Wikipedia talk:Centralized discussion/Television episodes

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WT:EPISODE archives


  1. October 2005 - January 2007
  2. February 2007 - May 2007
  3. June 2007 - September 2007
  4. October 2007 - January 2008
  5. January 2008
  6. January 2008
  7. January 2008 - March 2008
  8. March 2008 - May 2008
  9. July 2008 - January 2009

Is there any actual consensus for this guideline at all?[edit]

See above question. JoshuaZ (talk) 22:15, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

See above discussions and archives.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:19, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
(ec) It is applied and accepted by quite a few users several times each week, so I guess there is consensus. Is there something with it that you don't agree with? – sgeureka t•c 22:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
It's reached arbitration for being applied in a mechanistic, game-playing manner. What does the rest of the world think? - David Gerard (talk) 22:49, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's about what's been asserted, however it does not appear that that will be a finding. As to the rest of the world, there's the view that the main contributers to Wikipedia are unbelievably huge nerds. --Jack Merridew 09:47, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Sure, large scale merger of well-written episode articles such as those of Scrubs and elsewhere. And from talking to people I get the impression that there's not many people other than the WP:EPISODE regulars who actually favor this. JoshuaZ (talk) 22:50, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
It's an episode-centric version of things like WP:FICT and WP:NOT#PLOT. Obviously, no one likes seeing their work removed, or even the work of others. However, when the articles are almost completely just a recap, and have little to no real-world information, it needs to be cleaned up, or at least shown that it has the potential for improvement. -- Ned Scott 22:55, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Put it this way, if you fail WP:EPISODE, you most likely fail the general notability guideline, because this guideline is based on that guideline.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:58, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, no. Almost any television episode of a generally popular show will have a few secondary reliable sources about it, such a TV guide talking about it. Furthermore, there's nothing inherently wrong with a bit of eventualism in regards to this sort of thing or a small bit of inherited notability. Sources being hard to find doesn't mean they don't exist (that's for example why we have separate articles on every single olympic athlete- the presumption is that we will find sources if we look hard enough) If we have massive numbers of people who want to work on these and massive numbers who want to read them and we don't have serious WP:OR or other concerns we should let them be. JoshuaZ (talk) 23:07, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Um, if you have legitimate "significant coverage" (see the general notability guideline) then there isn't a problem. TV Guide posting a plot summary is not coverage in the least, it's their job to post the plot summary of everything that comes on TV. Wikipedia is not a current events encyclopedia. Our articles are supposed to be based on historical sources. That means the information needs to be available, not "let's hope they talk about it eventually". That isn't how articles are meant to be created, regardless of how much disregard editors give in response to that. We base inclusion on verifiable sources, the burden of proof lies with the editor adding it, and information can be removed on the spot if it is not cited. If you have a page that has nothing but a plot, then you don't have a need for a page (see WP:PLOT). This is not "let me be and I'll find it eventually", this is "show it now, or find it later and then recreate the page". We aren't on the "hopeful system", we're on the "show me now system".  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:18, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, m:immediatism versus m:eventualism -- the yin and yang of Wikipedia. -- phoebe/(talk) 06:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Bignole, you said, "Wikipedia is not a current events encyclopedia." but Category:Current events proves you wrong. TV Guide is not coverage? And we are most definitely not on the "show me now system" — see List of The Simpsons episodes for proof of that. --Pixelface (talk) 01:43, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

This guideline should be deleted. The proper process of writing wikipedia is to add information and improve that information. Wikipedia strives to be the sum of all knowledge. This guideline is being used to delete information based on the mistaken notion that wikipedia should not contain stuff that people want to look up on wikipedia. That's so completely backward. The sources for these articles are the shows themselves. As time goes on the articles get better. That's what wikipedia is all about. Deleting and redirecting a perfectly adequate article about an episode serves no good purpose, but makes wikipedia less useful and drives away good contributors. Don't delete in-universe information that you think is probably true and you think people will want to read. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Dear lord. You know, if you editors put as much effort into actually improving articles that meet all the policies and guidelines on Wikipedia, instead of complaining about the said policies and guidelines then maybe there wouldn't be a problem. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, nor is every topic worth writing about on Wikipedia. Sorry, they just are not. That is the reason we have a notability guideline. You cannot establish notability for a show by saying "it's a television episode, so that makes it notable". Sorry, that isn't how things work here. Please read WP:NOTE (BTW, if you think deleting this guideline will mean that articles that fail it will not be kept, you're wrong, because articles that fail WP:EPISODE also fail WP:NOTE. That means, if you want this one deleted you might as well delete the general notability guideline as well...and I don't believe you'll every get that to happen).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:04, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, because, you know, it's so much easier to improve articles to impossible standards than it is to fix the screwed-up standards in the first place. Obviously one should treat the symptoms and not the disease! I have seen the light! Thank you, Bignole.
But as for your odd ending arguments, I really have nothing to say - why does being against a subcategory imply being against the main category? That's like saying that someone who is against having an article on a particular episode of Scrubs must necessarily be against having an article on Scrubs itself. It's bizarre. Opposing this particular misbegotten set of standards does not mean opposing the notion of standards. Your thinking is muddled. --Gwern (contribs) 23:24 20 December 2007 (GMT)
If editors would take 5 seconds to do a Google News Archive Search before placing a {{merge}} tag in an article or nominating an article for deletion, then maybe they're wouldn't be so much complaining. It's true, not every topic is worth writing about in Wikipedia. And we do have a notability guideline, that's true. So why do we need this guideline? I'm still unsure if this is a guideline meant to encourage editors how to write good articles or if it's the episode notability guideline. This is a content guideline, but it' clearly being used as the episode notability guideline, with editors saying articles "fail" this guideline. A television show is nothing but a series of episodes. When you say a show is notable, the episodes are notable. A show does not exist apart from all of its episodes. People applying this guideline and using it to merge articles or delete them have schizophrenic reasoning. It's like saying Skeleton should have an article but Tibia should not. Do we have a notability policy? No, we don't. On Wikipedia, "notability" means "worthy of notice" and I don't think you could ever make any kind of policy out of the term "worthy of notice." I don't see how M*A*S*H is notable enough to have an article, but Goodbye, Farewell and Amen could be considered not notable enough per this guideline. This guideline is completely superfluous to WP:N and needs to be deleted. If this guideline is supposed to help editors write good episode articles, it needs to be merged into Wikipedia:WikiProject Television/How to write an episode article. Shall I put a {{merge}} tag on this page? --Pixelface (talk) 02:02, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I haven't previously commented because of the pointlessness of voicing my discontent alone (we all know there is considerable inertia to things in the Wikipedia: namespace), but if I don't comment now, people might think WP:EPISODE uncontroversial - and then you'd have a self-fulfilling prophecy there. If no-one objects, it's consensus, after all...
But! I agree with Gerard, JoshuaZ, and WAS. This is a terrible "guideline", which I have never supported, and I would be surprised if many of the editors I've worked with/am familiar with support it either. This anecdotal belief of mine is further buttressed by my observations that the chief invocations of WP:EPISODE are by "outsiders" to a topic (by outsiders, read: people who are ignorant of the subject and didn't do any work on them) seem to be solely for deletion. Have you ever seen an episode article where it was started because the editor felt that WP:EPISODE prescribed an article on that episode? A good notability guideline encourages as many articles as it discourages. The sign of a guideline which exists solely as a partisan weapon is one which is severely imbalanced - as is WP:EPISODE. Of course an episode inherits notability from the series: what is the series but episodes? --Gwern (contribs) 23:24 20 December 2007 (GMT) 23:24, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
If an episode inherited notability, then when would it stop? That would mean that any house in a given show is notable enough for its own article. That would mean that the guy/gal hired to be the key grip is notable enough to have their own article. Hell, I'm from a notable state, doesn't that mean that I should have my own article since the state is made up of people? We should have an article on every individual song of every album from every artist, because what are albums but individual sounds put together. Right? How many times has this guideline been question, and how many times did it end up still a guideline? Focus your attention on fixing articles, since it's clear that FA episode articles follow this guideline. Since FA status is decided by the community, it appears that the community believes articles should follow this guideline. Non-episode articles are deleted every day for failing WP:NOTE and not providing sources to assert notability. Why should we let episode articles get away with not providing sources to assert notability? We shouldn't. If you cannot assert notability, then you should not have an article. If, as some editors have said, it takes time to find the sources, then I guess there is no rush to create the page now is there? The episode isn't going anywhere in the history of entertainment but up. Either it will gain notability, or it won't, nothing every loses notability.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:47, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Dunno about you, but I know the difference between a television episode and a person.... seems to me that if we are going to have specific guidelines to help determine notability for specific areas of content, their arguments can be nuanced and centered around the topic at hand. -- phoebe/(talk) 00:00, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
When would it stop? It would stop at the episode. I don't think props and crewmembers inherit notability. Those are used to produce a show, they are not the actual show. And states aren't made up of people. They're arbitrary geographical lines designating a specifc area. If some editors want to come up with a notability guideline for songs, they can do that. If we already have FA criteria, this guideline is completely unnecessary. WP:NOTE is a guideline. And it's a guideline that hinges on one phrase, "worthy of notice." There is no notability policy. WP:NOTE says a topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject. And then goes on to offer its own definition of "presumed." Go look that up in a real dictionary. WP:NOTE does not link to WP:EPISODE because this is not a notability guideline — even though several editors are pretending it is. "Why should we let episode articles get away with not providing sources to assert notability?" Because List of The Simpsons episodes, List of South Park episodes, List of Futurama episodes, and List of Doctor Who serials and their sub-articles do it, and that appears to be the actual consensus of the community. It's clear from the articles linked on those pages that episodes do inherit notability. Articles have to follow 3 policies: WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:NPOV. WP:N is not one of those policies and WP:EPISODE is definitely not one of those policies. There should be no rush to redirect episode articles or delete them either. You said "nothing ever loses notability", but that's not how this guideline is being used. This guideline is being interpeted by editors so Scrubs is notable, but the season finale of the first season is not notable — and that's ridiculous. --Pixelface (talk) 02:23, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it can stop at the season. Most episodes are not notable in their own right. Notability is not inherited, sorry. Everything must earn its own way. Episodes comprise seasons, and there is nothing wrong with having a season article that discusses all of the episodes for that season. If there is something special about a particular episode, and it stands out in notability and real world content then it can have its own article. But this is proof that you don't need individual articles for 22 episodes when you can say the same thing, much more coherently and with better quality on one page. Just because other people do it doesn't make it right, nor does it make it consensus. There are over 2 million articles on this Wiki alone, that's far too many to oversee sufficiently. The Simpsons get a break simply because that group of editors has shown progress in making all their articles comply with notability (check out the article on the eighth season of The Simpsons if you don't understand what I mean). Also, Pixel, your tone is becoming a bit combative, maybe you should take a break for awhile to cool down. You mention that NOTE is about "worthy of notice", but it is also about showing that "worth", and you cannot do that without sources. Anyway, have a nice evening, I have some more important matters to attend to at the moment.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:39, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
(To Gwern) What is a book? a series of chapters. We don't make articles for every chapter of a book. Episodes can sometimes be seen as separate works presented in a series, but more often than not, they are seen just as we see chapters in a book. Even if you wanted to organize the information in a per-episode format for every show, you would be limited by now much information goes in each article due to WP:NOT#PLOT. Then from a purely organizational standpoint it would be absurd to have 30 or 100 or 500 articles with only a few sentences each. When you have real-world information, you can justify writing more about the plot. When you don't, you have just summary that is excessive. -- Ned Scott 02:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
We used to. Remember when we started, how we had articles on individual chapters of stuff like the Bible or The Fountainhead?
We may not make articles for every chapter, but we could. It may seem strange to have short articles, but bizarrely many encyclopedias include them. I would note that as this page stands, it makes no exceptions for "separate works presented in a series". Just another of its flaws... --Gwern (contribs) 04:28 21 December 2007 (GMT)
  • Agreed with Gwern. Yes, articles should have sources; but a guideline that's thrown around mainly to delete large swaths of things could very well be out of touch with wiki-reality, and needs to be thoughtfully considered. I also see very little helpful here in terms of determining just what sources are valid for a popular tv show (which aren't going to get written about in the academic literature, or really in most of the sources that are useful for other topics). Furthermore, I see nothing about what happens to make one episode more important than another. Season finales? As determined by the fandom? Without a clear sense of "yes, we can have articles about episodes in the following cases" or "no, we cannot" it turns into one big game of IDONTLIKEIT. -- phoebe/(talk) 23:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
It's called "real world content backed by reliable sources". That means information that isn't indiscriminate or mere trivia (most of the time it is pretty clear what that is, if it isn't clear, then a discussion should take place. Regardless there needs to be a source that meets WP:V and WP:RS). WP:V and WP:RS are clear, if you don't understand those then that isn't a fault of this guideline. Fansites are not reliable sources--short of a personal interview that they might conduct. Reviews of episodes that actually give context about the show, and aren't mere "I like the episode 5 stars" reviews, which give no context. Reviews written by professional reviewers are considered reliable--as they would for WP:RS. DVD commentaries can sometimes have enough real world information to support a separate episode article, but not necessarily every episode. Another thing editors need to realize is that just because you can find a single review, or a few snippets of production information, does not mean that the article has enough information to support itself. Articles are routinely merged into larger topics because they don't have that much information, regardless of whether or not they meet WP:NOTE. That is the reason Smallville (season 1) contains information on 20 episodes, but Pilot (Smallville) was separated out on its own. Wikipedia is about quality not quantity.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:06, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes, I do think I understand WP:V and WP:RS, thanks -- understand them well enough to know that they are not always clear in every case (I've certainly seen my share of battles over what makes it into RS over the years). I'm a librarian in my day job, so one of the things I know about sources is that what a "good source" is can vary a lot depending on the discipline you're working in. The literature of, say, film and media studies is very different from my field of electrical engineering. Because I don't work on television articles much, I think it would be helpful to have some more formal explication and explanation of what kind of sources more experienced editors in the area know are are out there, and what consensus is among people working on the episodes (does TV guide cut it? DVD commentaries, as you say?) and this would probably be helpful for newbie editors as well. A guideline that defaults into "I know it when I see it" is not so helpful for everybody else. -- phoebe/(talk) 00:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Bignole, fansites can absolutely be reliable sources. To take a favorite subject of mine: the Neon Genesis Evangelion articles. This anime franchise has made literally billions of dollars, has dozens of media properties (a TV series, ~6 feature length movies, a manga series that has been running for more than a decade, etc. etc.), influenced every mecha anime (and not a few non-mecha), made Gainax the major studio it is and so on; all of this has lead to quite a few academic mentions of it. And these "reliable sources" you vaunt so highly, that you consider the be-all and end-all of editing - they are crap. They are pedigreed, peer-review, published, "reliable" & "verifiable" crap. They are factually inaccurate, navel-gazing; they are ignorant of even the most basic secondary literature and Eva paraphernalia, much less the later ancillary material - and that's when they are not quietly cribbing bizarre and fanciful interpretations from equally clueless sources like the American DVD commentaries. The most ignorant poster at a fansite like Evamonkey.com knows more about what Eva actually means, about what Anno (the director) has actually said and written about, about its development and role in anime history, than any reliable source I have yet found. Want some Anno interviews translated into English? I'm afraid you'll have to quote a fanzine like Protoculture Addicts, which got the article from, yes, a fan. Want a solid translation of the Red Cross Book? Supplied by an pseudonymous fan on a fansite. Interested in the early conceptions of the plot and characters? Ditto. Did you find some useful sources and information in the back of the English manga editions? Oh, too bad - that author, he's that ever so despised word, a fan, an amateur. To write good articles on Eva practically demands that one ignore the strict letter of the guidelines and policies which are oh so perfect.
You and your ilk fetishize notability, you fetishize printed sources. You raise up a god of process and bow down to it, burning useful good stuff as a holocaust with pleasing smell to it. You dare talk about quality? You guys don't have the slightest clue what quality is. All you can perceive are the trappings that sometimes go with it. --Gwern (contribs) 04:16 21 December 2007 (GMT)

The first time I found out about this guideline was when huge swaths of well-written articles started vanishing in its name, and I suspect the same can be said for many other editors coming here now. So I don't think one can point to "previous discussion" on this talk page from before then and call that a consensus. Furthermore, this guideline is being applied with policy-like absolutism in the field, which goes beyond any mandate that it might be able to claim even if there were widespread consensus supporting it. Bryan Derksen (talk) 00:29, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

What phoebe and Bryan said. Most of the guideline is fine with me, except for the first section, which presumes there can never be inherited notability. I think it is perfectly fine to have an episode article which consists of little more than a 200 to 450 word plot summary (this being in line with the guideline, by the way), even though this would not necessarily require a reference. It is certainly inappropriate to cite this guideline as a blanket excuse to delete huge swaths of episode (or any other type, for that matter) articles. Johnleemk | Talk 00:34, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. It's a classic case of inward-looking "consensus", where "the Wikipedia community has achieved consensus on this topic" actually means "a few people on an out-of-the-way talk page came to a 7-3 vote on it." Not that we see this pattern repeatedly or anything - David Gerard (talk) 00:46, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
So I guess the question now is what to do about it. Focusing just on this policy page for the moment, I expect a {{Disputedtag}} banner at the top would be appropriate right now as a temporary measure, and then we can look at how to insert clarification that will prevent this guideline from being misused in the way it recently has been. Bryan Derksen (talk) 01:16, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, let's clear something up here. First, only Admins can delete an article, not any ol editor. Secondly, AfDs are community discussed. The fact that articles are being deleted because of this guideline is not this guidelines fault, nor does it stand to reason that this guideline is wrong, it means that the community of Wikipedia must see some kind of application in it if they are using is to say "this article should not exist". Also, many articles are not being deleted, they are being merged. They can easily be re-opened at any point, all with their edit histories still intacked. Because there is no deadline to start a page, there is no rush to keep it open "in hopes" that one day we'll have something to write about it. We have plenty of other policies and guidelines that dictate appropriate information for articles, so filling them with unencyclopedic information just to say "this is full of useful stuff" doesn't help the article. The idea of writing any article on Wikipedia has always been about starting with a main topic and working your way outward when you have enough information. Unfortunately, somewhere down the line someone decided that they'd rather just start on the outward articles and work their way in.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:21, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Just because admins are the only ones who can delete articles doesn't mean that a guideline with a false claim of consensus can't be used to hammer a discussion to an apparent consensus in a particular way. Especially if the same people always make a point at voting at the same AfDs. And in any event merging doesn't make people likely to split something off, once something is merged if anything people are less likely to start a new article than if it is deleted. Oh, which brings us to the whole GFDL issue since some of these are getting merged and then having the redirects deleted which is a big no-no. After I return from break I will try to get a project together to look systematically at that problem. And no, Wikipedia has generally been about people writing articles in a fairly haphazzard fashion. The claim that "Wikipedia has always been about starting with a main topic and working your way outward when you have enough information" is simply false. JoshuaZ (talk) 01:27, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
It just isn't done, doesn't make it false. You are seeing tons of articles about this and that nowadays, and not a lot of organization. People have lost sight at what this place is about, and how to go about attaining that goal. Just because we have a lot of shitty film articles doesn't mean that the intention was to start with a lot of shitty film articles. As for the deletion of redirects, not this guidelines fault. Again, AfDs are decided on consensus. That means, if consensus is against this guideline being used as a point for deletion, then the article is not deleted. It's easy to claim that "the same editors are voting on the same thing and getting articles deleted" when your favorite article gets canned, then turn around and claim "there's no consensus for this guidelines" when your favorite article survives an AfD nomination. I guarantee that any article failing this guideline fails the general notability guideline as well--in which case everyone will be whinning to delete that guideline too....oh wait, they already do that. Sorry, you cannot please everyone. When someone's favorite show has an article on every single episode, regardless of whether that episode deserves or even simply warrants a separate article...and one day that article is gone they go ballistic. If you have sufficient, verified real world content then your article is just fine. If you don't, then maybe your article does not need its own page. People need to stop thinking that if one episode has an article then every episode needs an article.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Is there any consensus, cont. (arbitrary break)[edit]

#List of The Simpsons episodes above puts a lot of this into context. Articles with reasonable potential are given more slack. Anyone following the recent arbcom case related to this knows that we're not going to be allowing mass action without proper discussion (regardless of who is right or wrong, the changes were too.. swift, for a lack of better words). By all means, use your best judgement, and if you feel an episode article has reasonable potential for real-world information, restore it. -- Ned Scott 02:36, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

And if it doesn't have reasonable potential for real-world information? Just like people are studying plays from the 17th century and esoteric groups of monks from the 18th, some may want to write a study about the portrayal of our time's political agenda in Boston Legal's season 1. In order to do that, they will need knowledge of most episodes and this is where WP articles on them can help. Also, there's no harm in keeping articles about episodes that make up the "sum of human knowledge" when many people find it useful, especially when we can always delete them later rather than gouge their potential (where there'd have to be a margin of error meaning we'd lose some good content). Yonatan talk 03:47, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I'm glad Joshua started this discussion, which will probably end in the de-guidelining of this page due to its lack of support. Yonatan talk 03:49, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
You're argument is with policy, then. WP:NOT#PLOT. Wikipedia is not here to just recap works of fiction, and that's something that was decided by the community at large. Wikipedia is not an episode guide, or an abridged version of Boston Legal. The source people turn to when they wish to write about such details is the work of fiction itself. Yes, believe it or not, they can actually watch Boston Legal. Although, they would likely come to us anyways since they'll be looking for real-world information, such as production notes, interviews, real-world impact, that tell us the how and why the show was made the way it was. -- Ned Scott 03:54, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
You must be new here. Check the talk page archives, this is hardly the first time someone has come stomping around because someone went and redirected their favorite TV show's episodes. -- Ned Scott 03:56, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
That's a nice attempt at biting but I'm an admin, so I'm not really new, and nobody went and redirected my favorite TV show's episodes, rather I saw Joshua's post to wikien. Besides, an episode's article not having this information doesn't mean it won't. I'd also like to take the opportunity to direct you to that meta page about not being nice. Yonatan talk 15:05, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I already knew you were an admin when I made that comment. I meant to say, you must be new to this talk page. The problem with the idea that an episode article might get real world information is that when it lacks it, it still needs the plot summary cut in the meantime. Most of such summary would be cut even with the real-world information, with some of these articles. The resulting summary can easily be merged into a List of episodes or a season summary page (or a mix between the two, as some shows are starting to do now). -- Ned Scott 02:55, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Pssst, Yonatan, you need the consenus of a much larger group of people to "de-guideline" a page; not the few opinions of some disgruntled editors on a single talk page. To clarify, as you probably already know, only changes to the wording of this page and similar such things can be made by the simple majority of editors that appear on this page. To de-list this page as a guideline, there needs to be a much larger announcement made to bring in unbiased, neutral editors and their opinions.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:57, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
So how large a group in the first place did it take to make this a "guideline"? I'll bet that number is a lot smaller than the number it would take to persuade you there is consensus against... It's strange how looking back through the archives, I see a small number of familiar names arguing to make this a guideline and impose it throughout the wiki, and a large and revolving cast of editors arguing against it. --Gwern (contribs) 04:37 21 December 2007 (GMT)
(Wow, edit conflict much, my comment is way out of date... :P) To Yonatan, what's your idea of "good content"? If there's no real world context then it's not really good content, good content isn't plot summaries. Wikipedia shouldn't be a substitute for watching a show... if someone wants to study Boston Legal they should watch Boston Legal, they shouldn't read Wikipedia plot summaries. If they come to Wikipedia looking for info on how Boston Legal was produced/developed/critically recieved... then great, we should try our hardest to provide them with that information. But if that information can't be found for whatever reason, and the episode article "doesn't have reasonable potential for real-world information", then there's no need to have an article, is there? We can provide a brief summary of the story in a "List of episodes" page, we don't need a full article for plot.  Paul  730 04:04, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • This was discussed earlier this year as a result of a review of guidelines and proposals. There was no evidence of an evaluation of consensus prior to this being tagged as a guideline, and it was never widely advertised as "proposal". Proponents did not dispute that observation, but argued that consensus at the talk page and advertising a proposal is not required if the proposal reflects a de facto consensus demonstrated by the community (i.e., at AfD). This opened up quite a battle which culminated in the eventual elimination of the help page for creating policy. It is still not clear at WP how we create policies and guidelines, and there is a debate at the Policy and guideline policy page on that issue. Dedicated Wikipedians have strong feelings and valid logic in both directions. --Kevin Murray (talk) 04:30, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I just want to chime in agreement with Gerard, JoshuaZ, WAS and others that this is a terrible guideline -- certainly not something to base mass merging of articles on. olderwiser 04:46, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
IMHO, there should be a special ward reserved for people who insist on using the International Phonetic Alphabet and those who think that recapping TV episodes has no place on Wikipedia. They always remind me of the British colonel in The Bridge on the River Kwai. That's just my opinion, though. Lou Sander (talk) 05:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a place to recap episodes, and regardless of this page, that is not in dispute. Even before the specific WP:NOT#PLOT entry, we had an entry in WP:NOT that also said we were not an episode guide. It is very widely accepted that details of works of fiction should be justified by real-world information, and articles that were only plot are usually excessive. -- Ned Scott 05:57, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
This rests on a misinterpretation of WP:NOT#PLOT. Most the episodes in question are not pure plot summaries, but often contained other data such as actors, guest stars, producers etc. JoshuaZ (talk) 00:17, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Data on who starred or worked on an episode is not sufficient information to help an article "cover their real-world context and sourced analysis" as required by WP:PLOT. --MASEM 00:28, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me? Who starred and such is real world information. It may not be an ideal level of information but it is certainly enough to cover WP:PLOT. It makes something not a pure plot summary. Furthermore, the basic point of PLOT is to avoid articles that contain every single joke and plot detail (obviously an article that mentioned every single joke in a Simpson's episode wouldn't be good even if the article was otherwise great). This isn't meant to remove articles that happen to be primarily plot. JoshuaZ (talk) 13:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
See my point below. Yes, it is real-world information, but that doesn't mean that it justifies a per-episode-article format, or the additional summary. How we organize this information comes into play here. On a Wikia wiki that I am an admin on, even though we get to go hog wild about every detail, I still strongly encourage people to think about how we organize everything. -- Ned Scott 05:42, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Even if it did, that amount of information normally does not justify a one-episode-per-article format. Joshua, do you have any specific examples in mind? -- Ned Scott 03:01, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Many of the scrubs episodes would be good examples. JoshuaZ (talk) 13:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

In order for a guideline to be a guideline it has to have the acceptance of the community and at least a rough consensus behind it. If "this is hardly the first time someone has come stomping around because someone went and redirected their favorite TV show's episodes", then that just provides more support for the view that it doesn't have that acceptance behind it. In this particular case, I myself am not particularly interested in the shows that have been hit - this is a matter of Wikipedia's overall philosophy. This disregard for the interests of certain sections of our readership and editorship based on prejudices about what's "scholarly" is damaging to Wikipedia as a whole. Bryan Derksen (talk) 05:39, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I believe you are taking my comment out of context. Any guideline on Wikipedia has the potential for someone to come along and complain about it. People have been complaining about WP:V far longer than WP:EPISODE, but that does not de-bunk a page. People come here because these pages were useful, and now they're gone. I understand that, but there are a lot of useful things that Wikipedia doesn't allow, because we're not simply the place to put everything. The fact that someone has come blindly charging in because they didn't like the results of a particular situation should be seen in context. Look at Talk:List of Scrubs episodes, and make an argument there if you believe we should still have articles for them. Attacking the guideline page because you don't like the results of a discussion is just lame. WP:EPISODE is great advice, mirrors our other related guidelines and policies, and results in higher quality articles. It's not the guideline's fault if no one wants to publish real-world information about individual episodes of a particular show. -- Ned Scott 05:57, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Guidelines are supposed to be descriptive not prescriptive. This "guideline" simply does not have consensus. That is a fact and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. Add to that the issue of redundancy and the narrow focus of the guideline and I recommend that it be ProD'ed. This guideline is disputed and totally unnecessary. The good parts can be folded into WP:FICT and WP:WAF. Perhaps, more fitting than deletion, we should redirect it to WP:FICT citing WP:BURO and WP:CREEP. Ursasapien (talk) 06:33, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
The core of the guideline, which has been unchanged, has had consensus from the very start [1] (and here). That consensus is that not every episode should have an article, and that people should go from a list and/or season page before even creating individual episode articles. This has been upheld in several AfDs and merge/redirect discussions, as well as several WikiProject discussions. Off the top of my head, I know that WP:STARGATE started to evaluate their episode articles even without a prod from TTN or any of us.
You are correct in that the "notability" portion could easily be merged into WP:FICT, and I think that might even be a good idea. However, WP:EPISODE#How to write a good season or episode page is also a very good section, and I'm not sure if anyone actually disputes that. then we have WP:EPISODE#Dealing with problem articles and WP:EPISODE#Examples of good pages. I'm trying to figure out what is in dispute here. -- Ned Scott 06:53, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the other sections could be put into WP:WAF. I think the focus of this "guideline" is to narrow and provides a target for disputes about fiction-realted notability concerns. Additionally, this seems like the perfect example of instruction creep. Ursasapien (talk) 07:00, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
In any case, regardless of how we decide to organize it, what is being said on this page that you don't like, or dispute? -- Ned Scott 07:04, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
From the discussion above, many editors dispute this guideline for a variety of reasons. I dispute the usefulness and necessity of the guideline. Just like character and episode articles, I think this guideline goes into too much detail. We do not need this kind of depth. I strongly believe WP:FICT and WP:WAF should cover it (heck, WP:N, WP:NOT#PLOT, and WP:MOS should cover it but I think we could use a little more guidance). Ursasapien (talk) 07:14, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
But you don't actually disagree with what it says? -- Ned Scott 07:22, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Do I disagree with the examples of good articles? No, not necessarily. They all seem like pretty good articles from my perspective. Do I disagree with the many quotes from other guidelines? Again, no, but a guideline should be more than a collection of quotes. This guideline fails WP:BURO, 'nuff said. Ursasapien (talk) 07:29, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
So you don't actually dispute what the guideline says, but rather how it says it in an isolated guideline, instead of being in other guidelines? That sounds like a reasonable position, and I can't say that I disagree with it. -- Ned Scott 07:33, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Policy and guideline pages are frequently held to account for their interpretation in practice. If the basic idea is so very good, it'll come back after the guideline page in question has been rightly taken out and shot - David Gerard (talk) 14:27, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, another user who's simply pissed off at the removal of articles, and is unable to actually argue the merits of the guideline. -- Ned Scott 08:41, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Piling on, I also do not support this guideline. This didn't have the support in the first place, and has been used in such a way as to cause inordinate damage to the encyclopedia, getting rid of a load of good content, and worse, driving off loads of editors through sheer bloody-mindedness. I also think it's beyond illustrated here that there is no consensus for this to continue being a guideline, and indeed, probably consensus that it should cease to be so. Rebecca (talk) 07:25, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

It was never the intention to have things be handled in mass. Don't let the actions of one user blacken this guideline. While I agree with a lot of what TTN did, it would have made things a lot less stressful, a lot less heated, if a little more time was taken. By the way, if you have any examples of articles you wish to be restored, please list them here. The editors here are not deletionists, and some of them have made FA episode articles. We will help you find the real-world information needed. -- Ned Scott 07:31, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I too want to register my opinion that this guideline should go. While some of the episode articles might seem excessive to some, no-one can ever possibly be interested in all the programs. If I am interested in some I can also respect that others are interested in programs that I personally find boring. As a user, what I most appreciate is the plot outlines in these articles. When an episode of a favorite program happens to conflict with a real world obligation I still maintain enough links with reality to give precedence to the real world obligation. I am content to go to the relevant article to read about what I missed. I don't write in this subject area, so that despite nearly six years of general Wikipedia experience, I can still almost express the view of a passive outsider. In that capacity I am seeking only the basics of the episode, enough to maintain continuity between the one that came before, and the one that follows. I view my favorite shows as entertainment, not as a stepping stone to great critical research. To the extent that I have viewed DVDs I mostly ignore all the supplementary material about the making of the movie, or whatever. But I suppose some people find that stuff interesting.

The obsessive deleters are oblivious to the swath of damage that they cause to the social structure, to the mistrust that they breed. They focus on a misguided vision of Wikipedia, but firmly believe that they are providing a benefit by getting rid of what they see as cruft. This kind of self-righteousness is not without consequence, and can literally love a project to death.

Sure people go ballistic when they see their work erased, and rightly so. Most people don't hover like an armed guard over their work, so it can easily be months before they realize that their work has been put up for deletion. They not only find their work deleted, but find that the deletion page has been closed, and has been marked with an admonition against any further comments. The POV pushers who worked so hard to have the article deleted want to make sure that it has a minimal chance of resurrection. Why shouldn't a person's right to remove the "closed" tag, and continue the discussion be respected? Eclecticology (talk) 11:06, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

This damaging guideline needs to go, and as soon as possible. I can see that it's the same people implementing their own agendas on all the fiction guidelines. See the mess that has been made of the fiction notability guideline. As a result of their rash changes in the summer, character lists are being deleted at an alarming rate. And why? Because the same handful of like-minded editors dominate, claiming false consensus, when in fact, no one else knew about the proposed changes to voice their opinion until they were already implemented (and we can all see how difficult it is to change them once that happens). You can spot the editors here, it's those who refuse to admit that consensus for their guidelines never existed in the first place.62.255.76.14 (talk) 14:19, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Enough people. The guideline is fine and its basic tenets have been repeatedly confirmed at AFD. There is no widespread support for fancruft at Wikipedia: plot summaries, trivia, continuity and other in-universe naval gazing has been consistently found to run counter to our inclusion principles. I read a lot of bellyaching and grumbling, above, but until the core foundations of WP:N and WP:NOT change, this guideline absolutely should stay. Eusebeus (talk) 16:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

My two cents: instead of complaining for the removal of two guidelines, instead:

  • Work to change the guidelines to be fairer than they are now, and;
  • Work on the articles in the mean time to conform to the guidelines.

The second step is actually rather easy, especially with prime-time shows. Nielsen/BARB ratings and reviews, for example, aren't going to be buried under hundreds of Google results. Hell, it took me two minutes, with a slow connection, to find what three people think about the season finale of Heroes that aired two weeks ago ([2][3][4]). The first two were found with Google News. So instead of making drama, please, work on the articles. Will (talk) 19:47, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

All three of those examples are non-notable blog entries. That doesn't mean I think sources can't be found, but those clearly do not justify an entire article for an episode (nor does basic ratings, which can easily be covered in a list). -- Ned Scott 08:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
As I said, that was a two minute search. I'm sure I can find more if I even bothered. And with reviews, the articles actually do pass WP:N, if the review is carried by a reliable source, like a newspaper, as a review would count as "significant coverage". Will (talk) 10:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree. What you say also doesn't conflict with WP:EPISODE. -- Ned Scott 10:20, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Just to agree with JoshuaZ, WAS, Gwern and phoebe, this notability guideline (like all notability guidelines) is broken. The motivation behind it seems to be the idea that pruning areas of Wikipedia will make it better and the idea that limiting coverage of certain areas of knowledge (non-academic areas of knowledge) will improve Wikipedia. Inclusion shouldn't be based on notabilty (a vague and abstract POV notion), but on the availability of reliable sources. It is not true that there are limited reliable resources on television episodes. It is not true, in the most part, that deleting an article is better than fixing an article. Unless an article is unrescuable and has no reliable sources, we should work to fix it and aim to maximise breadth and depth in our coverage. --Oldak Quill 05:22, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

No one has been deleting articles, only redirecting them until there is enough real-world content to justify the massive amounts of plot summary, and even then such summaries would require being cut back. Wikipedia is not an episode guide, Wikipedia is not just a plot summary. This guideline, if you cared to actually read it, doesn't give any blanket ban on episode articles. -- Ned Scott 08:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
"No one has been deleting articles" is factually incorrect. There was a recent arbitration case about people using this highly defective guideline for destructive gameplaying - David Gerard (talk) 13:10, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Mr Gerard, a misleading statement. Yes, there was an arbitration case, but if you review the result it has not found that the actions based on application of policy should be subject to sanction. Whilst further discussion was urged, no individual sanctions were or will be enacted and no cpnculsion of "gameplaying" were reached. You may feel the the Rfar case was launched in defense of a position you hold. I view the Rfar case as a bolster to the efforts to clean up the encyclopedia of its non-encyclopedic content. Eusebeus (talk) 16:56, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
(I know, I'm a party in that arbcom case) They were redirected, which, yes, is pretty much deletion in the sense that it's no longer there or accessible to most people. My point was that recovery of the information was easier than something like requesting undeletion. Some people don't seem to believe us when we say this, but making less red tape to restore an article, once real-world content is found, is one of the reasons the redirects were more desired than AfD.
You'll also note the lack of evidence for anything like "highly defective guideline" or even "destructive gameplaying" being presented, or being asserted by the Arbitration Committee or even the parties involved. Rather, arbcom has decided to focus on how the redirects were carried out, and the importance of discussion, regardless of who is right or wrong. -- Ned Scott 16:51, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth (not a lot, seemingly), I have read the guideline, but thanks for your assumption of bad faith on my part. The guideline has two aspects: what is written and how it is used. I know this guideline "doesn't give any blanket ban on episode articles", but this guideline has caused unnecessary article deletion. This guideline does seem to be a vehicle (like the rest of notability-related policy) for the deletion of fixable, verifiable articles and the destructive treatment of Wikipedia content. --Oldak Quill 02:13, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

To throw in my two cents, I haven't been around here in a while, but I supported this guideline when written and support it now. Let fansites and tv.com handle the cruft. We should stick to information from secondary sources, since an encyclopedia is intended to be a tertiary, not secondary, source. Using the "show as a source" makes us a secondary source. There is a place for such synthesis, and indeed many fansites thrive on it. But unless they're reliable, they don't work here. And neither does "But Scrubs is notable, so every episode of it is too!" By that line of thought, the universe is notable, so everything in it is too. Notability is individual, never inherited. Sources have written about the individual topic enough for a comprehensive article, or they have not. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:09, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Multiple episodes/story arcs and how to deal with them.[edit]

I don't really want to discuss the notability of episodes in this section, so please take this elsewhere on this page:

We need a process for articles on episodes with multiple parts. So far, we have four types of these articles, with examples:

*** One article Multiple articles
Episodes with the same name Exodus (Lost)
Differently-named episodes in a distinct story arc. Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story

As you can see, there is a level of inconsistency here, thus there are two questions to be asked:

  1. Do episodes with similar titles that air in succession warrant their own articles, or a summary article?
  2. Do episodes in a distinct story arc warrant their own articles or a summary article, if the arc has a common name?
  1. If the arc does not have a common name, should there be a summary article or seperate articles?

(Sufficient notability is assumed for both questions) I've created a straw poll for summary articles and discussion area below. Will (talk) 15:23, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • I'm confused, does supporting option 1 mean you support one article or multiple articles? The phrasing is ambiguous. Also to be considered: Episodes with the same names that don't air consecutively i.e. The Simpsons's Treehouse of Horror or Futurama's Anthology of Interest, do they need to be treated differently then they are now or is this the best way (once again assuming whatever notability standards apply that day are met). Stardust8212 15:35, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
    Treated differently. I put in the question "that air in succession", which would mean that, if "Episode part 2" was the episode after "Episode part 1", they should be merged together. This would include season finales and premieres with the same name, like "Who Shot Mr. Burns?". Seeing as the "Treehouse of Horror" and "Anthology of Interest" episodes aired about twenty episodes apart, they shouldn't. Will (talk) 15:51, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment The Doctor Who examples aren't the most relevant as "episode" for the original series means an individual part, not an overall story (which is what 100,000 BC aka An Unearthly Child is). A "story arc" would be something spanning several stories - e.g. The Key to Time. Timrollpickering (talk) 15:56, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
    I know, and thus put the footnote. I've replaced the example with a better one. Will (talk) 16:00, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I think it really depends on the series context. For series where there is a general plot throughout all episodes that develops (on average) week after week, such as Lost and Battlestar Galactica, each episode, even if part of a multiparter, should be treated separately, save in the rare case (rare enough that I can't think of one) where the plots of the parts are so intertwined that it is impossible to talk of one part without talking about the other. (eg imagine the case of if an episode of "24" was unraveled to follow one character for one episode, then another for another ep, etc.-- there would be so much crossover that it would make sense to simply talk about the chronological events of several episode -- again, its such a rare case that I don't think it comes up a lot). The only thing special about multiparters here is that generally its the same theme for each of the subparts, but other elements related to the entire story continue to grow.
In the case of series where week-to-week continuity is the exception and not the norm, then multipart episodes should be grouped together, with appropriate redirects from the part names to the episode as a whole. Mind you, there is a matter of context here. Imaginationland or Who Shot Mr. Burns are strongly connected multipart episodes, but something like Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut/Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut, where not only is there an episode between the two, but the plot of the second takes a radical turn from the first, each should be treated separately. Basically, given that the show lacks large-scale continuity, it is likely easier to describe the events of the entire multipart work as a whole instead of having to re-establish context each time.
Obviously in the case of older Doctor Who serials, the common story name instead of the individual chapter names should be used; this almost falls under the "non-continuous" series (as during the time they used individual chapter names for each serial, there wasn't much series continuity). But I agree this is likely not a case at issue. --MASEM 16:09, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I know BSG has a continuity between episodes. I used "The Eye of Jupiter" and "Rapture" because the whole plot of both episodes takes place on the algae planet and the plots are intertwined - TEOJ actually ends with "to be continued" (so does Pegasus, but the plot isn't as intertwined). Will (talk) 16:18, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • If they have the same title they should all be in the same article with a summary of each part - otherwise we'd have 8 articles for The Invasion (Doctor Who) and 10 for The War Games.
  • I also think that differently titled episodes that for a serial (such as An Unearthly Child) should be merged provided there is a suitable name to cover the episodes. Otherwise The Daleks' Master Plan would be in 12 episode articles. If there is not overall title, I think it should remain separate. (For example Army of Ghosts and Doomsday (Doctor Who) do not have an overall title, so remain separate until there is one). StuartDD contributions 16:44, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Treehouse of Horror (series) is a good way to handle notable long story arcs, but less notable subjects like Starbuck quits smoking won't merit their own articles. Other options for long arcs (more than 2 or 3 episodes):
    • Curb Your Enthusiasm does this in the main article, Plots section.
    • List of episodes pages are a logical mid-point (between the main article on the show and the episode articles). Including information about multi-episode arcs would add meaningful prose to these articles which are currently tabular directories, thus improving those articles.
Of these two options, I like the List of episodes option best, but I realise some editors will object to this change. Some arcs, especially when multi-season, will be better treated in the main article, perhaps as a subsection under Themes. / edg 17:26, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
This is a meaningful question but the timing of the question sucks since it comes at a time when the whole guideline page is under attack. Wikisource has had some experience with this sort of thing when dealing with books that must be broken down to chapters of manageable size. Thus we use the "Book title/Chapter" format. A "Series/Episode" format would have a similar effect here in contrast to the "Episode (Series)" disambiguation format. Only the most dedicated will know the episode titles. A distinctive title that needs no disambiguation will still not be found except by going through the episode list. Wikisource still has differences of opinion over the format to be used where material appears as a series of very loosely related articles, but there is agreement when it comes to chapters of a novel. Eclecticology (talk) 19:18, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

When I first got involved in these guidelines one of the things I really liked was the idea of season or story arc pages being an alternative to individual pages. One of those reasons was that, regardless of how one feels about the merits of individual episode articles, sometimes it would be better from an organizational standpoint to lump some of them together when it makes sense. -- Ned Scott 16:55, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Consensus for this guideline[edit]

I have not participated in the discussion above partly because I have gotten sick of this debate take place among the same TV editors on many different talk pages, including an arbitration case. Bignole above suggested that if this guideline were to be delisted, it would need a bigger audience of unbiased, neutral editors, and thus I have listed this issue for RFC.

To briefly frame some of the points made: some editors feel that WP:EPISODE should be trashed entirely because it encourages editors to spend their time removing episode articles rather than constructively work on them. They feel that WP:WAF and WP:FICT are suitable enough to govern episode articles. Supporters of WP:EPISODE feel that feel that television episode articles are not inherently notable, and such a guideline is necessary to appropriately define notability for episode articles. -- Wikipedical (talk) 01:50, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

The users who are "disputing" this guideline are not are judging the guideline by it's merits, but rather they are trying to attack the guideline because of how other situations were dealt with. WP:EPISODE has been a great guideline that never called immediate mass cleanup. All the people coming in from the mailing list notice seem to be completely missing that point, and parentally can't be bothered with actually reading what the guideline says. This has had consensus since 2006, long before it even has the WP:EPISODE shortcut, or was given a specific guideline tag. That consensus is that not every episode should have an article. We note that, citing existing policy and guidelines that reenforce that. Then it goes into very good advice about how to make make a good episode article. Then it goes and encourages article improvement over taking things to AfD. Top it off with some good examples, and you have what WP:EPISODE is. Does anyone actually disagree with what the guideline says? Most of the people on this very talk page don't, even by their own admission. -- Ned Scott 03:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
The only contentious part of the guideline is the section on what subjects deserve articles. There is no consensus that there should not ever be inherited notability when it comes to episode articles. I agree it is unfortunate that there have been kneejerk reactions to the mass deletions, but legitimate concerns about this aspect of the guideline have been raised. There are two, separate issues at hand: 1. The apparent misinterpretation (so it is claimed) of this guideline which was used to justify the mass deletions; 2. The nature of the guideline itself. We are here to discuss #2, and legitimate, germane concerns have been raised here. Johnleemk | Talk 05:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, you're very incorrect about that. Wikipedia talk:Television episodes/Archive1 points out the original consensus, and this has been upheld in several AfDs, WikiProject discussions, and other such discussions. -- Ned Scott 08:35, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
However the content has significantly changed from a "do not fork articles by creating thousands of stubs" to a "episode stubs with only plot information and an infobox should be merged into a more general article and more advice" type of guideline. As such I say perhaps it is time to restore an older version (of early 2007 for instance) of this page as the CD outcome, fork the current version into an essay and start with a blank WP:EPISODE. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:51, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
What is the problem in "episode stubs with only plot information and an infobox should be merged into a more general article", obviously if all that an article can provide is OR than it should be merged... It seems like the people who are oppossing this guideline are using it as a scapegoat for releasing their childish frustration of the "published sources only" principle of WP:V. 76.10.141.232 (talk) 16:33, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
What OR? A plot summary and an infobox can be filled in from watching the episode and the credits. That's published information, and is perfectly verifiable - more verifiable than many of the printed sources that are commonly relied on elsewhere in Wikipedia. BTW, please refrain from ad hominems. This displeasure over the recent bout of deletionism is hardly "childish". Bryan Derksen (talk) 18:12, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
One also should consider the fact that merging non-notable episodes (as long as the original page is redirected) to episode lists retains that information such that if notability is established later, the article can be easily recreated without admin assistance. Merging shouldn't be a snap judgment reaction, but it should be done if after a reasonable good-faith effort to find notable information fails. Merging is not a point of no return. --MASEM 16:45, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
That's all pretty ironic, considering critics of this guideline include the founder of the Association of Deletionist Wikipedians and former arbitrators. It would seem, at the very least, that the people most likely to be in favour of the guideline (assuming it has consensus and is derived from existing core policy) actually oppose it and/or its effects. As an aside, this emphasis on original consensus is a red herring - the point is not whether there was consensus then, but is there consensus now. Judging from the discussion above, there is no such consensus.
I would also add that plot information is not necessarily OR, and that infoboxes can easily contain valuable information not gleaned from the episode. The guideline specifically implies that inherited notability is never a sufficient reason to have an episode article, when existing practice runs counter to that (look at all the South Park episode articles). Having a plot summary and an infobox is by no means original research, considering both of these things are all citeable to the original episode. You can argue that this means we shouldn't have an article at all, but by reductio ad absurdum, why should we have a list of episodes when all it does is give the episode titles and the order they were aired (this itself being "original research")? This cut-off point seems entirely arbitrary. Johnleemk | Talk 17:56, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is making the claim that the information in the infobox is OR, nor is many obvious things that can be said, or found out in credits, etc. As for the point of noting past consensus, I do so given that many of the same arguments apply, and have gone unchanged. It also shows that this wasn't just something that got slipped into the guideline pages, but at least had a reasonable starting point. Like you noted, people seem to have more of an objection on the effects of the guideline than what the guideline actually says, so I don't consider the comments on this talk page to debunk the consensus of the guideline.
Regarding the arbitrary cut off point with Lists of episodes, I think that has more to do with WP:NOT#PLOT. It is somewhat arbitrary, but it's also a way to summarize episodes without being excessive (when all you have is plot). I also support season articles, which can dive into a little more information, and sometimes even "story-arch" articles, depending on the situation, and often these are considered acceptable for the over-all plot summary without being too much. It's a level that no one really has had any objections to. -- Ned Scott 18:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I have no particular interest in this issue and do not edit (or usually even read) TV articles, but as I was led here from the bulletin board I will give you my opinions anyway. I feel that there is far too much "froth" on Wikipedia of Popular Culture sections and not very important books, films, TV and music. If there are no limits on what can be in Wikipedia, then you will end up with an article on every obscure band, every mediocre TV episode and every repulped book. Anything that is tending to keep a lid on this process should be kept, if not reinforced. Spinningspark (talk) 01:51, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I have a hard time talking about this subject without using words like fancruft. This guideline is consistent with WP:NOTE, and content deleted per WP:EPISODE is probably not (almost by definition not) a loss to Wikipedia. Considering how difficult it has become to remove the non-notable material enthusiasts like to see, and considering the preponderance of episode articles, I find it hard to believe this guideline has led to unreasonable deletions. I favor retention of WP:EPISODE, and do not look forward to this guideline being merged into WP:NOTE (or into wherever it is proposed to be merged). / edg 08:38, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand what your issue with the existence of episode articles is when you explicitly say that you don't actually read them. Wikipedia doesn't have space limits, so it's not like they're using resources for the articles you would rather read instead - they can all coexist perfectly well together. This is the main point I've never really understood behind the drive to delete "fancruft" - the why. Bryan Derksen (talk) 18:12, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Now's the time to trot out the term "encyclopedic". "Cruft" is by definition low-quality information. One imagines an encyclopedia would have some kind of quality control, and would aspire to some scholarly standard. Nothing in Wikipedia is required to reach that standard immediately, but by such a standard, information about a non-notable TV show that includes a plot summary, titles of songs in the soundtrack, and Goofs does not merit inclusion, even if all that is desirable to fans of that series. Even if it's fun. And managing such information presents a load on Wikipedia's human infrastructure (availability of admins, policy development, software development, dispute resolution, copyright policing, and so forth) that saps its ability to perform its intended function, no matter how unlimited the technological infrastructure may be.
There are plenty of things I would like Wikipedia to do that it does not, much in the way the Funk & Wagnalls in my bedroom never provided much in the way of the porn I needed when I was a kid. I'm someone who would like spoilers prevented; not strictly, not in a backflippingly complicated way, but as much as possible. Wikipedia will not let me rewrite articles in this fashion. I'm okay with that.
Encyclopedia are not fanzines. Wikipedia is not free webspace for one's fansite. And Wikia are, so it's not like anyone is being deprived here. People who write television articles on Wikipedia should aspire to contribute in a way that will help Wikipedia be encyclopedic, not just dump everything they see on TV. And if they should boldly dump, that's actually okay as long as they are prepared to be edited merciless, and see many of their articles deleted. This is quality control. Please do not rail against it. / edg 01:58, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I, of course, support this guideline. I believe that the spate of talk here is largely driven by the current ArbCom case and the fact that the outcome of it is looking like a cop-out lack of consensus among the arbitrators. The remedy amounts to "make talk, not edit-war" and here we are. The process by which tv episode and character articles are reviewed, merged, redirected, deleted, or whatever, will undoubtedly change somewhat, but the non-conformant ones will still attract withering criticism. Those who object to this guideline because they object to articles being redirected or deleted would be well advised to go beef-up articles they care about instead of railing against encyclopaedic fundamentals. --Jack Merridew 09:03, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's hard to "beef up" an article once it's gone. Also, many of the articles deleted were already pretty beefy; the reason they were deleted was "notability", which is a subjective concept that won't necessarily change simply by adding more material. Indeed, some of the objections I've seen here to the existence of these articles hinged on them being too "beefy". Bryan Derksen (talk) 18:12, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's actually quite easy. Ask on DRV or ask an admin to restore and move into your userspace. From there, you can use your userspace as a sandbox. Once the reason the page has been deleted has been invalidated, move it back into meatspace. Will (talk) 18:19, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
you've never tried to do that on any scale have you?Genisock2 (talk) 19:08, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The former? No, but I doubt that many admins would be opposed to provisionally undeleting for rewriting in userspace? The laztter? Yes, 1 FA, 1 GA, 1 DYK from pretty much the ground up, and I often use my userspace for sandbox articles. Will (talk) 19:22, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
And risk being accused of wheel waring? Please.Geni 00:49, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
If you're getting accused of wheel warring in that situation, You're Doing It Wrong™. I hardly believe anyone's going to believe the complainant in any case. Will (talk) 00:56, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the points made above as well. And I think that AfD regularly supports the general consensus. The guideline and its prescribed remedies should stay. The arbcom case seems to support such a finding as well. Eusebeus (talk) 11:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I assume that Bryan Derksens comment,
"I don't understand what your issue with the existence of episode articles is when you explicitly say that you don't actually read them . . . "
was aimed at me. I did not say I had a problem with episode articles. I said I had a problem with mediocre froth. Actually, I would not really have a problem with this either if I never saw it. The fact that a user (me) who, not only does not read this stuff but actively tries to avoid it, is continually coming across it, must tell you that something is wrong. Where do you get links to this stuff? Trivia and Popular Culture sections for one thing and sometimes embedded in the article itself. No thanks - I have no need for a link to every episode of Star Trek that has such-and-such mentioned in it.
Spinningspark (talk) 21:34, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
its been said before: if you don't care to read it, and actively avoid it, why does its presence in one form or another concern you? the only way you can continually come across it is if you accidentally open an article about something which looks like the title of something you do care about, --the solution is to look at another article. So how do you keep running across it? DGG (talk) 04:58, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
As I said, I don't really care much about this issue, I just followed a link from the noticeboard asking for opinions from people not heavily involved. My opinion is this material is unencyclopaedic. I am not going to actively campaign for mass deletion or otherwise get involved. But that is my opinion, as requested. If you don't like the answer you should ask a different question. Spinningspark (talk) 12:59, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. This guideline seems to provide good sound advice based on policy and common sense. Deleted articles can always be undeleted and moved to a userspace sandbox (to preserve GFDL compliance). That is a well-established and fairly non-controversial practice. If someone truly feels compelled to detail every episode of a series they love, there's always Wikia or any other number of similar sites available for that purpose. Vassyana (talk) 07:01, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

What the people think[edit]

Every tv show that has had its episodes redirected has had its talk page filled with people speaking out against it. For example, the Scrubs page has around 30-40 and maybe even more people who've voiced their opinions against the merge, while a group of 10 or so people have been patrolling the page to make sure no one tries to revert anything back. The people who use wikipedia for information do not like this move, while the people who are supposedly trying to help it are ignoring their cries of disapproval. If wikipedia is acting in the interest of those who edit it, then yeah take out the articles, but if it's working in the interest of the people who use and read it, reinstate them. Look page your thoughts about "episode stubs" and think about what the people who read it want. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Laynethebangs (talkcontribs) 18:01, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Being useful or liked does not dictate what Wikipedia does, as odd as that sounds. This is the same reason we are not used as a travel guide, even though that would be very useful, given our editing resources and being able to directly tie into high-traffic articles. This is also why we don't do things by vote or by popular demand. We are, however, trying to find homes for these articles, such as the Srubs Wiki. Wikipedia is great, but it's not an episode guide, and it's not the end-all dumping ground for anything useful. -- Ned Scott 18:13, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I just read WP:NOT, and I don't see anything there that provides a rational basis for excluding summaries of past TV episodes. It would be helpful if someone could provide a brief but reasonably detailed rationale of the case for excluding them on the basis of WP:NOT. Lou Sander (talk) 20:21, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
WP:NOT does - "Wikipedia is not a plot summary". Will (talk) 21:45, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
WP:NOT#PLOT says articles should not only be a plot summary. --Pixelface (talk) 05:19, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Not sure how saying this helps your argument, but it's likely Will meant the same thing. -- Ned Scott 06:25, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
As Will points out, the topic has its own bullet point in WP:NOT, at WP:NOT#PLOT. -- Ned Scott 00:49, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing it out. But it's VERY hard to see why plot summaries are not to be here. We've got every municipality in Pennsylvania, every railroad station in England, every this, and every that. But we don't have plot summaries. Why? Lou Sander (talk) 03:49, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the reasoning for NOT#PLOT is copyrights (though I'm not entirely sure) - a page full of "he did this, then she said that" is in danger of being a derivative work, with a lower chance of being fair use than on a TV-only wiki or on TV.com Will (talk) 17:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's unrelated to copyrights, although it has been preposed to mention copyright issues in that bullet point. The reason, as I understand it, is that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia grounded in the real world, and when we summarize fiction, we do so only because we have other information that relates to the real-world. -- Ned Scott 04:06, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Just to continue on Scrubs, I just watched the episode My Long Goodbye, then looked up the episode for the song that was featured in it. The page has production details, the songs, guest stars, and of course a plot summary. In fairness, I then changed the Scrubs Wikia page, which had all of those, but with holes in the information. It didn't have all the songs in the episode, or the guest stars, and gaps in its summary. Along with that, on the Scrubs Wikia, it says the last aired episode is My Inconvenient Truth, and that episode's page has no information on the episode, as opposed to the page on wikipedia. Not only that, but the actual last new episode to air, My Number One Doctor has no page. Clearly, the Wikia page is not sufficient, and if the people who took away the articles on wikipedia were willing to help recreate/transfer these pages to the Wikia it would be very helpful instead of just getting rid of them and doing nothing. I believe that's pretty ignorant and single-minded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Laynethebangs (talkcontribs) 01:05, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
(I have moved to wikia most of JD's article and will do so for the rest of the characters. Your point is well-taken & it is worth porting the content to the Scrubs wikia. Eusebeus (talk) 15:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC))
Some of us are doing just that. Having just learned much of this stuff myself (and am still learning), I'm very eager to help not only build up a guideline for the transwiki process, but also start a pool of editors that are willing to assist people in moving articles and supporting smaller wikis. While I don't think that Wikipedia is the place to have many of these articles, I too want to preserve them, and all the hard work done on them. It's something that a lot of us are learning, because Wikipedia's relationship with third-party wikis is mostly new ground. -- Ned Scott 07:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
That's part of the problem, Ned Scott. some are doing that. But then there are such editors like TTN who display the sensitivity of an rampaging elephant in a porcelain shop, - intentionally or nor - "talk down" to people (what else am I suppose to interpret ignoring all opposition and uttering things along the lines of "what you think does not matter" and "if this does not get merged I'll AfD the bunch" as?) and effectively delete information - which might not be entirely notable enough for Wikipedia, but would greatly enrich the more specialized Wiki - on a big scale, which causes only further inflammation. So the actions of a single editor cast a deep shadow on a mainly very sensible guideline. CharonX/talk 02:48, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Ned Scott, If Wikipedia is not an episode guide, what is List of The Simpsons episodes, List of South Park episodes, List of Futurama episodes, and List of Doctor Who serials and their associated articles doing here? --Pixelface (talk) 05:09, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, excuse me while I fix every problematic article-at-once so you can't use the othercrapexists argument. I haven't looked in-depth to every episode article of each of those shows, but obviously The Simpsons GA and FA episode articles are pages with real world information presented in an encyclopedic tone. (and the others likely have potential to do so as well). An "episode guide" is typically just a series of summaries. -- Ned Scott 06:23, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

This has largely turned into the same small handful of people pushing their arbitrary interpretation of what they insist WP:NOT means. It seems to be getting clearer that the consensus is that articles on individual episodes of television program should be the rule. Alansohn (talk) 04:33, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

The sheer number of episode articles constantly nominated and deleted in AfD would seem to indicate otherwise. As a very dedicated member of the TV project, it is rather aggravating having to deal with so many fans who just want articles for every last episode and every last minor little character on a show to have their own article, even though it goes against Wikipedia policies, guidelines, and even our rather meager TV project MOS. I suspect if you checked, you'd find that quite a few episode article nominations are coming from the TV project itself to try and clean up our area of focus and get it back on track. I have a lot of shows I love that I work on, particularly anime, but I also firmly believe in Wikipedia's core policies so I am always very careful to try to remain neutral in my editing of those show articles and to only include verifiable information from reliable sources. I also don't believe Wikipedia was ever intended to be the world's largest TV guide, and that's all individual episode articles really do most of the time, give the entire plot of the show. There are plenty of wikias for that sort of insane fan level detail about shows, and that's where most of tat kind of stuff goes. AnmaFinotera (talk) 04:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course most of the people here want individual articles. I'm rather sure that most of the people editing TV-show articles are people who would like to see the entire contents of their favorite shows' websites merged into Wikipedia. But however interesting such a work might be, it isn't what Wikipedia is for.
Wikipedia's basic purpose is to collect information about the world previously published by reliable, independent sources, and summarize it, just like any other encyclopedia. The two unique features are that it is not limited by physical media binding or publication cycles, and anyone can edit it. That doesn't mean that anyone can put anything they want to into it. Wikipedia has very clear requirements for verifiability through reliable secondary and tertiary sources. The vast majority of TV-show episodes simply don't have enough independently published information to create meaningful Wikipedia articles.
I happen to be a huge fan of many shows, for some of which I've written considerable information that wasn't necessarily well-sourced. (I originally wrote most of the material in the Firefly articles, for example.) I readily concede that, although I'd like to see this material preserved, Wikipedia is currently not the place for it, based on its general principles. I have a hope someday that we will be able to create a useful "encylopedia of everything", but I fully stand by the demands that Wikipedia makes on sourcing, neutrality, and verifiability. We can copy the information (with credits) to other projects before it's deleted. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:52, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The "Wikipedia has a greater purpose" excuse is simply one's way to arbitrarily decide that what doesn't appeal to you doesn't belong here; basically WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Individual episodes of most popular programs are regularly the subject of reviews, all of which provide ample sources for inclusion in articles. It's the same narrow group of deletionists pushing the same narrow interpretation on these articles. Alansohn (talk) 05:00, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
IDONTLIKEIT is a strange thing to accuse someone of saying when they just told you that they do like it. And while many shows do have a lot of real-world information about them, it's not always in a "per-episode" format. Like when an actor talks about their character, that information is better presented on the character article, rather than splitting it up on each episode where development of that character occurred. -- Ned Scott 07:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
"The vast majority of TV-show episodes simply don't have enough independently published information to create meaningful Wikipedia articles" evidences?Geni 19:11, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Past experience would be the evidence. A lot of us do go looking for this information before recommending merges or redirects, as well as during those discussions. -- Ned Scott 04:08, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree, the consensus that we see at AfD seems to be the very opposite - that individiual articles are to be avoided (unless the episode is significantly notable on its own, see The City on the Edge of Forever and Abyssinia, Henry. Lankiveil (talk) 07:44, 23 December 2007 (UTC).
We need a paragraph at WP:NOT#TVGUIDE that expands on the notion that Wikipedia was [n]ever intended to be the world's largest TV guide. --Jack Merridew 08:13, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not the world's largest TV guide, yet we still have List of The Simpsons episodes, List of South Park episodes, List of Futurama episodes, and List of Doctor Who serials and their associated articles. Does that make Wikipedia a TV guide? --Pixelface (talk) 05:16, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
But it became the world's biggest tv guide, and people liked it. Laynethebangs (talk) 08:20, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
See WP:ILIKEIT and WP:CCC. We are free to pass that 'honor' to wikia - along with a huge PageRank boost. --Jack Merridew 08:27, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I've left a message on the village pump discussion a day or so ago asking if anyone knew who to contact about the nofollow settings on the interwiki links. I'll try to do some more follow up on the issue. Also, I think WP:NOT did used to say something about not being a TV guide, but that was before WP:PLOT, so I suppose they thought it was repetitive. -- Ned Scott 04:11, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Jack Merridew, are you a Wikia employee? --Pixelface (talk) 05:48, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

To make a more general point and incidentally respond to what Laynethebangs has correctly identified as an outpouring of concern at the Scrubs LOE page after we undertook the redirect, it is clear that episode retention is not really the issue. Scrubs fans - I'll speak for them since I know that case best - want

  1. the songs featured in the episode + performer info
  2. in-universe and continuity details, such as character family info, peripheral character info, guest stars etc...
  3. detailed plot outlines
  4. trivia

Per our existing standard at WP:N, WP:NOT#PLOT, WP:WAF & WP:TRIVIA episode retention would focus on

  1. production
  2. external reviews
  3. wider, real-world cultural significance
  4. episode specific awards

and would have a modest amount of in-universe details to provide context. Well, frankly that is not what "the people" named above likely want - and neither would I if I am looking for a detailed episode guide. WTF do I care if some camera guy named Frank won a $#^%# award for special angle work in My Random Episode. What I probably care about is like OMG why is JD bald?? or in which episode did Carla get pregnant or other such info. To caricature those of us undertaking these sitewide revisions as rabid deletionists may make people feel better, but such slander (intended or otherwise) does little to resolve the basic tension that is at work here. Even if we keep individual TV episodes, the onus to focus on real-world significance is not going to deliver the content fans want. Consistently, via AfD and policy discussion and now arbcom, there has been strong consensus that Wikipedia not be a fanguide, that this not be a place for extensive in-universe fan-driven content. Consensus can change, of course, but if people want to change our policies, going after a specific guideline is not the right place. We need to rewrite our standards - not to be undertaken lightly - at WP:N and WP:NOT, since this guideline - and consequently the actions of us evil deletionists - are a sincere reflexion of those principles. Eusebeus (talk) 13:26, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Unlike other examples given just before and after WP:NOT#plot, the one about plot summaries offers no justification. It's just a fiat says don't include 'em. That sucks. IMHO, if folks thought about justification, they'd have a hard time finding any.
Those who drink the "no plot summaries" KoolAid are reminiscent of Alec Guinness (as Col. Nicholson) in his climactic scene in The Bridge on the River Kwai. I, and hordes of others, gaze on them from our lurkplaces and say "Madness!... Madness!" Just like in the movies. Lou Sander (talk) 15:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Any discussion of dismantling WP:NOT#PLOT should take place at the WP:NOT policy talk page. When you bring it up I'd go lightly on the koolaid/obsession/madness motif. Some people, crazy fools that they are, don't view such information as compatible with encyclopedic content. Eusebeus (talk) 15:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I took a look over there. No, thanks. We'll just wait for someone to fall on the detonator. Lou Sander (talk) 15:51, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you going to cite any actual policies? You say "Wikipedia is not a fanguide" but fans are pretty much the only people who would work for free on most articles. Do you think today's featured article, 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl, was written mainly by fans of football or non fans? The only thing this guideline provides is an excuse to redirect articles for television episodes that individual editors don't care for. They can conveniently ignore the television shows they like and make other fans angry in the process. This guideline needs to be rewritten or marked historical. --Pixelface (talk) 05:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Just tossing my comment in here, since I'm on vacation and don't want my relative lack of participation to look like acquiescence. I remain quite thoroughly against the notion of deleting episode articles for arbitrary reasons like what's been going on, and as soon as I'm back on my regular net connection I intend to spend some time pushing back on the matter. When there's controversy (as there most definitely is in this case) deletion cannot be the default without some pressing reason for it (such as in cases of potential libel or copyvio). If that NOT#PLOT guideline needs to be dispute too then by all means I'll dispute it. This pointless removal of good content has gone far enough. Bryan Derksen (talk) 18:01, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree totally with Bryan Derksen. WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Ditto. I too will be going on vacation and be largely offline, but I second it heartily and all the other comments opposed to the brutal application of EPISODE. --Gwern (contribs) 03:48 24 December 2007 (GMT)
That really sums it up. If you have a problem with how some people apply a guideline, take it up with them instead of blaming the guideline. -- Ned Scott 04:04, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Guns don't kill people, people kill people, eh? --Gwern (contribs) 04:09 24 December 2007 (GMT)
The problem with your suggestion, Ned, is that talking with people like TTN hasn't had and won't have any effect. That's why we have the arbcom case. As with what has been going on recently, if one takes up questionable application of EPISODE with an editor, the editor will just say that he/she is following policy and consensus and has every right to. It's the stubbornness of the application of our policies and guidelines which leads us back to our policies and guidelines. You've seen that in the arbcom case- no behavior has been admonished. -- Wikipedical (talk) 04:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
The arbcom has been pretty clear that mass redirects shouldn't be happening at this rate when there are objections, and that more discussion is needed. Maybe I'll ask them to make a statement (or reword an existing one) to make this clearer. All of us involved don't want to be at each other's throats. If you don't believe TTN is capable of being more understanding, then you are mistaken. The stubbornness you speak of will be improved, and we're all going to try harder to make these things go more smoothly. -- Ned Scott 04:25, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I deeply hope so. The way TTN acted might have been in short term "improvement" (in the sense that some articles about really unnotable episodes have been redirected) but he caused so much inflammation and drama this way that the feelings of many editors towards WP:EPISODE have deteriorated significantly. CharonX/talk 02:48, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
guidelines have to be written with an eye to how they can be misused. We are here primarily because the already existing guidelines have been being quoted widely and inappropriately in every possible direction. There was a post right today on an Admin. noticeboard threaten a mass redirection of just the sort you deprecate. We really do have to include such things in the guideline. We need more thinking about this, and right now is not the time for general participation. previous guidelines have been ignored for just that reason--inadequate participation of wp people in general. We dont want this to fail for the same reason.
At this point, the guideline does definitely not have enough considered consensus. I want to think about the wording and the integration with other pages. Ned, didnt you say somewhere earlier today that the misinterpretation or misunderstanding of WP:NOTY was a part of the problem? DGG (talk) 04:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Wanting to improve the wording to prevent abuse is one thing, and I'd like to help to continue to improve that, but that's not the same as disputing a guideline. I would say that, while how they were handled was far from ideal, most of the redirects made by people such as TTN have been justified upon review. Not a single person here has been able to show otherwise. I can think of a few examples of where I did disagree with TTN, and said so (reverting a few times as well), but even then his conclusions were not unreasonable. Debunking a guideline based on misuse needs to actually have evidence of such misuse, and showing more than just a few isolated examples. -- Ned Scott 06:15, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, I myself can only think of one article that got merged despite passing the baseline. Will (talk) 11:29, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

The policies stated on this page are in contradition to Wikipedia's goal: "The main goal of this project is to ensure that Wikipedia has a corresponding article for every article in every other general purpose encyclopedia available...". The existence of tv.com and epguides.com, along with the thousands of sites specializing in episode guides for a single TV show support the idea that Wikipedia should allow contributors to generate articles on every episode of every show, for all the world to benefit. Wikipedia policy on notability says that "notable" is defined as "worthy of notice" or "attracting notice"; it is not synonymous with "fame" or "importance". Geĸrίtz (talk) 22:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Um, last I checked TV.com and EpGuides.com were not encyclopedias. More specifically, the project (not a policy or guideline) you cited has a list of encyclopedias that are their main focus. TV.com and EPGuides.com are not on that list. As a matter of fact, IMDb.com is not even on that list. As a matter of fact, the only mention of television is for missing articles on television shows (not television show episodes). If you follow that project's link to Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/List of TV shows, you'll find your TV.com, EPGuides.com and other websites there. But, the big issue on the page is not "episodes" but the television show itself.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:14, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Um, books like the Brittanica aren't the only encyclopedias. I pulled this definition straight out of Wikipedia: "An encyclopedia... is a comprehensive written compendium that contains information on all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge" (italics are mine). This one comes from dictionary.com: "a book or set of books containing articles on various topics, usually in alphabetical arrangement, covering all branches of knowledge or, less commonly, all aspects of one subject." Geĸrίtz (talk) 23:14, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
(Continuing) Moreover, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales publicly expressed the desire to encompass "the full body of human knowledge" made available to the entire world.[5] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gekritzl (talkcontribs) 23:18, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
TV.com and EPguides.com are not "branches of knowledge", or "sets of ooks containing articles", they are merely guides that list the plot summaries of television episodes. There is nothing on them that would be considered a "comprehensive written compendium that contains information on all branches of knowledge". They don't fit either of your definitions. As far as Wales is concerned, "the entire body of human knowledge" does not constitute "every single topic in the world", as not everything is really "knowledge". My personal life story would not be worthy of an article on Wikipedia. More importantly, let's just say we include the idea that ever television episode should be included on Wikipedia as part of Wales's idea that Wiki should contain all the world's knowledge. What that does not say is how that information is displayed. What this guideline, and many other policies and guidelines state, is that not everything deserves their "own page", not that they shouldn't be mentioned. We have List of Episode articles and season articles that can encompass all there is on an individual episode that would not otherwise be sufficient to support itself on its own page. See Smallville (season 1) for how that is possible. Just because it should be included on Wikipedia does not mean that it should, or deserves, its own page. This is why we have a notability guideline.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:25, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course your personal life story would not be worthy, as indicated in the notability guideline. And of course TV.com and EPguides.com are not "branches of knowledge" - they are MEDIA, containing a branch of knowledge (television episodes aired to date). Whether you personally consider them unimportant or not, television episodes aired to date constitutes a branch of human knowledge, and meets notability guideline. Geĸrίtz (talk) 23:53, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't meet NOTE. NOTE says "significant coverage". TV.com and EPGuides are in the business of cataloging all television shows and episodes, that is their business. They do not provide coverage on the episodes beyond plot summaries. That does not constitute "significant coverage" by NOTE's standards. Having 50 sources that do nothing but recite the plot of a show's episode is not "signicant coverage" either. There is a difference between many sources providing significant encyclopedic information about a show, and many sources providing the exact same, limited information (limited as in just plot summaries) about a show. One is the criteria for article creation, the other is not. We don't put every movie on Wikipedia just because IMDb has a page for it. IMDb has pages for films that are not even being made. TV.com is an episode guide (i.e. lists episode titles/airdates/plot summaries etc etc, all the same stuff you typically find on the show's official website), nothing more.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 00:02, 2 January 2008 (UTC)