (or even just the ones who portrayed main characters in any given episode), should some actors be mentioned if they regularly appear on the show (each time as a new character)?

Back on the subject of "normal" TV series with continuity, Please keep in mind that "main" cast status is determined by the series producers, not by popularity or screen time. But, isn't it noteworthy if "minor" characters/cast members are more popular and/or get more screen time than the main cast? assuming it's not original research, of course. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

That's not the purpose of the lead. The section says "Starring", so it would be hard to sell the idea that a guest is the same as a series regular just because they use them more than once. That's basically a recurring actor/character, which isn't put in the infobox anyway.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

RFC at Talk: Remember (The Walking Dead)[edit]

It has been suggest that this RFC should be mentioned here. (talk) 17:29, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Time-Sensitive Broadcasts[edit]

There seems to be a battle on The Early Show page, in which several editors believe the article lead should say "The Early Show is" a television show. My argument against this is the fact that news broadcasts are different than syndicated shows or other television programming that might be seen at a later time. TV News Broadcasts are seen one time, and then for all intensive purposes, aren't seen again by the general public. There could be an argument that tapes containing airchecks do exist at CBS news HQ or the like, but that's not something that the general public would ever have access to. The Early Show WAS a show, it was replaced by CBS This Morning. That would be like saying, "Crossfire on CNN IS A show..." when in fact that news show is off the air and something else was placed in its time slot. Check out The Early Show article, you can see it's a highly debated issue by one particular editor. This debate goes on within several other notable TV news related articles that use is/was. The word been switched back and forth for the lead in articles like Rock Center with Brian Williams. There needs to be clear consensus and differentiation between first run shows, and news/time sensitive broadcasts.

I think the consensus among editors relates to television SHOWS, not newscasts or dated-broadcasts that deal with newsworthy current events. These are different from television shows that still exist in some form, either on DVD, Broadcast syndication or online after they leave their original network or time slot, or go off the air permanently.

I think the same could be said for dated radio programs as well! Taylor2646 (talk) 14:01, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

First, it's "for all intents and purposes". Second, the TV show still exists if someone has a copy of even a tiny snippet of it somewhere, which is the case for an extremely large percentage of all the TV shows that have ever been made (I'm tempted to say that it's the vast majority here but I haven't seen any specific data in this regard). Mdrnpndr (talk) 21:31, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I get that, but it would be more 'archive material' in that regard. Remember, the issue here is not TV shows, but more do to with TV news and time sensitive broadcasts. TV News is completely different and for that reason I feel other considerations should be made. As I said, it's not like House or Seinfeld... for the most part, 99.999% of Americans will never see the broadcast again. Even if they do, it won't be the whole broadcast, but maybe a snippet, pre-fonted with "File Video" that airs on some other broadcast. My point is, people could get confused. 'Oh, The Early Show is still on? I didn't know Erica Hill was still anchoring!' Also think about the fact that most of the shows in question came on 5 days or nights a week, and were live... which, again, puts them in a category all their own. Taylor2646 (talk) 05:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
The thing is, though, that we're not discussing whether to say "was broadcast" or "is broadcast", where the distinction is quite obvious; rather, we're discussing whether to use "was" or "is" regarding the show itself. Mdrnpndr (talk) 13:13, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Is there a standard format for abbreviating season/episode?[edit]

Is there a standard or predominantly used format for identifying an episode by season number and episode number, like (Season 1, Episode 8). I'm particularly concerned with mixed lists of episodes from different shows, for example, shows/episodes where the fictional Morley cigarette brand appeared. I'd like to use as compact a format as possible, like (1x08) or (s1e8), as longer versions visually clutter up some of these lists. (Hopefully, this is the right place for this question, it is the best fit I could find after browsing this Project.)--Tsavage (talk) 13:53, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't think that this page would dictate such a thing, because that's not a directly related TV article (i.e., an article about a TV show). So, really how you want to display them would be up to you and the editors of that page. If you're going to slim it down, to say "s1e9" or "1x09", then I would suggest having a key that explains that so that the average reader knows what they are looking at. Otherwise, I'd leave it as "Season one, episode nine", so that it's clear what they are reading.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 14:24, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
OK, clear enough, thanks. --Tsavage (talk) 14:45, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
You could also link directly to the episode entry. For example, instead of:
"Burn Notice: In season 2 episode 5 "Scatter Point" the main character"
you could instead write:
"Burn Notice: In the episode "Scatter Point" the main character"
By directly linking to the episode you eliminate the need to pick a system. --AussieLegend () 14:59, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Cool, that's pretty slick. I took a quick look and it seems there's an ID tag only for the number of the episode in the series, but not for the number in the season, which is how I imagine many editors will have the information. It's certainly a clean extra for anyone who wants to do the extra lookup work. If there is a way to go to the episode number in season, please let me know.--Tsavage (talk) 15:23, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Most List of episodes (whether they are a page or just a section somewhere else) have an overall "series number". So, instead of 2x10, it would be episode 32. This would be your best bet.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 15:27, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Additions to MOS:TVCAST[edit]

Would anyone be opposed to the following additions to the first paragraph in MOS:TVCAST? I've been working off of this criteria for a bit on the series pages I work on, and I think it is a very reasonable way to "define" recurring status over simply being a guest. (changes are in bold)

Remember to follow the notability guidelines when creating a cast list: Not every fictional character ever created deserves to be listed and even fewer will deserve an individual article. For the main article of a series, it may be appropriate to split up the cast listing by "Main cast/characters", "Recurring cast/characters", and "Guest cast/characters". If the series is long running, and has an overwhelming number of recurring guest stars, it may be appropriate to split those into a separate list of characters articles (see below for style guidelines on "List of ..." pages). The main cast should be organized according to the series original broadcast credits, with new cast members being added to the end of the list. Please keep in mind that "main" cast status is determined by the series producers, not by popularity or screen time. Additionally, "recurring" cast (over simply being a "guest") is generally determined by a reliable source; for example, when an actor is cast, the announcement may state the actor will be a "recurring" one on the series. If a reliable source does not exist for this information, a general rule-of-thumb to follow for a 22-24 episode season is 4 or more appearances would make the character recurring for the season. As well, if a series goes for multiple seasons, a character that appears as a guest in a season, but has appeared in 4 or more episodes across the entire series, could be considered a recurring character for the series. However, every series is different and may require slightly different criteria when considering if a character is recurring or a guest, should a reliable source not exist. Furthermore, articles should reflect the entire history of a series, and as such actors remain in their spot on the list even after their departure from the series.

- Favre1fan93 (talk) 17:31, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Where did the number 4 come from? It's arbitrary, right? It seems easiest if a "guest" appears in one episode over the entire series and "recurring" is in two or more, unless credited otherwise. The word "recurring" means happening more than once. Also, setting up guidelines for a "22-24 episode season" doesn't make sense to me, as most shows don't follow that schedule anymore. Many seasons are 13 episodes or even 6 now. I don't see any benefit to getting so specific. -- Wikipedical (talk) 20:09, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Not completely arbitrary with 4 appearances, as it was under the guise of 20% of the season (22-24 eps) which was approximately 4. While you are correct in the definition of recurring, "Recurring" generally means a significant reoccurrence in a show. Since all characters appearing outside of the main cast are guest stars, we split up the once that appear frequently and significantly (recurring) out of the "1 or 2" appearance characters, that are not as significant. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 20:38, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I'll oppose 4 – or any number greater than 2 – as used here on the basis of arbitrariness and WP:CREEP. Mdrnpndr (talk) 21:34, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - At bare minimum, I would opposed anything less than 4 that isn't identified specifically as a "recurring guest". You can technically appear 4 times in an arc, and not be a recurring guest. You're a special guest who had a specific arc, and then your arc is done. Those guests typically have all their episodes right after the other though, and then it's done. If they weren't identified as "recurring", then we shouldn't be doing that just because they had a multi-episode arc after the course of 3 to 4 episodes back-to-back. I also don't think that appearing twice is "recurring". I think that's putting a lot more importance on a special guest appearance than the actors that actually get real recurring contracts.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:43, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Appearing twice is literally recurring. -- Wikipedical (talk) 18:33, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
      • Not according to Recurring character.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 18:43, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
        • Are you talking about the five-episode minimum inserted by an IP? As you know Wikipedia is not a reliable source. That number is as arbitrary as the four episode proposal above. The "more than one episode" unless credited as main employs the least arbitrary interpretation by editors, since it follows the actual definition of 'recurring.' No reason to get so precise, especially as the number of episodes in a TV season is changing. -- Wikipedical (talk) 20:06, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I feel that a specific number should not be given in the MOS, but that it should be noted that the editors at whichever TV series page need to decide upon a definition that is most appropriate for said series and stick to it. - adamstom97 (talk) 22:15, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
It may have been added by an IP, but the reality is that 2 episodes is not "recurring". Recurring is meant to be multiple appearances across the length of time. Two episodes cannot span any length of time and is nothing more than a guest spot. If you're going to try and create some ridiculously easy criteria so that every Tom, Dick, and Harry character can be added to a list (which would be borderline indiscriminate), then lets just leave it as "reliable sources identifies them as a recurring guest".  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:14, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you are the arbiter of what recurring is "meant to be." It literally means occurring more than once. Like Mdrnpndr, I would be opposed to inserting any number greater than two. Many articles do parenthetically list each character's episode count in the cast list– if it's believed that the number of appearances indicates significance, as expressed by Favre1fan93 (which isn't necessary the case), ordering recurring characters by the number of appearances should address the above concerns. But redefining the word "recurring" arbitrarily (20% of a season? 4 times? 5 times?) isn't the answer here. -- Wikipedical (talk) 07:25, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Opening it up to every actor that has multiple guest spots, but is not actually considered recurring isn't the answer. There is a reason that some people are announced as "guest roles" and some are announced as "recurring". You cannot say that series regulars are defined by the credits, but recurring can be anyone that has appeared 2 times or more. That isn't what a recurring guest is. Recurring guests are ones that appeared across time, not a couple of one-shot appearances and then they are done. That isn't a recurring guest.

According to Thinking Inside the Box, they are ones "who often and frequently appears from time to time during the series' run". Two times is not "frequently" in any sense of the word. You have to set an arbitrary number high, otherwise this ridiculous notion that two appearances will cause character lists to explode with an indiscriminate collection of information about characters that were merely guests. Again, you either set a realistic number, or you simply say, "if a reliable sources says they are".  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:17, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

The latter option is the only one compliant with policy, or WP:OR more specifically. Mdrnpndr (talk) 14:29, 15 March 2015 (UTC)