Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Television

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TVPLOT is confusingly written[edit]

I find these two paragraphs of WP:TVPLOT confusingly structured.

Extended content

As a rough guide, summaries for episode articles should be about 200 to 500 words. Complicated plots may take more space to present than simpler plots. For articles on the main work, this section should be brief, only discussing the important plot elements for each season (though, if the article is becoming overly long it may be best to trim it to over-arching plots for the entire series) that steered the course of characters' lives, or the course of the show. For season articles, there are a couple of ways to present plot information: in a basic prose section that gives season story arcs and main plot points or a tabular format that sections off each individual episode with its own brief plot section (approximately 100–200 words for each, with upwards of 350 words for complex storylines, with the provision that articles using {{episode list}} should not exceed 200 words in accordance with the instructions for that template). See the following for examples: "Confirmed Dead", Smallville and comparatively, Smallville (season 1).

I think what they intend to do is give three (or four?) different rules for the different article types, but the text seems to jumps back and forth. It is also not very clear what type of summary is referred to for the 350 words storylines (just not an episode table). Or does it may mean that one can use upwards of 350 words for an episode in a tabular format as long as one doesn't use {{episode list}} to make the table? Another puzzling point is if season articles may have both a prose plot section and an episode table with summaries. Also, does this section give minimal plot lengths: at least 200 for an episode article, at least 100 in a table, and complex storylines must have more than 350?

My attempt to interpret and rephrase this information less ambiguously is:

Extended content
  • As a rough guide, summaries for episode articles should be about 200 to 500 words. Complicated plots may take more space to present than simpler plots.
  • For articles on the main work, this section should be brief, only discussing the important plot elements for each season that steered the course of characters' lives, or the course of the show. If the article is becoming overly long it may be best to trim it to over-arching plots for the entire series.
  • For season articles, a basic prose section can give season story arcs and main plot points with upwards of 350 words for complex storylines.
  • Series articles, season articles, or Lists of Episodes may have plot information in tabular format that sections off each individual episode with its own brief plot section which should not exceed 200 words each, in accordance with the instructions for {{episode list}}.

See the following for examples: "Confirmed Dead", Smallville, and Smallville (season 1).

Is that the correct interpretation of these paragraphs? Is this found to be less ambiguous? –Dark Cocoa Frosting (talk) 22:02, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

The season one isn't meant to have two separate plot sections. Either you have one section in entirely prose format, or you have the episode table. You don't need both because the lead is already going to summarize the overall plot. Your suggested change seems to say that we should have two. I've seen some articles do this, but they really shouldn't. You end up with plot in the lead, plot in its own section and episode summaries. Tends to go against the idea of WP:NONFREE. Other than that, I don't see a problem with the rest of your suggested change.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:01, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
The lead is not supposed to summarize the plot; it's supposed to summarize the article. If the plot isn't in prose format in the plot section, it's difficult to summarize that in the lead without running into serious WP:OR problems.
WP:NONFREE has nothing to do with what's being discussed now. Only direct text quotations and fair-use images are non-free content. Paraphrasing the plot, even if you recount it over and over again in the article, isn't non-free content. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 23:19, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Beauty & the Beast (season 1), 24 (season 5), Pretty Little Liars (season 5), Teen Wolf (season 3), Vikings (season 2), The Walking Dead (season 4)... See? Obviously confusing. Next try:
Extended content
  • As a rough guide, summaries for episode articles should be about 200 to 500 words. Complicated plots may take more space to present than simpler plots.
  • For articles on the main work, this section should be brief, only discussing the important plot elements for each season that steered the course of characters' lives, or the course of the show. If the article is becoming overly long it may be best to trim it to over-arching plots for the entire series.
  • For season articles, the plot can be presented in one of two alternative ways: either as a basic prose section that can give season story arcs and main plot points with upwards of 350 words for complex storylines, or in tabular format that sections off each individual episode with its own brief plot section which should not exceed 200 words each, in accordance with the instructions for {{episode list}}.

See the following for examples: "Confirmed Dead", Smallville, and Smallville (season 1). For series without season articles, the main article or a List of Episodes may contain the tabular episode summaries.

Is that what it means, then? –Dark Cocoa Frosting (talk) 23:29, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Sorry I still find this quite confusing. I looked at some diffs to find out in which context the 200 and 350 words were introduced. Here the MOS from 2008: Special:Diff/216825173, Special:Diff/227529313, Special:Diff/227532949, and Special:Diff/227533092. I think it is clear that in 2008 the 350 words were introduced for the tabular format, and that is almost the wording used currently. For the {{episode list}}, the limits were introduced later in 2010 Special:Diff/355574169 as 300, and adjusted in 2013 Special:Diff/557179428 to 200, referring to the MOS, but the MOS did not change the word limits during that time. Something doesn't match up. (Alternatively, the template doc could be changed to match the MOS.) –Dark Cocoa Frosting (talk) 11:51, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

I changed 100–300 to 100–200 because 100–300 was not the wording used in the MOS. We have to place limitations on the length of summaries in articles using {{Episode list}} for technical reasons. When episode lists are transcluded to an LoE page, what you see is not all that has been transcluded. All of the content on the season pages is copied, but only part of the episode table is seen. The transluded content increases the post-expand include size, which has a limit of 2MB. If the post-expand include size exceeds 2MB, then the LoE page will not display correctly. This has been been a huge problem at List of The Simpsons episodes, where it was necessary to comment out navboxes and reformat citations on the page so that it would display almost properly. In order to fix the problem it has been necessary to split the first 10 seasons (for the time being) to another article to get the size down to something manageable. Even at articles where we aren't dealing with 27 seasons, the post-expand include size needs to be kept down to minimise page load times, and that means keeping episode summaries short. 100–200 was initially proposed, but changed to 100-350 based on featured list discussions. I wasn't party to any of these discussions in 2008, but I was heavily involved in one in 2012 that lead to changes to {{Episode list}}. List of Friends episodes was nominated as a featured list candidate and, as part of the discussion it was decided to replace the transcluded version with a version that used manually formatted tables.[1] This version looked the same but essentially duplicated the season articles, raising the distinct likelihood that the LoE page and season articles would eventually get way out of sync. It had a post-expand include size of only 174,048 bytes, so episode summaries could really be any size you wanted them to be. That's the advantage of not transcluding, but the duplication errors with such a format can be problematic. Bignole's edit to the MOS seems to have been a compromise, but we really should keep episode summaries in {{episode list}} to 100–200 words to avoid slow page loads. If an episode is so complicated that it needs anything more, there are probably good grounds for an episode article. --AussieLegend () 12:30, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
After re-reading the MOS, and the diffs provided by Dark Cocoa Frosting, I believe the main problem was the 2008 edit based on featured list discussions.[2] I think any issues can be resolved with this amendment:
For season articles, there are a couple of ways to present plot information: in a basic prose section that gives season story arcs and main plot points or a tabular format that sections off each individual episode with its own brief plot section (approximately 100–200 words for each, with upwards of 350 words for complex storylines, with the provision that articles using {{episode list}} should not exceed 200 words in accordance with the instructions for that template).
As I've said above, if 350 words are really needed for the average episode, an episode article is probably justified. If reliable sources don't see the need to discuss an episode, then 350 words is likely way too much. --AussieLegend () 13:15, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
I believe the issue still stands though for how large prose plot sections used on main articles that summarize each season's plot or (more rarely) on season articles, which where the 350 comes back into play. In those instances, I believe a 200-400 word range for each season's plot is better to give enough word limit to summarize the whole season. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 15:07, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, deleting the 350 words for more complicated single episode plots in a the tabular form makes the MOS much clearer (still this wording is unclear if you can have both prose and table), but it is also a change to the MOS. The same 350 words limit is in the section on List of Episodes. In principle, when the episode tables are not transcluded, there is no technical reason for a further limitation of summary length, but having the length depend on the transclusion is also confusing. (The size limit for transclusions is something that should be changeable in principle but it appears to be difficult to do so.)
The 350 words is clearly not the intended (upper or lower) limit for the prose plot sections of season pages, and so far, there is none. Introducing one would be another change to the MOS (while I was mainly trying to understand what the MOS means in its current state without changing it). –Dark Cocoa Frosting (talk) 18:40, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
The 350 word mention in the "List of Episodes" section should also be removed. The same reasoning for limiting episode summaries that I stated earlier (if 350 words are really needed for the average episode, an episode article is probably justified. If reliable sources don't see the need to discuss an episode, then 350 words is likely way too much.) still applies. The other issue is that, if we allow 350 words on non-transcluded pages, then if we split the pages the summaries need to be pruned. Let's be consistent. --AussieLegend () 19:02, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Even a change in meaning would be better than the current state because it is confusing and maybe even contradicting to the template doc.–Dark Cocoa Frosting (talk) 13:16, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

There has been no further discussion regarding this in over a month. Does anyone have any issues with the 350 word specification being removed as mentioned above? --AussieLegend () 09:20, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

I don't, I believe it should be removed. Alex|The|Whovian? 09:35, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
It would make that paragraph of the MOS less confusing, although it is a change in meaning. I won't object.–Dark Cocoa Frosting (talk) 20:08, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
And I've also removed it from the episode listing. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 22:04, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Season plot limit[edit]

Was a limit ever determined for the plot section for the entire season? As it currently stands, WP:TVPLOT states: "For season articles, there are a couple of ways to present plot information: in a basic prose section that gives season story arcs and main plot points and/or a tabular format that sections off each individual episode with its own brief plot section". (Note, I added the "and/or" part rather than "or" as it is common practice to include both, per the multiple articles listed above the third collapse content.) There is a limit on the summaries for episode articles, and a limit for the summaries displayed in {{episode list}}. However, there is no limit for "Plot" sections for summaries of the entire season (e.g. the season summary at Game of Thrones (season 6) recently got tagged for being too long. Should there be such a limit? Alex|The|Whovian? 06:26, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

We definitely should have at least some sort of guideline for this. But I don't think we should be encouraging both episode tables and plot summaries. I know that Game of Thrones example is pretty extreme, but it still epitomises the problem: we are breaking down the entire plot of the season episode-by-episode, which is already a much more in-depth "summary" than you would normally want for a season's plot summary. So why do we need anything else? I can understand that some people may want to have a short premise section if there isn't room to establish that info in the episode table (e.g. for a pretty episodic show it may be best to set up the premise of the show in its own section, and then focus on the individual episode's events in the episode table, but this likely wouldn't be necessary for a more serialised show). Anything else is just excessive. - adamstom97 (talk) 07:24, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
A short premise would be perfectly fine, in my opinion. For example, what's listed at Game of Thrones (season 1) would be sufficient. Alex|The|Whovian? 07:37, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
A couple short paragraphs like that would be fine (and Game of Thrones is pretty complicated, so I can understand wanting to try and explain it a bit more). I just think we should be saying that you can use a plot summary (with whatever limit we decide) or an episode table (with the normal limit), with the option of a short premise section with the latter if required. - adamstom97 (talk) 11:02, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure that you need a "plot" section and a table of episodes that has the plots. I feel like that is overkill. You can easily (as you should) summarize a season in a small paragraph in the lead. That's about all you really need. Like Smallville (season 1).  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:38, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree with this concept as with Supernatural (season 4) and Lost (season 4) the latter of which at FL-level there isn't even a single paragraph to summarize but descriptions throughout that explain what the season is mainly about. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 15:32, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
For serial shows like GoT and TWD, where there is a strong cohesive narrative episode to episode, a longer season plot summary may make more sense than longer episode plots, using two-three sentences to establish where each episode is in the larger narrative. For less cohesive works, like, say, ST:TNG, a brief season plot summary should be used, if needed, with episode summaries more detailed, keeping in mind that if the episode itself has an episode page, the plot need not be fully detailed, just enough to allow a reader to go "hey, that was the episode I was thinking about" when scanning the tables. --MASEM (t) 14:33, 14 June 2016 (UTC)
I appreciate having both a season plot summary and short plot summaries in the episode list. The prose section allows a writer to describe the big plot arcs of the season subject by subject (or in the case of Game of Thrones region by region) which is more intelligible in fewer words. The short summaries in the episode list, however, are necessarily broken episode-to-episode which requires a much larger word count to convey the same information, and even then the plot arcs may not be as apparent. The season plot summary gives a good lead-in, then the episode list for more detail (or to direct to an episode article, if one exists). Also, with complex shows, it may take a higher word count to describe season plots as seasons progress -- is there anything so unexpected or wrong about that? I do agree with Masem that episodic shows would tend to focus on the episode summaries. But even with a sitcom, I feel it could be informative to have a plot summary for season arcs in addition to short summaries with the episode list. - Reidgreg (talk) 21:48, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I would keep in mind that not all sit-coms or other genres necessarily had overarching plots in a season, eg Gilligan's Island. It's more common today, the formula of a season-long theme keeps viewership coming back, but it's not always the case and we should be careful to have editors going all OR to find a season plot just to fill a space. --MASEM (t) 21:52, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Anime episode length[edit]

An issue has come up on WT:ANIME#Condensing/lengthening episode summaries more efficiently regarding the possible length of an episode word count as per WP:MOS-AM. A couple of users have said that the current episode word count should be expanded to 450-500 words, but it is a little too much. Since this involves WP:MOS-TV, input from regulars here would be very much appreciated. Thanks, Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 19:27, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

I feel that a 250-300 word limit is a reasonable compromise here. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 23:13, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

General Plot limit for episode articles[edit]

A recent discussion regarding plot lengths in episode tables prompted me to relook at the plot length guide. We say 100 - 200 words for episode tables, really whether it's an LoE page or a season page. Then we allow up to 500 words for an episode article. I have a slight problem with this. We're saying that a 42 min episode needs 500 words to be summarized, yet film articles for 90 to 120 (and beyond) get about 700 words to summarize. First, there's rarely a huge stink about film plots meeting this 700 word requirement, and most stay pretty close even when they go over. I would argue that films are general more complicated by nature because they have to cram more into their allotted time than a show that has multiple episodes to cover.

If you broke this down, you can see about 10 movies across the span of a 21 episode TV series. Summarizing them, you would use about 7000 words, following the MOSFILM guide. Again, for films that are cramming more into their time slots. That same season of a TV that has episode articles (granted, not every episode is, but many shows do have that) could go up to 500 words, which would be 10,000 words. That's a 3000 word difference across the same amount of time. That's insanely disproportionate when you look at it.

If films suggest 400 to 700 words for a film plot, I don't think that episode article should be above 400 words. If you cannot summarize a 42 minute show into 400 words (we're already summarizing the same 42 minute show into 200 words), then something is seriously wrong here.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 17:41, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

A 400 word upper limit seems reasonable for episode articles. --AussieLegend () 17:48, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I guess my question is whether it matters whether the count is 400 words or 500 words, but it's not ultimately that big a deal to me either way beyond knowing the count I should be aiming for when editing. DonIago (talk) 17:51, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
100 words is a lot when you think about it. The point is less about violating some fair use issue, and more about this odd push to treat TV so differently than Film. The argument was merely a "Film and TV are virtually the same, with Film arguably having tons of more real world content, yet proportionally we allow for longer plots of a 42 minute show than we do a 90 or 120 minute film.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 18:22, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
400 as an upper limit seems fine to me, especially given your point how we are already condensing summaries to 200 words for the episode tables. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 18:28, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't go much lower than 400, because one thing that becomes an issue with episode articles that doesn't so much with season articles or episode lists is explaining what has come before. Films are much more standalone and their stories can be summarised without much reference to previous films (generally), but often an episode of TV will be part of a larger arc, which is fine when you have all the episode summaries together, but requires a bit of extra explaining when the summary is on its own. 400 seems fine to me though. - adamstom97 (talk) 22:22, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
It really shouldn't have to though. If someone comes into read an episode article, they have most likely read or seen the prior episodes. The article should stand on its own. If you have to go back explain something then we're probably missing a bigger problem when writing. The idea that films are stand alone isn't enough of an argument. We don't recap the previous Harry Potter films on each page, yet we still hold them to the same 700 word count limit. The same for Star Wars, James Bond, Jason Bourne, etc. There are a ton of films with numerous sequels that pick up where another film leaves off, or has events that were impacted by a prior film, but we don't overly explain what happened in a previous film. If we did, we would still hold the film article to the same limit.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 03:33, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
We can't assume that the reader has "most likely read or seen the prior episodes", that is what "the article should stand on its own" means. A film is made to be seen on its own, even when it is part of a series, and so should explain anything the audience needs to know itself (like the crawl for Star Wars, or more subtly in other franchises). Therefore, we don't need to do any extra explaining in the summary. An episode, however, is generally meant to be seen as part of the whole, which is why they do the 'previously on' segments for viewers who haven't been following. When we are writing the short episode summaries, we know that the reader has access to all the 'previously on' stuff because it is in the same table or article. But for the bigger summaries, we can't assume that the reader has been to all the appropriate articles first, and so we may need to add in some of that 'previously on' stuff ourselves, plus the bigger summaries should really be introducing the characters, locations, etc. to the reader, again because we can't assume that they have been to all the necessary articles to already understand all that. I'm not saying we should make a big deal about it, or that every TV episode is written so poorly that we have to explain everything to the reader. I'm just suggesting we don't "go much lower than 400" because we do still need room to do all that extra stuff on top of the slight expansion we are already giving to the 200 word summary. That's all. - adamstom97 (talk) 03:52, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Even if previous episodes don't have standalone articles, the episode in question that does still shouldn't take the time to resumarize previous events, as the reader can go to the previous episode article, or cell in the episode table. We should be conscious of the reader's knowledge, but we don't have to spoon feed a whole previous summary to them. That is what proper linking in the infobox, article and nav boxes is useful for. Additionally, if episode X in question is part of a larger arc, what else do we have to say in its article, beyond something like "Continuing from previous episode" at the top of the summary, if at all? That isn't worth a difference of 100 words. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 04:39, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I seriously didn't mean to make this big a deal about this. All I meant is that the summary is going to be a bit more complicated in an episode article then in an episode table by necessity, so I don't think we should "go much lower than 400" words. - adamstom97 (talk) 07:28, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't advocate for much lower, but I wouldn't be opposed to a 350 limit, as that would be half of a film limit (which starts at 400 itself), and TV shows are at best half the size. If there isn't agreement for 350, but for 400, then I'm ok. Just stating what my thought patterns are regarding it.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:53, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I think we may have lost a few people when we went off track a bit there, so hopefully we can get everyone back to wrap this up now. @Favre1fan93, AussieLegend, and Doniago: is there support for a 350 limit per Bignole's reasoning, or do you want to stick with 400? Either way, I think we should go ahead and update this sooner rather than later. - adamstom97 (talk) 06:33, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
As already stated, we say 100-200 words for episode tables. We give a bit of leeway, but that allows for up to 15-20 words over that. To eliminate that sort of creep, let's say "350-400 words with 400 being the absolute upper limit". Unfortunately we really have to be specific, as editors try to get around everything in the MOS. --AussieLegend () 08:15, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm fine with this, though I'd borrow a page from WP:FILMPLOT and say 300-400 words instead. But either one is fine. DonIago (talk) 14:55, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm totally against this, and I feel the conversation is working from a flawed premise. TV and film are apples and oranges. I would note that television plots can be much "denser" than films (otherwise they wouldn't stop every 7 minutes so you could absorb the material). Please stick with the 500 word count. Honestly, how many FA is this going to knock down, and for what? Is this really supposed to be an improvement? Shouldn't an RfC be called on matters like this instead of having six people decide on a talk page? (BTW, for TV episodes where I feel the reader needs some more information before they can understand the plot, I've followed the example of The Body (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and included a "Background" section before "Plot" to describe plot/character/setting information from previous episodes.) - Reidgreg (talk) 22:18, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
They stop every 10 minutes so they can pay the bills, not absorb the material. TV is generally less dense per episode, because they have 20+ episodes to say what films have to say in 120 minutes. Second, the 500 count isn't even a thing. Why is it that people find it easy enough to write an episode summary in 200 words on an episode table, but somehow they think that an extra 200 words is not enough for an episode article?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:45, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
(side note) We'll definitely hit this when we get to it in the rewrite as we kinda, sorta, not really came to a good conclusion. But I agree with Big's comment above mine. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 04:39, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps because the episode list in a season article doesn't have to support anything else? (I often find 100 words are sufficient for those.) Whereas in an episode article, the Plot section needs to convey enough information to support the sections of the article that follow. I took a quick look at plot sections for 10 featured articles for episodes from different shows: only 2 were 400 words or under, while half were from 500-600 words. For featured articles on films, I similarly found 4 of 10 were more than 700 words. When half (or nearly half) of the best articles exceed these limits, shouldn't we be talking about raising the limits instead of lowering them? Honestly, though, why not just treat Plot like any other section? If it's of a length that doesn't need to be broken into subsections, it should be fine. - Reidgreg (talk) 19:20, 14 July 2016 (UTC) P.S.: I only considered shows of a one-hour format. - Reidgreg (talk) 19:22, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
The problem with that argument is that if you give people 800 words for a plot summary, then they will use it. It isn't about needing 200 or 300 more words for an episode article to convey context. Context still exists with 200 or 400 words. If you give them more, they will use it. If you take it away, shocker, they will survive and use that. Film plots used to be upwards of 900 to 1000 words. We restructured and lowered to 700 words. Amazingly, people adapted and now write them within 700 words without complaint. There is no amount of context that can be created at 500 words that would not survive at 400 words. All you're doing is cutting out minor details in the wording. Wikipedia is not a substitute for watching the show. In addition, when you need actual context for the real world section, it is appropriate and encouraged to provide that plot context within the relevant section. You don't have to give the detail in the plot when describing a scene in more detail in say the writing section of a production area would not only suffice but be better for a reader that does not want to know the entire plot.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:53, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Special Guest Star[edit]

I wanted to include a special guest star bill for a TV show's season because there is one but one user is totally against it because special guests are still guest according to the MoS article.S hannon434 (talk) 06:01, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

"Special" guests are just guests that the producers seem to think are slightly more noteworthy than usual. Therefore, they should be listed with all the other guests, and if there really is a notable reason (in encyclopaedic terms) for why they are a special guest, then that can be mentioned with reliable sources. - adamstom97 (talk) 12:35, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
My point exactly. If it's really necessary, a note can be added while they are under the Guest section, noting what they were credited as. Alex|The|Whovian? 12:42, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
Are we talking Heather Locklear on Melrose Place type of special guest star or Nancy Reagan on Diff'rent Strokes? The former is actually recurring. Or ones that are actually guests like with the Saturday Night Live host and band. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 15:36, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

MOS:TV "overhaul" planned?[edit]

Below is a copy of a notice, and my response to it, posted at WP:Village pump (policy). I think this should involve considerable input from MoS watchers in general, or all kinds of unintended effects could result, most likely WP:LOCALCONSENSUS-based forking of advice – on things like date formatting, WP:CRYSTAL treatment of future episodes/seasons, in-universe writing, etc. – from various sections in the main MoS, its subpages, and other guidelines. I doubt there would be any intent to do that, but we've seen it happen repeatedly before with regard to comics and several other media.

This is just a notice that members of the Television project are considering overhauling and rewriting our MOS, headed up by myself. Nothing is happening until August 2016, but there is a discussion regarding interest in the endeavor which you can find here, and add your signature if you would like to be a part of the effort. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 01:14, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up, but please note that MOS:TV is a Wikipedia guideline, not an owned page, a wikiproject advice essay, of WikiProject Television, so it's not appropriate to call it "[y]our MOS". It's part of the MoS. What it says affects a large number of articles that are not entirely within the scope of WikiProject Television, and it's important that it not start PoV-forking away from things like MOS:NUM, etc..  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:21, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

So, what is the nature of this "overhaul"? What is proposed to be changed and why? Why do we need someone in particular to "lead" it? I would think that specific problems need to be identified and addressed by normal consensus formation process. It would be highly irregular to make sweeping changes to a whole guideline that has been more or less stable, as part of MoS, since mid-2010.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:38, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

There is already a significant discussion in progress at WT:TV and that discussion is linked in the content that you copied. Your questions are already mostly answered there. This is all just preliminary discussion at this time and it makes sense to keep it all in one place for now. --AussieLegend () 04:55, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: I'm pretty sure that "our MOS" was just a figure of speech, since all of us on this page are heavily involved in the TV WikiProject, so we know how editors act with articles related to the project somewhat more than those who edit more on other topics and WPs. No need to go overboard and accuse us with WP:OWN. Just saying. The overhaul is a collaborative project, and having someone "lead" it and summarize all the points put across makes it organized, instead of just a random jumble of points scattered throughout a massive discussion. It's been "stable" because barely anyone has addressed the irregularities in the MoS, and when they have, a general consensus is the only thing established. Alex|The|Whovian? 06:39, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
Changing the content of a guideline should be discussed on the talk page of the guideline, its parent guideline, or at WP:VPPOL, not buried on some wikiproject talk page, where people who are not listed participants in the project are apt to have their views discounted. It's nothing personal about that particular project, it's just experience with how wikiproject-led attempts at guideline change usually run off the rails into WP:LOCALCONSENSUS nightmares.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:03, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
When the time comes to discuss the changes, they will be discussed here. For now, as I've already pointed out, the discussions are just preliminary, aimed at gauging interest in the proposal to overhaul the MOS. You may have had experience with other MOS discussions but if you had experience with this MOS you'd see that the nightmares you seem to expect, haven't happened in the numerous discussions that we have had over the past couple of years. Anyone who wants to voice their opinion has always been welcomed, whether they are a WP:TV participant or not. --AussieLegend () 15:13, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
@AussieLegend: The time to discuss them here was never not now, as it were. I've reviewed the discussion at WT:TV, and it is precisely what I suspected it was, a call for WP:TV editors in particular to rewrite a site-wide guideline, but in their own semi-private sub-namespace, because it's considered "[WT:TV's] own MOS". Well, no. I see multiple other editors there objecting to this approach, so please consider that consensus for such an insular tactic is already not going to happen. The standard operating procedure of discussing guideline changes at the guideline's own talk page should be followed. PS: I agree with your take on the best practices model of approaching the content of the guideline, and also agree that the current wording has problems; my and Izno's and others' objections are about the territorial venue, and I don't see anyone suggesting that the current wording should be untouched.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:45, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I can't agree. The MOS is not watched by many, and first point of contact for anything MOS:TV related is generally WT:TV, because the television project is the project that has most dealings with the MOS. The introduction to the WT:TV discussion clearly explains the situation: "I've been thinking about this for a bit, and wanted to present this idea. Members of this project have been slowly updating parts of the MOS here and there over the good part of a year/year and a half now, but I think it would behoove the project to give a very long thorough look at the MOS to update it." (emphasis added) Of course WP:TV is going to be more heavily involved in working on MOS:TV; it's the part of the MOS that deals with articles edited by that project, so members of WP:TV have an interest in it. You're not likely to see WP:FOOTBALL editors interested. As I keep saying, it's a preliminary discussion, with no action planned until August, so there was no need to discuss it here at all. Even this discussion is just wasting space unnecessarily. I don't see "multiple other editors there objecting to this approach". One suggested moving the discussion the village pump, while Izno merely opposed a "separate draft", quite correctly suggesting changes "should be made to the main guideline as consensus comes to agree with them". When discussion starts in August (if at all - I've seen this before) editors who have specifically indicated interest will be notified via their talk page and others will be notified at WT:TV, WP:VPP and other noticeboards that may be relevant. We always make changes to the MOS, and TV related templates, with consideration to policies and other guidelines. For example, we've modified {{infobox television season}} and {{infobox television}} to comply with WP:COLOR, MOS:DATES and WP:IMAGESIZE and we've created templates like {{series overview}} and {{episode table}} so that tables in TV articles comply with MOS:ACCESS and WP:COLOR. You're really seeing problems where we have had none in the past and likely won't in the future. --AussieLegend () 16:26, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: You are really assuming the worst of us here, interpreting a casual, informal "our MOS" as a breach of WP:OWN, or a harmless suggestion to create a dedicated space for such a large undertaking as an attempt to hide from the rest of the site and do whatever we want regardless of consensus, etc. That is frankly ridiculous. We have shown that we do not think we own this MOS, and are going out of our way to get as many editors involved as possible, not just us few who regularly watch over it. In fact, did you not learn of this discussion by coming across a notice inviting interested editors at a different page to the project? And are we not currently discussing this here, on a completely different page again, where more people can see it and learn of our plans? And are we not planning for this all to take place in August, so there is plenty of time for more people to learn of this effort and get involved? I'm not saying that the current proposed plan (and that is all it is at the moment, a proposal) is perfect or the right way to go, but I do think that we don't deserve this lack of faith. - adamstom97 (talk) 22:59, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
This particular MoS sub-guideline is not well watched. The MoS proper and its talk page are among the most-watchlisted projectpages in the entire system. No one or virtually no one watches WP:TV but its direct participants. So, obviously, the place to make proposals about this guideline is WT:MOS, with notice here and elsewhere, since all MoS pages are within WT:MOS's scope. Regarding all the above chest-beating and feather-puffying, no it is not "frankly ridiculous" to read the plain wording and planning at WT:TV at face value: It's a very clear proposal to write a replacement page, drafted as a subpage of the wikiproject, by participants in the wikiproject; this is then followed by territorial statements by participants in the wikiproject, and multiple MoS-watching editors strenuously objecting for reasons that at least three have explained clearly to y you. There is no "accusation" in this at all, it's a plain statement of self-evident fact, which anyone can go verify in under a minute of reading. I decline to go around in circles about this or treat it like it some kind of personality dispute. It is not. Its a procedural one. There is already sufficient opposition to the way you are doing this that it endangers any acceptance of the what and why of what you want to accomplish.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:59, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
Sufficient opposition from the one person. We get it. We get your point. Carry on. Alex|The|Whovian? 03:04, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Colours for future seasons[edit]

I know that colours is a minor topic compared to the rest of the MOS, but it does create issues between editors establishing them. Colours in the Television WikiProject are always based on posters, intertitles and/or DVD releases, but what about seasons that have no such content released yet? For example: Game of Thrones (season 7), Teen Wolf (season 6), or Once Upon a Time (season 6). No posters have been released, and yet colours exist on the page (in just the infobox for the first two, and the episode table/series overview for the third). Who picks these colours? Based on what? Are they just arbitrarily chosen? We're not here to make the site colourful. What's to stop other editors coming along and changing them? Or should they be left as default (which for the infoboxes is #CCCCFF) until such content is available? Alex|The|Whovian? 06:48, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

I'd say either the default, or the main colour for the series (for example, our draft for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 is currently using what we call "S.H.I.E.L.D. grey", which was the initial colour we used for the series before we got the current season colours from the posters/DVDs). And per this page, you have the right to revert any arbitrary colour change made without discussion once an appropriate colour has been chosen. - adamstom97 (talk) 07:16, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
I started a discussion here last year with the aim of coming up with some WP:COLOR compliant colours for use in season articles but the discussion fizzled out. --AussieLegend () 09:01, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
I think this is something that needs to be addressed in the mos overhaul. My personal (rather strong) preference is to match show colors when clear color themes are present (E.g., the yellow star and salmon shirt in Steven Universe). If no clear colors, match image. For pages where you match show colors, picking a future season color isn't an issue really so long as it's a show color. But for posters/images that's harder. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 04:53, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm making a mental note to readdress this when we get to the MOS changes. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 18:20, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

ChiBi Crush Rangers[edit]

Would someone from MOS:TV mind taking a look at ChiBi Crush Rangers, particularly the infobox. There were some non-free files were being inappropiately used in the article and I have removed those, but there are still some freely licensed logos being used in the infobox which seem out of place. Moreover, the |network= for Template:Infobox television seems to be only for the original network for the show, not every network worldwide it has appeared on. Anyway, no WikiProject banners are listed on it's talk page, but it seems to be related to a TV program which I why I am asking for assistance here. Thanks in advance. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:28, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

@Marchjuly: Wow. I helped a bit, but without known much about the series (ie what's original, reairs, etc.) there's not much else I can do based on what's on the page. If you have this knowledge, feel free to share and myself or another editor can help tidy the article. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 04:30, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for taking a look Favre1fan93. I no pretty much nothing about that particular series and only came upon the article because of some non-free images being used in it, which is why I did not remove the other logos from the infobox. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:19, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

Early TV series articles[edit]

How can we tell people to stop making TV series articles so early? I just realized that I just wasted my time for nothing, I did a whole article for a new drama series that is scheduled to air during this fall and when I was going to create the article I noticed that a guy already created the article literally the same day the series was picked up. Borikén (talk ·ctb) 09:39, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps you should have checked first, so the fault is yours. And there's no need to stop making them "so early". And why is it different for you, if they already made the article and you were making it right now? If there is enough information to make a page about it, stub or not, then anyone is allowed to. Alex|The|Whovian? 09:41, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
RE: This edit Apologies that someone had more initiative than you to create an article for it before you did. And I certainly don't act like I own it, I'm accepting that other people create other content. Another editor creating the article is wasting time, but you creating the article before even search for it is perfectly alright. I fail to see your "logic". Alex|The|Whovian? 09:59, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Is this "initiative"? And how the hell I'm supposed to check first when the stupid series is ordered the same day and is supposed to not have any articles? Your intelligence surprises me wow... Borikén (talk ·ctb) 10:22, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it is, because they're bothering to create the article in the first place. Besides, that article is not related to this. And does it hurt to look up the article before you create it? Google "Frequency TV series"? There's nothing that states that the article should not be created when it is ordered to series. Nothing at all. Don't revert to personal attacks, you're leading this conversation nowhere. Alex|The|Whovian? 10:26, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't do any "personal attacks." And yes, that article is related to this conversation. I searched for the Frequency article before creating the article with the titles "Frequency (2016 TV series)" and "Frequency (TV series)" and I didn't found anything so I decided to create it but as you already saw someone did it. By the way, you're the one that started this with your "You don't own Wikipedia." Borikén (talk ·ctb) 10:45, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Really? You searched for "Frequency (TV series)"? Sorry, but you definitely didn't look hard enough, since it has existed for two months. It's the first (or one of the first) results in Google. You could have entered in your address bar [3] and then added "Frequency (TV series)" to the end. All of those would have got you there. This is, unfortunately for you, no-one else's fault. Alex|The|Whovian? 10:48, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
@Borikén: You seem more upset that somebody else beat you to creating the article than anything else. Had you searched fro "Frequency (TV series)" you would most definitely have found it. I just tried. You could even have found it by following the link to the disambiguation page at the top of Frequency. Even a search for Frequency (2016 TV series) shows the correct article title as the first title found. And yes, Your intelligence surprises me wow is a personal attack. --AussieLegend () 11:00, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
As I already said, I did that before creating the article and that was months ago. By the way, when that has become a personal attack? Yeah, I'm upset because this is not the first time that this happens to me and I'm tired of that. I spend time trying to do articles that aren't a stub. Borikén (talk ·ctb) 11:22, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Boriken, your hard work developing a stub articles that has already been created does not mean that it was done in vain. Go through the article and see what is more developed in your work and just move it over. I'm not sure if you're upset that the article's history doesn't say "created by Boriken", or if most of your work just will not be necessary because it was already done. But, you're not going to be able to stop people from creating articles before you. Whether they should have been created or not. Could be worse. I have worked on articles in a sandbox before and had people come to my sandbox and just move things without my "permission" to the mainspace because they wanted more information there. Even though I wasn't ready to move it to the mainspace because it still needed cleaning up. Can't stop it. All you can do is move with it.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:01, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

I'm not complaining about if it says "Created by Borikén" or not. I'm complaining about users like Robberey1705 that make stubs he doesn't even make an Infobox he just puts a text and that's it. That's what upsets me, this thing has happened to me in lots of articles. Borikén (talk ·ctb) 13:27, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
That comes with the territory. You'll always find editors that are new, or inexperienced, or maybe don't care to learn. You cannot change that, and I would encourage you not to take it personally or let it stress you out. That is an issue across all of Wikipedia, not just TV articles. What I would encourage is that when it happens, take the time to (cordially) educate them on how to create an article. The things that they need. Understanding WP:GNG, WP:MOSTV, or other relevant guidelines/policies.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:50, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Please give me an example, where I made a stub WITHOUT an infobox. I always give as much information as I am possible to get. I can't remember where i haven't put an infobox in the text? Please give at least twot examples.

--Robberey1705 (talk) 18:01, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

1 Borikén (talk ·ctb) 20:01, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
To be fair, two diffs and half an hour later. (Not everyone does everything in one fell swoop, saving only when finished. Some do it in little steps, saving every little piece of progress. I can't definitively say the latter is Robberey1705's style as I'm not familiar with their editing history, but it's something to keep in mind.) Really, I'm not seeing what the problem is overall. Rather than feeling like you "wasted [your] time for nothing" a better use of your energy would be migrating what isn't already on the article and tending to and developing the article. Countless times, I've done the same, started a draft or started an overhaul, only for someone else to get there first. It's the nature of the beast. If anything, if a series isn't picked up and it eventually gets deleted. Fine. ~Cheers, TenTonParasol 20:10, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Opinions in a discussion[edit]

There is a discussion at User talk:AlexTheWhovian#Quantico page regarding the use of cast tables at Quantico (TV series); opinions of editors who have worked in the television project are required. These have been deprecated per multiple and many discussions, and yet the user refuses to accept this. Alex|The|Whovian? 22:57, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

I have commented on Alex's talk page but this discussion is more properly located at Talk:Quantico (TV series)#Cast table. --AussieLegend () 12:07, 22 July 2016 (UTC)