Wikipedia:Naming conventions (television)

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As is the general practice across Wikipedia, the article title for any topic related to television should be simply the most common word or phrase used to describe that topic. In particular, if the title of a television program is sufficiently unambiguous compared to any other topics or is considered to be the primary topic, then let that also be the title of the article; for example, The Prisoner or Guiding Light.

If the common title of the show is ambiguous, an alternate article title will need to be used to distinguish it from other similarly named programs, series, movies, books, terms, or other topics. Natural disambiguation may be used if the show has an alternate title that is also commonly used to refer to it. Failing that, then parenthetical disambiguation may be needed – use the most appropriate method as described in the sections below.

For guidelines relating to television broadcasting (networks, channels, stations, etc.), see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (broadcasting).

Television programming[edit]

Series television[edit]

Episodic, serial, or limited series television shows are made of episodes which may relate part of an unfolding story, feature recurring settings or characters, or express a unifying narrative theme. These shows are typically aired only part of the year, and are produced as a set or cycle of episodes usually called a "season" or a "series".

When disambiguation is required, use (TV series).


For the special case of episodic television known as "miniseries", when disambiguation is required, use: (miniseries) or (serial) according to common usage in the originating country.


Non-series television[edit]

Non-series television shows tend to be produced on either an on-going basis (airing daily or weekly) or as a one-time event. Each episode of an on-going show usually is self-contained with little connection to other episodes, other than title, format, hosts, and other on-air personalities. These shows generally lack on-going narrative or story elements.

  • For game shows, use (game show).
  • For talk shows, use (talk show).
  • For all other programs use (TV program) or (TV programme) according to common usage in the originating country.


Television films[edit]

For television films whose names conflict with other uses, use (film). For television films whose names conflict with other films, use (year film), where year corresponds to the year in which the film first aired on TV. If the name of a television film conflicts with a theatrical film in the same year, (year TV film) / (year theatrical film) respectively.


Additional disambiguation[edit]

When there are two or more television productions of the same type and name, use one of the following methods:

  • Prefix the country of broadcast – (U.S. TV series), (Canadian TV series), (UK TV series). Generally useful, especially when there are regional versions of the same format/premise.
    Important: Write U.S. with periods, but write UK without periods (full stops) as per WP:NCA.
  • Prefix the year of release or program debut – (1997 TV series). Generally useful when there are multiple programs with the same title within the same region and/or across multiple regions.
  • Prefix with "animated" – (animated TV series) – to contrast with a live alternative.

In certain cases, when programs air in the same region within a few years of each other, it may also be advisable to create redirects that disambiguate using a prefix of the television network that the series has aired on (e.g. The Frank Sinatra Show (CBS TV series) for The Frank Sinatra Show (1950 TV series) vs. The Frank Sinatra Show (ABC TV series) for The Frank Sinatra Show (1957 TV series)). Articles, however, should not reside at a title that uses a television network as disambiguation, rather using one of the examples highlighted above.

Series franchise[edit]

When the content is presented as multiple related TV series or spans other media formats such as radio, film, video game, or print, then an associated overview page (an article describing and summarizing the items of the franchise) should occupy the primary article title (eg. Star Trek), but may be disambiguated as Series name (franchise) when required.

Season articles[edit]

For an article that describes one season of a television show (possibly containing a section for episode summaries), the article should be named first by the name of the show, and then by the season/series number. Alternatively, if each season is referred to by a distinctive name, that should be used instead.

A consistent naming scheme should be used for all season articles of a TV show: if one season is named something special, this should be noted through redirects and in the article's WP:LEAD, but the article should be named in the same fashion as the other season pages. For example "The Amazing Race 8" was known as "The Amazing Race: Family Edition", but maintains the naming format as other seasons, the second link being a redirect to the consistently named season page. Navigation to other season pages and to the main show page should be provided by navigation boxes at the bottom of the article, and it is often useful to include preceding and following seasons within the infobox (if one exists) for that season. Redirections should be created for ease of searching by the end user.

If there are multiple shows of the same name, include the disambiguation, similar to the above for TV series in the season description, for example, "The Apprentice (U.S. season 1)" and "The Apprentice (UK series one)". Similar names should continue even if one version of the show has several more seasons than the other; for example, in the case of the above, the U.S. version of The Apprentice has had four more seasons than the UK version, but the naming continues up through all of them, including "The Apprentice (U.S. season 11)". Hatnotes should be used to provide links to the other shows' existing season pages if needed.

Episode articles[edit]

For an article created about a single episode, add the series name in parentheses only if there are other articles by the same name.

Where an episode title is the same as a character or object from the series which has its own page, disambiguate further using Title (Series episode).

Although editors should avoid preemptive disambiguation, they are encouraged to create extra redirects to help with internal linking and avoid creation of duplicate articles. For example, for the Lost episode, "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues", one could create the following redirects:

List articles[edit]

Disambiguation for list articles related to television productions should be used where necessary to make clear which title is being discussed. If the main TV series page title was disambiguated from other entertainment properties (e.g. other TV series, films, novels, etc.), related list pages may or may not need to be further disambiguated, depending on whether other list articles exist. Otherwise, the series title is sufficient.

Articles about television[edit]

Articles which relate to general concepts related to television technology, terminology, and industry (but not programming) should use (television).

See also[edit]