Wikipedia:Notability (television)

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The following is not one of Wikipedia's notability guidelines. However, it is meant to provide a tool to help determine if a television-related topic warrants its own article. For the majority of topics related to television, the criteria established at the general notability guideline is sufficient to follow. This essay explains the general notability guideline as it applies to television and also takes into consideration other core Wikipedia policies and guidelines as they apply to determining stand-alone articles or stand-alone lists for television.

General principles[edit]

The general notability guideline (GNG) states: "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article or stand-alone list." The link to the main article explains each criterion. A topic might be considered notable even if it only satisfies some of the criteria. Conversely, even if a topic is presumed to satisfy all of the criteria, group consensus may still determine that it does not qualify as a stand-alone article.

Additional criteria for the evaluation of television-related articles are outlined in the sections below.

Television pilots, future series or seasons, and unreleased series[edit]

Television pilots that have not been picked up to series are not normally eligible for Wikipedia articles. A mere announcement that a pilot is in development may be noted in the Wikipedia articles about its creators, writers or confirmed cast members, but absent significant evidence that the pilot has notability for reasons beyond simple confirmation of its existence, the announcement itself is not sufficient basis for a standalone article about the pilot. An unaired pilot, such as Aquaman or Marvel's Most Wanted, can qualify for an article should there be significant reliable sources covering the development and other production aspects of the pilot independent of its own marketing materials.

In most cases, a television series or season is not eligible for an article until it has been confirmed by reliable sources to have started filming (excluding a pilot's filming). Various production issues can interfere with a project and affect its status. The assumption should also not be made that, because a television series or season is likely to be a high-profile release, it will be immune to setbacks—there is no "sure thing" production; projects that have been announced to series or season renewals also have the possibility to have those decisions reversed, such as with On Becoming a God in Central Florida or GLOW. Should information on the start of filming not be known, a formal confirmation by a television network or streaming provider may be used instead (for instance, it has been announced at an entity's upfront presentation as being scheduled and advanced to series), a promotional trailer has been released, and/or it has a scheduled premiere date.

In the case of animated series, reliable sources must confirm that the series is clearly out of the pre-production process, meaning that the final animation frames are actively being drawn and/or rendered, and final recordings of voice-overs and music have commenced.[a]

Articles for future series or seasons can first be created in the Draft space until such time that they can be moved into the mainspace as defined above. For additional information on when splitting content to season articles may be justified, see MOS:TVSPLIT.

Television episodes[edit]

An episode of a television series is not inherently notable simply because it has aired. Having a plot, episode-specific cast and crew or ratings and viewership numbers is sometimes redundant to similar information at a main article, season article, or an in-depth character article.[b] A standalone episode article should be expected to be able to meet WP:GNG on its own; most especially, the episode itself, apart from its series, should have more than a passing mention in reliable source coverage. Such individual coverage is typically harder to achieve for episodes released in blocks, particularly streaming blocks, and these (with the exception of anthologies) are often non-notable.

Multiple reviews or other reliable, independent, non-trivial commentary demonstrate notability for a television episode. It is preferred to have reliable sources discussing production aspects of the episode in question, such as its development and writing; the casting of specific actors; design elements; filming or animation; post-production work; or music, rather than simply recounting the plot. This could include discussions of its broader impact. The scope of reviews should extend beyond recaps and simple review aggregator coverage, such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. While these may be used in episode articles that have already demonstrated notability, a reception section only comprising these is generally not adequately demonstrating coverage. See "Fire and Blood", "Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience", "Marge vs. the Monorail", or "Volcano" as examples of such articles.

It is generally expected that for an episode to be notable enough for its own article, the series it belongs to (and often, the season of that series) will already have an article; this is not the case for notable episodes from non-notable series which demonstrate their own lasting impact in reliable sources.

If an episode of a commissioned series (i.e. not pilots, see above) was unaired, or not completed, it should demonstrate sufficient notability for unproduced works as if it did not belong to any series. This includes production coverage and lasting impact in reliable sources.

Television films[edit]

Many television films generally do not receive significant independent coverage, despite being broadcast or released nationally, such as those released yearly during the holiday season on the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime Channel. Consideration for articles on television films should also satisfy the notability guidelines defined at Wikipedia:Notability (films).

National and local TV series[edit]

Generally, an individual television program is more likely to be notable if it airs on a network of television stations (either national or regional in scope), or on a cable television channel with a broader regional or national audience. It is far less likely to be notable if it airs in only one local media market.

However, the presence or absence of reliable sources is more definitive than the geographic range of the program's audience alone. For instance, a national television program might not be notable if it was cancelled too quickly to have garnered any media coverage or airs on a minor secondary cable channel.


  1. ^ Common steps in the animated series pre-production process are usually geared towards writing the series' episodes, creating storyboards, recording scratch voice-over tracks, and creating rough animations also known as "reels", all of which do not fulfill the requirements of this essay. Instead, this essay attempts to ensure that the series has been green-lighted and is currently in production, as evidenced by activities analogous to live-action series, such as recording of final voice-over tracks by credited voice actors, recording of final music and foley sound effects, and drawing/rendering of final animation frames.
  2. ^ This information, which is all evident and able to be confirmed through an episode's mere existence, should still be included in episode articles that are otherwise notable.

See also[edit]