Wikipedia talk:Television episodes/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Keeping track of the redirects

Could someone have a look at the examples in Category:Redirect templates, and rustle up one to be used on episode redirects? This will help with the plan to keep better track of what has been redirected. Hopefully those carrying out redirects will abide by the Wikipedia:Redirect guideline. Other possibilities include Template:R to list entry, Template:R to section and Template:R with possibilities. In addition to this, a category should be added (or kept) for the series the episode is part of. All this requires a bit more work than the current practice of replacing the text with just a redirect, but hopefully that won't discourage people from doing this. Carcharoth (talk) 03:54, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

{{MER to list entry}} would be close, but making a new template should not be a problem. ("EP to LOE"?) --MASEM 04:07, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
{{CR to list entry}} is a similar one, by the comics people. When picking a name, I would suggest keeping the "to list entry" bit and including an "R" for redirect. eg. {{ER to list entry}}. Carcharoth (talk) 04:24, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Created: {{ER to list entry}}. --MASEM 05:06, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Carcharoth (talk) 14:03, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Well done, that works quite nicely, especially since it preserves episode links! Is there any discussion yet on a unified style for TV show episode list formatting and entry style, so that this can be used properly as part of the merging process? LinaMishima (talk) 00:32, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, standard seems to be {{Episode list}} (which allows a lot of customization per show but has all the basics.) The only thing I would add to this process is to include an {{Anchor}} as an invisible name next to the episode title such that one can then redirect directly to the episode as indicated by the episode name. --MASEM 00:38, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
{{Episode list}} supports anchors for individual episodes that have been used on many redirects — the format is #ep01; there is also a production code anchor if they're used — #pc101. Example: Ah! A Demon has Come and is Creating Calamity! --Jack Merridew 08:13, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
nb: {{ER to list entry}} is tedious to apply after the fact. --Jack Merridew 11:09, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
As it stands, that template seems designed for use with separate articles for each episode. The examples both use wikilinked episode names, and the short summary is a single sentence. Single sentence summaries will have to go, since these are often nothing more than teaser information (and hence serve little purpose at all). Episodes really deserve four short paragraphs (one per traditional TV format act, less if written as three acts). Also, allowances for production notes and cultural references and effects of merit need to be made. These changes should not be too hard, simply the addition of some built-in headers and more optional entries (which are automatically placed with a header). Some means is also needed to account for significant aspects in need of mention as if within an article lead and also for unusual guest star appearances (Regular guests should be on a list of non-lead characters and wikilinked as appropriate). Sadly I don't fully understand table magic, so I couldn't see how to do the simple cut and paste job making these changes should be. With these additions and allowances, nearly all episode articles can be changed into fitting within the template, with only needing to prune down excessive plot summaries and trivial list entries. LinaMishima (talk) 01:00, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
There's no technical limitation on the amount of text that can go in the box, guest stars can be added parenthetically after the character of interest; additional text can be added (and because this spits out part of a table but not a complete one, it's possible to add more rows manually in wikitext to make it easier to edit said box).
The other possibility is that the table contains all the basic episode details, with or without a short summary, and then an intra-page link to additional text to talk about the article below the table. (This would necessitate that episode lists are season by season to avoid uber-long pages).
I think there's a possible compromise here, but I will note that many anime shows and some more traditional TV shows are ok with very brief summaries when episodes aren't notable, and with shows where the bulk of episodes have subpages, the episode lists are still short and brief. But I think we need a consistent approach - if an episode is notable, and we allow it's plot to go to 100 words/10 minutes, we should be considering the same in episode lists. I don't know if this means we go either direction (more or less text) though. --MASEM 01:30, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I know that long lines can be added for the short summary entry, however it is still unclear if you can add new lines, headings, or other formatting methods that may be useful when covering an episode. Such features allow fuller coverage of an episode and even allow notable aspects to be covered without requiring new articles. By my understanding, an act (a collection of scenes) is comparable to a paragraph of text (a series of sentences, each of which is an individual statement, to form a single point). Certainly, one paragraph should not describe more than one act, as that is more than a single 'point'. Some of the lists linked by AnmaFinotera could have been improved by having their second halves of plot summaries as separate paragraphs, making them easier to read. As a user, the one thing I find essential is that one does not have to watch 10 minutes of the program to gain enough information to identify the episode from the plot summary. The 100 word limit per 10 minutes provides plenty of words to allow a user to watch a few scenes and find that they match to a sentence (note that this is a few scenes, blow-by-blow is clearly wrong). It should not depend so much on the notability of the episode, however, as on the complexity of the episode. Many TV show plots advance too slowly or are deliberately slow for some reason (mainly comedic effect), and so a few sentences are fine. However detailed action shows, like Stargate SG1 has a clear four acts to each show, each of which often need a few sentences. On the whole, however, it looks like this plot summary part of the issue is resolved, if not ideally (separate paragraphs per act is far better english, even if they are only a few sentences long each). An intro-page link is horrible design, and needs to be avoided at all costs, however. ISO 9241-12:1998 (basically now human factors of interactive systems, regarding the display of information) recommends that related information be grouped together upon a display system. That standard is also why I'm looking to make sure there is consistency, a shared approach to all lists of episodes, agreeing on content depth. Wherever possible, information that directly relates to one episode needs to be displayed within that episode's entry. However, that information which is more appropriately related to a character or other aspect should not. LinaMishima (talk) 03:40, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Headings are not necessary to cover an episode, and if someone feels they are it usually means they are going into way too much detail. The article I linked to are all featured lists. One of the first things you learn in doing featured episodes lists is that excessive plot will not go through. On the first two (which I did), I was quickly told if a plot was too long (Trinity Blood) or too short (Meerkat Manor) and adjusted accordingly. A paragraph of 5-10 lines is considered sufficient and more than that should only be done in extremely complicated plots (for example, some of the summaries in List of Wolf's Rain episodes are longer because earlier in the series you're tracking no less than six sets of characters). The 3-4 paragraphs you mentioned earlier would be extremely excessive...they are considered excessive for a two hour film, so why should they be needed for a 1-2 hour episode that doesn't even need to deal with establishing who most of the characters are? Keep in mind those lists I pointed to are all considered ideal lists that others should aspire to be, not low end start class lists. A lot of stuff people want to say about episodes (particularly trivia and cultural references) are no more needed in an episode than they are in film and television series article. Goofs and all that are not encyclopedic, that's IMDB fodder. Also, remember, blow by blow is not desirable and violates WP:PLOT and are borderline copyright violations. You want to summarize, and the key to good summarization is keeping it short and simple. In all of those lists you can tell what happened in the episode, start to end, without getting bogged down in every last action taken by every one on screen first. AnmaFinotera (talk) 03:50, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
No, I think you may be misinterpreting the template. It is very specifically for creating list of episodes, not for use on a standalone article or to encourage creating separate articles. For examples, some featured lists in various genres: List of Trinity Blood episodes (anime which uses a variant specifically for Japanese shows), List of Meerkat Manor episodes (docudrama), List of X-Men episodes (cartoon), and Lost (season 1) (fiction). The short summary is not limited to a single sentence (5-10 is preferred) as the summary should cover the entire episode, without excessive details. There is no limit, however, and one can easily add unusual guest start information if needed after the summary (couple of line breaks and format as needed or by using one of the several alt options). 3-4 paragraphs of plot summary is appropriate for a 2 hour film, not for a television series. The general guideline is 1-2 sentences per 10 minutes of show. "production notes and cultural references and effects of merit" are unnecessary or desired in a list of episodes. If they are verifiable and significant, they would either go in the main article, or as the leader to the season section for the episode or elsewhere as with Smallville (season 1) (another featured list). Also, as a side note, due to its nature and extensive usage, no one can edit the table themselves, only admins. :-P AnmaFinotera (talk) 02:27, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Or rather, you have misinterpreted what I mean by "designed for use with separate articles". Look at the examples it gives, where only a single line summary is given of the episode, and the episode name is wikilinked. It is not comparable in terms of content to the TV episode infobox (although it may not have to be), and many uses of it I have actually seen do not feature more than a single line summary of the episode (as done on the example). The very name of the field as "short summary" actively discourages going into any more depth than a single line. As I have said previously, I strongly disagree with you that a TV episode does not warrant several short paragraphs as a summary. In technical grammatical terms alone, a paragraph simply can only describe a single point, plot motion - a single act. Some TV shows do not have four clear acts, and so should use as few paragraphs as they have acts. And this is not to say that an act cannot contain only two sentences - whilst it is considered poor style when writing freehand, often when summarising this is unavoidable. Note that a film's act does not always contain more events (sentences) than a tv show's act, a film can simply extend each scene rather than adding more scenes (indeed, this is actually what you observe if you look at many films!). Please look at my favourite example of a well-written plot summary - The Enemy Within (Stargate SG-1). There are only 9 sentences there, however they have been divided up appropriately into five paragraphs (the first two should be merged, really). In my opinion, it would benefit further from being re-written into simpler sentences, as the current ones are often far too long to be ideal. That is exactly the style and length I am referring to (with allowances to be slightly longer if complexity requires, but not much longer). Hopefully you will see my point now on this matter, rather than your fears, and I suspect generally agree with me (as similar lengths have been done using the template, just not with appropriate paragraphs).
As for "production notes and cultural references and effects of merit", there is often no more appropriate place for this information than within the episode entry itself. With respect to this, I am referring to aspects with greater importance than most that are normally listed. Firstly, there is no reason that a single episode should even have a dedicated article for being notable unless it was somehow particularly special. The mention of an episode in passing in a notable speech makes an episode notable, but there is still only one line's worth of additional content. Although this can be mentioned elsewhere, unchanging information should be referenced in both locations. Similarly with respect to an episode's use in studies, or minor controversies over the episode that make a night of news but go no further and have no surrounding discussion. An episode that results in an actor or crew member being nominated for a reward is also highly deserving of having a notice placed upon it (Whilst for cast characters, this may be placed on their own articles, this is not possible for all crew, and even still this duplication is actually highly beneficial to understanding the wider nature of the episode). Mention of it's parodying something else or being parodied, for example, is often worthy of a mention (particularly as this shows the greater cultural influence of the parodied material). Regarding cultural references, there are often elements in contemporary media that make use of contemporary culture to drive plot, and so are potentially lost to future audiences. It is for this information that encyclopaedias cover media works. Common examples can include the featuring of furries, and less degradingly, computer and video games. Certain TV shows also feature episodes which make political points, often related to the current political climate. When these can be properly referenced, this information is vital, and including it improves the entry significantly. Similarly, this should also be applied almost in reverse - where a plot element is a cultural reference, and that plot element is core to the show but the reference itself is not, that reference, if properly sourced, should be detailed to allow the reader to fully understand the full implications, even if the information is not required to 'get' the plot. Production information may also include details such as on why a guest actor was chosen if there was a specific strong reason but the guest actor's article does not feature this or they do not warrant an article. Where events during production are also able to be shown that they forced a change to an episode (such as an actor injury), this may also be of merit. Certainly, whilst you may rightfully disagree on some of these points, I hope you can at least see the need for the ability to not focus simply on plot summaries. All that it needed to neatly incorporate these within an entry is ultimately just the ability to add new lines (this information should not be directly placed within the plot summary, for hopefully obvious reasons).
And finally, I should note that I knew that the template page was protected, that's what experimenting in User-space with redesigns is for. LinaMishima (talk) 04:24, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I think I get what you mean. In that case, though, its really an issue of the example being outdated and needing updating (not to mention, a less vulgar example would be preferred even if Wikipedia isn't censored). I did update it to address some (except for outright changing it). For the plot, we'll have to agree to disagree, though I can tell you with almost 100% certainly that if/when a copyeditor goes over the article, the first thing they would do is merge short paragraphs into one. (had a few of mine I'm prepping for FA get that done) While we may like short chunks, the MOS and over all feeling seems to go with a long related paragraph over a short chunk. I do have to disagree on the Act thing with television episodes, since deciding where that "act" break is would be totally subjective and pure OR unless its specified on screen (like with older episodes of L&O). A List of Episodes is primarily for providing the basic information in a standard format: title, ep number, air dates(s), director/writer if known and not the same throughout, and a thorough but succinct plot summary. Most folks agree the episode template is flexible enough to handle some variances for shows, and anything else probably either belongs in the seasonal leadouts or the main article. I can see your point of view, but as its nothing something I've ever seen brought up within the TV Project (the main users of the template), I don't suspect too many major changes will be supported except perhaps the addition of some other standard fields that will be common to the majority of television episodes. AnmaFinotera (talk) 04:34, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
There is a degree of conflict here between proper english grammar, MOS and a slight degree of original research. Typically advert breaks divide the acts, in almost every program that has such breaks. This causes a problem for Stargate, actually, as they started on showtime and wrote without considering advert breaks, forcing slight original research. I think the original research point has won me over, as has checking some academic papers (where abstracts are typically a single, long, paragraph. However, the ability to make new lines is useful for separating plot summary from other information directly relevant to the episode, but by not requiring multiple lines for plot summary, then the most that would be needed would be three (preface, summary, awards/misc). What do you mean by less vulgar example? LinaMishima (talk) 04:57, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
New lines can be included in the template plot summary box. This should not be considered a limitation. --MASEM 05:08, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Wonderful, then! A combination of a false assumption by myself, and the limited examples provided with the template. I think the matter has almost been resolved! All that's left is to ensure that there is a standard level of plot summary provided, and hard, quantifiable, rules on additional information. LinaMishima (talk) 06:08, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
The template currently uses South Park as its example with the lovely "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe." The template does allow for line, breaks, btw, by using <br /> tags. I can't remember at the moment if its in any of the examples I gave, but for some episodes lists I've use that to add additional notes about the episode after the summary, such as to note a difference in names or other similar information. That said, while I do disagree with the length of plot summary you suggested, I also would agree that many episode lists are not currently using proper plot summaries but are instead using teasers. Its something both the TV and Anime projects are working on, but with so many lists, it is a time consuming task. :P AnmaFinotera (talk) 05:13, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I see what you mean by a vulgar example now. I suspect it may have been chosen for having a well-known alternative name. The matter of new lines has been resolved, as I did not realise from the examples provided that it was possible (the examples should be changed to make this explicit). From the looks of plot summaries, we are both within the same rough length as each other (with myself at your upper bound, and yourself at my lower). In terms of where complex sentences are used, we certainly fit into the same count, I suspect. The key thing we need to make sure of is that, in the movement from articles to lists, plot summaries are not reduced to teaser-style lines. It is easier to prune down one that is slightly too long than it is to re-write new length from scratch. LinaMishima (talk) 06:08, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
At first I thought that, but the example doesn't match the real list entry LOL. Most template documents don't do very good jobs of showing their full abilities, particularly this one. I think part of it may be they are expecting the projects to handle full discussion/explanations. I do agree with you on merging. Proper merging would have the plots paired down in the individual articles to more proper lengths, then merged, as is currently being done with List of Neon Genesis Evangelion episodes (a merge project of the Anime and manga project). AnmaFinotera (talk) 06:21, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the NGE list, most entries on rough skimming feel about right, although some seem a little short (the two-line entries). However, this is NGE we are talking about - perhaps one of the best definition of filler episodes for about the first entire half of the show :P LinaMishima (talk) 06:29, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
First, the template is very flexible. I wouldn't worry too much about any special formats.
Back to the issue of "length of description", I agree that the SG-1 episode length is about right. I point to Smallsville (Season 1) which has a similar length. Now, to address other aspects:
  • Things can be cited from secondary sources (nominated episodes for actors, etc.) can be included after the plot in the same "section" of the episode description.
  • Cultural references are tricky. I really like how we've defined what's appropriate at WP:VG/POP for video game pop culture references, and basically, in most cases, the reference works should be wikilinked into the plot without having additional points; if you need to break out of the plot to add more points, it's likely not a necessary CR. (eg Make Love, Not Warcraft, should, at some point, link to World of Warcraft without having to create a special blurb about it.
The only thing i'm going to throw in here devil's-advocatingly is that if we do have a notable episode with its own page, would not the limitations on plot that we're talking about for episode lists should follow there? What makes notable episodes "special" that allows them to get a larger plot section, if this is not the case? --MASEM 04:40, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the devil's advocacy, I don't think 'notable' episodes should need a larger plot section in general. Where the notability refers to aspects of the plot line, then those aspects should be expanded upon, and it is notability which grants this expansion. However, were an episode notable for another reason, there should be little need to expand. In general, a scene can be accurately described as having a single core verb (forming a sentence), and a collection of scenes (an act) forms a single motion (paragraph). The purpose of the plot summary is to understand the events of the episode, rather than the specific blow-by-blow account. Viewing this in reverse, if notability does not effect the depth of plot summary required, then, playing devil's advocate, should not all episodes have the same basic level of plot summary (except for those whose notability does effect the summary depth required)? Although it should be noted now that I have conceded on the idea of requiring an act per paragraph in the list summary, however it is still useful for secondary sources. I agree with you about attempting, where possible, to use wikilinks - that is a major advantage of being not paper. LinaMishima (talk) 05:05, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Specific examples

I would like some input on specific articles.

Is the television episode The Enemy Within (Star Trek) notable? Does that article contain significant coverage from reliable sources?

Is the television serial The Ribos Operation notable? Does that article contain significant coverage from reliable sources?

Is the television episode Skin of Evil notable? Does that article contain significant coverage from reliable sources?

Is the television episode What is… Cliff Clavin? notable? Does that article contain significant coverage from reliable sources?

Is the television episode Lisa's First Word notable? Does that article contain significant coverage from reliable sources?

Is the television episode A Leela of Her Own notable? Does that article contain significant coverage from reliable sources?

Any comments would be appreciated. --Pixelface (talk) 20:30, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I did not do the research to determine notability. What I will say is that none of those articles gives any evidence of notability... if there is a direct and detailed examination of any of those episodes in an independent and reliable source, none of those articles mentioned it.Kww (talk) 20:40, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
No, none of those contain significant coverage from reliable sources, and none give evidence of notability. They are primarily plot with a non-free image and some trivia thrown in. I suspect Skin of Evil could be notable because I believe it was the first Star Trek episode to ever kill off a major character (rather than the anonymous red shirt), but right now it does not assert it and all should be merged into their respective List of Episodes if, after being tagged and given the appropriate amount of time to deal with it (2-4 weeks depending on how active the article editors are), the issues aren't addressed. AnmaFinotera (talk) 22:59, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to do more than just look at notability, as I think to just discuss the one issue of an article's right to be an article is a little short-sighted. Many of the articles you linked have other issues, which makes it harder to see how to merge them into a list or even irritate some more serious editors:
  • The Enemy Within (Star Trek):
    • Episode summary is separate from the rest of the lead. There is no reason to actually do this, a lead is supposed to be freely flowing prose
    • Plot summary - about 50% too long to twice as long as it should be. Slightly too detailed account of the episode
    • Trivia maintenance banner yet trivia section is small (unhelpfully slapped on, basically)
    • Trivia section features some worthwhile information, although perhaps better suited to character pages
    • Trivia information is not sourced. For the point regarding the shuttlecraft, I know this can be sourced easily enough. Likewise I suspect the other points, from the ST Encyclopaedias (which were written for fan-benefit).
    • Notability is sadly not established. Although it has call for merit (nerve pinch first use), we really do need third-party support of it's importance
    • Once plot summary is summarised further and trivia moved to better articles, what remains is short and easily contained within a list.
  • The Ribos Operation:
    • Synopsis really should be in the lead
    • Plot summary seems to be of about the right length (four paragraphs covering four episodes - could well deserve more)
    • Continuity section has useful content, but does not collect well under that heading. Some points should be merged into Production
    • Notability from third party sources is not established, however it is the first appearance of another Time Lord. On the other hand, this is one of the less well-known arcs, in my opinion.
    • Difficult to merge into a list, due to the depth of information available, especially regarding filming (and the fact it covers four episodes).
    • Fairly mature article - I can't pick many holes into the article at all
    • Third party sources probably available - Dr Who is cult enough that there may well exist fan-written guides. Certainly at the time of airing, Dr Who serials did and do still tend to get coverage within the press and magazines.
    • Dr Who is likely a major exception to the rule: Dr Who is best considered as a collection of short story serials, similar to short films. Dr Who articles do not cover episodes, but story arcs, which are often accompanied by books and occasionally radio plays. This transmedia nature regarding a production that normally lasts around two hours, regarding a significant TV show, may well merit their own articles (but not for the individual episodes within).
  • Skin of Evil:
    • Overview again not part of the lead, very poor style
    • Plot summary - quite frankly you would be forgiven for screaming. It is a horrible wall of text. Needs to be at least a third of its current length.
    • Production notes are roughly sourced, but not sourced properly. It is unclear if "Star Trek TNG Companion" is a paramount production written by the cast and crew, or by an external person interested in the series.
    • No special mention at all of the death of Tasha Yar and it's importance in terms of ST history, or even just in terms of ST:TNG. It would have warranted being in the lead, and mention of the filming order (that this was not her last episode filmed, if I recall correctly, and this is fairly common knowledge) would have belonged in the production notes.
    • Notability is hard to establish without more information. Currently suspect that the episode might have been used in a discussion of named character death in sci-fi, but no references actually provided, and that is a long shot.
    • Currently nearly impossible to merge into a list, but for the wrong reasons. The plot summary's excessive length is frankly worrying.
  • What is… Cliff Clavin?:
    • Lead is well written
    • Plot summary is of appropriate length
    • Trivia maintenance banner is entirely unhelpful, especially as this section seems to establish a degree of notability!
    • Notability is slightly established through the reference in the PSX game and the significantly unusual setting of the episode. Fair chance of finding a third-party source regarding Jeopardy mentions within media, and thanks to the social importance of cheers.
    • No problems adding the article entirely as it stands to a list
  • Lisa's First Word:
    • Plot summary - a third to twice as long as it should be (however the pace of cartoons is such that this length might be required)
    • Production notes need sourcing
    • Trivia section consists of character information (for character pages) and production notes in need of sourcing.
    • Cultural references deals mostly with trivial aspects of the program, rather only than those cultural aspects key to understanding the episode (such as all those relating to the 1984 olympics)
    • "Can't sleep, clowns will eat me" is the wider importance of this episode, having inspired a song (on Dragontown special release, for your information), and is fairly well known memephrase.
    • Additional third-party sources would be good
    • Notability could still be debated, however the clown meme and song provides a good case.
    • Correcting summary length and cultural references, there is no reason why what remains could not be part of a list with extended entries.
  • A Leela of Her Own:
    • Plot summary is of about the right length, perhaps could do with being a little smaller.
    • Cultural references too long and unsourced. Some are needed, but most are passing mentions.
    • Continuity section of little value, mostly mentions in passing, rather than important to understanding.
    • Production notes really cultural mentions in passing.
    • Notability not established, no third-party sources mentioned and no aspect of the episode presents a likelihood of a third-party source existing
    • A list entry of appropriate length appears once the article is pruned of mentions in passing.
Regarding cultural references, I am harsh on mentions in passing because these are often almost impossible to reference, and of little importance in the future long after the initial airing of the episode. Whilst a scholar of the series would find the information useful, casual readers are likely to get the wrong impression regarding the significance (indeed, cartoons overload on these because they're quick gags, not significant). Most importantly, I have seen mentions in passing wrongly attributed far too many times. LinaMishima (talk) 00:25, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to disagree with what you're saying about Dr. Who (though I see where you're going with it) if only to maintain a constant assertion of notability. Yes, we likely will never have coverage of a single "episode" of the old Dr. Who show, but from the standpoint of other works, each set of 4 or 6 episodes per Dr Who format is equivalent to an episode in any other TV show; length should not have anything to do with notability. --MASEM 00:30, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, LinaMishima, for your extremely detailed response. I very much appreciate it. I also appreciated your earlier comment about constructive/destructive edits. I am thankful for your insight on these issues. --Pixelface (talk) 08:43, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Those articles are all examples of what has made this a top-ten website. Sure they could do with improved references and tighter editing - the same could be said of any other randomly selected articles. The various editors who have worked on these articles should be congratulated not denigrated. Catchpole (talk) 19:09, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
About Doctor Who, yes. All episodes within its universe have significant coverage in at least one source that is linked from the page (for most, it's not in references, but it should not be moved there solely to move it there), for Doctor Who, at least two, for the classic series, at least 3. (BBC's classic episode guide (online reproduction of The Discontinuity Guide), Doctor Who reference guide, A Brief History of Time (Travel)). Will (talk) 21:12, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

New toy - template to keep track of merged episodes

Have a look at Template:Merged episode lists (with thanks to User:CBDunkerson). One word of warning, please DO NOT use this in article namespace. It is intended for use on talk pages of episode lists (and on WikiProject talk pages) as a convenient way of keeping track of merged articles. People should also include links to a relevant category (haven't done this for Open All Hours yet), which will show at a glance which episodes are redirects or articles (the redirects will be in italics). Hope this helps. I will try and mention this at the RfC and the ArbCom case later today, but if someone else could do that instead, that would be great, as I have to rush off now. Carcharoth (talk) 12:52, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Informal survey/opinion

Given how we're approaching some consensus on the issue of notability for television episodes, I'm wondering if it would make sense to consider a short-lived (or at least, at the start) task force that would be used to evaluate all existing episode articles per whatever the new notability guidelines are, and to determine if they are sufficiently notable or not, as to tag and given any episode article that fails the notability guideline a month to get into shape, followed by merging of all those that didn't - such that we can remove the bias that some editors see in how some series are treated over others?

Part of this would to make sure there's some offsite wiki to accept the various episode pages that end up being merged back into episode lists, so that the info is not lose. --MASEM 21:33, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I would love to feel that there is some approach towards consensus on notability, but I haven't seen it. What is your sense of the approaching consensus, understanding that it's rough? --Lquilter (talk) 21:41, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
The arguments are laid out at least. Yes, I know there's no consensus yet, but a step has been towards getting there. --MASEM 21:43, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Feel free to resurrect WP:TVE. Right now it's just a subpage waitin' for some action. -- Ned Scott 03:08, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


I have not been following the above discussion because it is so long and I doubt that I am the only one with this problem. Could someone bring us up to speed, please? –thedemonhog talkedits 22:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Most of the recent hubbub is over several edits by TTN (talk · contribs) which has resulting in a second Arbitration Committee case against this type of behavior. However, ArbCom rarely gets involved in content issue, and thus we are required to resolve that issue without expecting their help there. The question of if television episodes should be covered, and how we determine that coverage is being discussed: one argument is that any television is automatically notable without having to demonstrate any further notability (as a television show cannot be notable if its episodes are not), while the other argument is notability defined by Wikipedia is necessary. This is being discussed at this RFC presently to come to a consensus on this issue. --MASEM 22:28, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, but I was actually more wondering if anyone is "winning". –thedemonhog talkedits 22:46, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I would advise not to use "winning" as that implies WP is a game, but I understand your meaning. As to that, no, we're still trying to determine consensus at the RFC. --MASEM 22:49, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I hope my statements haven't been interpreted strictly that way - that all episodes of a show are automatically notable. My argument is more a support of a default presumption of notability in certain cases; like being from a notable show and being on prime time on a national network should generally be enough to establish a default assumption of notability enough to give an episode its own page if the editors of that series believe it would lead to easier organization. It's not intended to be a free-for-all, but it's nowhere near as restrictive as some people interpret the guideline. Torc2 (talk) 22:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Television episodes/RFC Episode Notability#RFC Summary To Date / Possible Solution/Compromise. –thedemonhog talkedits 18:44, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Poll on the viability of this guideline

As I have stated many times before, I think this guideline is an example of instruction creep, is redundant, is confusing (because it is neither soley a notability guideline nor a style guideline), is unecessary (a good WP:FICT should give appropriate notability guidance, a good WP:WAF should give the necessary style guidance, and a project page could provide any other needs), and is overly-specific (as there are issues with "character" articles, "places/settings" articles, and even "objects" articles).

I thought that some traction was being made to change this guideline to a redirect or even (as Ned had suggested) a disambiguation page. This has since turned into the home of centralized discussions regarding TV episodes. I think this obfuscates the points I have made that this guideline should go for a number of reasons and makes it appear that there is an active discussion of the guideline itsself. I would like to take a brief poll of editors thoughts about the guideline. The question is, "Should this guideline be changed to a redirect or a disambiguation page?" Please limit your discussion to this specific topic and do not use the poll area to debate other editors.

  • Wait until the revised WP:FICT is (hopefully) online, the RfC is over, and the new arbcom case is over (or at least until it indicates a strong direction). There is just so much going on, and getting rid of WP:EPISODE now just throws more gasoline into the fire. – sgeureka t•c 11:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with sgeureka. Everyone will be in a much better position to consider this issue after other related issues are settled. I think this is a valid discussion topic but it would be better discussed at a later time. ●BillPP (talk|contribs) 11:49, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I am fine with waiting and I certainly do not want to ramp up an already volatile situation. I think the RfAr should be over in less than three weeks. I am not sure how long it will take the revised FICT to come online, however. Ursasapien (talk) 12:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • STOP This is absurd. Ursasapien, we have an active RfC right now, we have discussions going on, trying to throw in a poll like this is pretty much disruptive at this point. -- Ned Scott 23:31, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, Ned, we have several RFC's going on. None of them have anything to do with the question that is posed in this poll. I believe the one you are referencing is the RFC concerning how notability for television episodes is determined. We have several discussions going on at one time, as we always do. I have already said that I plan on waiting to address this issue. You told me that this specific question would be addressed. I have waited patiently for over a week and I would like to pose the question to the broader community. That is what you call be disruptive? That gives you the right to refactor my comments and reopen a duplicate discussion on another page? I think you are letting your emotions get the best of you. Ursasapien (talk) 07:59, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • We didn't anticipate the RfC or Maniwar's postings to attract more users. That doesn't make these bad things or not, but it does mean that things will take longer because of them. Masem has said that he'd like to wait for those discussions before putting any of the drafts into play, which that itself may or may not be ready to happen. You've been incredibly impatient and now you're starting to sound paranoid. We'll get to it when we get to it. Believe it or not, even if WP:EPISODE can be better presented in FICT and WAF (which itself hasn't been decided yet), it's not going to do the damage you seem to think it will or has. -- Ned Scott 06:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • even if WP:EPISODE can be better presented in FICT and WAF (which itself hasn't been decided yet), it's not going to do the damage you seem to think it will or has. - Could you explain what you mean by this? Are you speaking of the damage EPISODE has done to the encyclopedia and our community, or are you assuming that I wish to do some type of damage to guidance? I am not at all paranoid, but I am impatient. I see EPISODE as not only un-useful but as harmful. When you combine confusing guidance that does not conform to consensus with an attitude of rabid enforcement of said guidance you get madness. My hope is that guidance can be slimplified, clarified, and seen as truly descriptive. Ursasapien (talk) 06:52, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Like I've said in many statements defending TTN, that while I don't agree with everything he's done, and that I do want to find better ways to deal with these situations, the number of times he's been wrong about something is definitely in the minority. Regardless of that, and to put it bluntly, most of us think this situation can wait a while more. There are even some who don't think a merge to WP:FICT and WP:WAF is a good idea at all. This discussion is far from over, and far from concluded. -- Ned Scott 07:25, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • And yet, you want to cut off discussion. You still have not clarified what you meant in the italicized statement. What are you talking about, exactly? Ursasapien (talk) 08:04, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not trying to cut off discussion, if anything I'm pointing out that we are discussing these issues on another page. What I mean in the italicized text is that, one, we don't know if WP:EPISODE is going to be merged yet, and two, I don't believe it to be damaging at all, at least not near what you have been asserting. We're rebuilding consensus with this RfC and other RfCs/community discussions that will follow it. That might mean a new guideline, it might mean a guideline that is very similar to the one right now, it might mean additions to FICT and WAF. This certainly isn't going to get glossed over, not with this many people following the issue. -- Ned Scott 10:11, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Wait for the RfCs to finish. Scalene (talk) 09:44, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

When episodes are and are not detailed - soaps, dramas, scripted quiz shows

As part of the ongoing discussion regarding episode articles, I was planning to strike up a discussion regarding the extent of episode coverage content and how this relates to notability (i.e. what the minimum coverage desired for an episode is, and how the coverage should expand as notability increases). However, it occurred to me that not all television shows even have episodic or seasonal coverage! Certainly, game shows such as Blockbusters (UK game show) often do not, and whilst these are not part of the FICT debate, some exist that are highly scripted such as Have I Got News for You and gain DVD releases. More relevantly to the discussion here, however, is soap operas such as EastEnders and Home and Away. Their overall storylines get coverage, however they are never divided into episodes (as a rule). Reviewing other forms of drama, General Hospital simply has plot history coverage, whilst Casualty (TV series) has episodic detail. One would presume that the assumption in use is that of episodic content rather than rolling (or another appropriate term), but this matter seems to have not been discussed at all yet, and could be useful to understanding the factors at work here. LinaMishima (talk) 17:41, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

This also reminds me of a past discussion about Saturday Night Live episodes at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television/Archive 6#Saturday Night Live episodes, which might be of some interest to others. -- Ned Scott 07:26, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Interesting, thank you for linking to that! That's another new idea, the concept that a show may be made up of sketches. I do think this matter needs more general discussion, especially so as to ensure consistency. And without discussing this, concepts of discussing what needs to be covered regarding episodes is a little hard. LinaMishima (talk) 13:51, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Further expansion of ER to list entry template

I've had an idea about including an optional TV series paremeter for {{tl:ER to list entry}} such that the category articles are sorted into can be further categorized by show. Please see Template talk:ER to list entry to add any comments or questions. --MASEM 15:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Not a bad idea. WAVY 10 Fan (talk) 16:02, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Several new proposals for Template:Episode list and other notes

Somewhat related to this page, in an MOS sense: I've made a bunch of proposals for the episode templates {{Episode list}} and {{Japanese episode list}} (such as dedicated "Director" and "Writer" fields), as well as a method of translcuding season pages onto main LOE pages, plus other notes. Input from anyone interested would be greatly appreciated. See Template talk:Episode list#Revamp -- Ned Scott 06:37, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposed split of EPISODE

As discussed above, right now, as EPISODE reads, it's both a notability guideline and an MOS. This is probably a bad aspect of it. To that end, I propose we split that off.

I realized that what we are talking about for tv shows can be applied (in the general case) to any serialized work (fiction or not). I have created Wikipedia:Notability (serial works), which I propose that EPISODE should point to, specifically to talk about notability of episodes and issues of serial works (note, of course, I don't have many other types of works besides TV shows in there). This, of course, is not yet set anywhere in stone and would need to be discussed further. But assuming that is ok, I propose that the bulk of what we currently have at EPISODE be changed to be more an MOS description, removing the sections that define notability though still pointing to NOTE, FICT, and this new guideline.

I am not saying we need to do this now, but I think this will help with some of the issues people seem to be having. --MASEM 17:11, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I don't think the proposed serial episode guideline goes far enough in stressing reliable independent sources. I really like the new version of WP:FICT, which I think summarizes quite nicely the consensus on notability for fictional works, and now I wonder if we really need a separate guideline for serial works. I think the paragraphs concerning how to group serial episodes are useful from your new guideline, it would probably be better served in an episode MOS/Layout page. Karanacs (talk) 20:32, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Karanacs that WP:FICT already covers the main parts of the new proposed guideline for episodes. I further believe that WP:NOT#DIR rather works against episode lists than in favor, and that we can have AfD deal with the few separate lists of serial works that may be inappropriate. However, the subsection "Specific guidelines for serial works" (which seems to be based on the recent RfC) should be considered to be folded as WP:EPISODE into FICT. Maybe add a featured episode article as example for illustration. Leave the MOS for WP:TV, and link there (here). – sgeureka t•c 21:54, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I am in favour of the split, as many of us are considering all serial works anyhow, not just TV episodes, and also desire a certain level of coverage (which is a MOS issue). LinaMishima (talk) 14:41, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I would like to reiterate my opinion that WP:FICT is sufficient for notability. Any notability guidance beyond that is just instruction creep. As far as MOS concerns, I think anything not covered in WP:WAF can be covered in project specific guidance (i.e. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)). I think WP:EPISODE should be turned into a disambiguation page like this that includes all the discussions, project guidance, and all the different "depth of coverage" concerns. Ursasapien (talk) 12:14, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • A split would be appropriate if there were enough notability-related content to justify a separate article. I've yet to see any evidence that the notability portion of the guideline can't be expressed fully as a small paragraph within WP:FICT, even with the more general scope of "serial works". As far as MOS stuff goes I wouldn't say for certain that a separate page for TV subjects would be inappropriate, but I do think that an entire article devoted to nothing but how to write about TV episodes is a bit overspecialized. An MOS page detailing how to write about TV in general, with individual sections concerning episodes, season pages, etc. etc. seems more appropriate, more centralized, and less WP:CREEPy. -- Y|yukichigai (ramble argue check) 13:04, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I have expressed this elsewhere, but I remain concerned about it - we routinely accept film articles with just plot summaries and let them sit for ages. Including relatively small films that have, no doubt, smaller audiences than episodes of top shows like CSI and Grey's Anatomy. There is, in a world of DVDs and DVD commentaries, copious online interviews, easily obtained ratings information, and fan-sites filled with information that can be used to judge fan response simply no reason to say that anything that airs on a major network or cable channel would lack real-world information. And past that, we should apply the same willingness to let a stub flesh out that we do for films and novels. A programmatic and rules-based approach is no substitute for individual judgment in specific cases, and a poor substitute for the eventualist mentality through which this project developed into what it is today. Phil Sandifer (talk) 16:40, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I still don't think you can compare most individual episodes with films, because episodes will share a great deal of production information that is the same for most or all of them. However, that's really not the point, because I think what you are trying to say is that you see the potential for episode articles, and I'd have to agree with that. The number of sources for the information we seek, such as commentaries and interviews and books, are increasing all the time.

    However, in the past we have let episode articles sit around to see what happens, and most of the time what does happen isn't desired. We get blow-by-blow summaries, original research interpretations, speculation, or simply something that doesn't grow at all, and gives the reader more hoops to jump through rather than having that information on an LOE or season page.

    My impression has always been that is the main reason we are more cautious about these stubs. It would be ideal if we could just leave episode stubs around, but it causes more cleanup in the long run. For most of these articles, to become a GA or an FA would mean a very different article than the one this guideline suggests avoiding. WP:EPISODE is saying to avoid the bad path, and to seek the good path, and it certainly isn't saying there isn't a path. -- Ned Scott 07:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
This new way doesn't seem to be increasing referencing of episode articles, although I'm sure we've driven away thousands of newbies. I looked at the history of a random Simpsons episode article and it was three years old. There are some editors who are attempting to make every Simpsons episode a GA or FA and I think they've done one or two seasons (very impressive). At that rate it will take them 5 or 10 years before they finish. It's like our 5000 GAs and FAs out of 2000000 artilces on WP. We should do whatever leads to the most GAs and FAs the quickest, instead of the highest percentage of GAs and FAs. The Simpsons didn't do it with a concise episode list; with efforts going to the current episode to be improved within. I don't think I've ever seen that happen, except for maybe Bignole. I think even he created the FA Smallville Pilot almost out of whole cloth. The reason our guidelines are supposed to be descriptive, is that proscriptive doesn't work that well with volunteers. If our goal is to have 100 GA episode articles (say), I think TTN et al. have set us back at least a year, and decreased the rate of making GA and GA episode articles for a long time into the future. I myself made about 5000 edits before I even added my first ref; since then I've added 100s or maybe even (low) 1000s. If that's typical editing behaviour, then TTN and the rest have basically killed the goose that layed the golden eggs. Imagine how many Simspon GAs there'd be if they had been fighting TTN for the past year; not many. You're comments at User_talk:TTN#Don.27t_burn_all_your_bridges are interesting. You, Bignole, and others basically gave TTN his license early on, and now he's redirecting articles to "List of" articles. He's started redirecting "List of" articles to the media's main article. I'm pretty sure his next step is to get rid of the main articles. You and a few other editors have helped to create this monster. Please help to stop it. It's going to take a number of editors who were originally on his side using IRC, IM, etc. to stop this. Please, please give this some thought. Matthew, you, CBurnett, I and some other editors used to have fun fighting over these things, but it ain't fun anymore. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 08:38, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
That was insightful, but I'll comment. I am sure that current actions have driven off a lot of newbies (which is always unfortunate), but so does general AfD, and if they are really interested in unencyclopedic editing, they may find a new home at specialized wikia to which in turn wikipedia can link if it is well maintained, and we can have the cake and eat it too. Editors may also come back to WP once they are interested in a less in-universe perspective. But all of this is neither here nor there; we don't know how this will affect us in the future; e.g. de:wikipedia has always had very strict rules with fiction, they only have minor problems with what we label fancruft, and they seem to have the best reputation of all wikis. The count for "whatever leads to the most GAs and FAs the quickest" could also be regarded from the other side: imagine how many GAs and FAs I could have written if I hadn't spend the last 10 weeks transwikiing and merging and/or redirecting literally hundreds of fiction articles (all from one show). None of these articles have been started by me, and I haven't really got into expanding the plot summaries in the season articles yet (the wikia link will have to do in the meantime). The time it took me to trim the escessive plot summaries for episode-to-be-GAs was also about the same as if I had just written them up from scratch, or so I believe. I don't agree with everything TTN does, but his editing initiated a wave of voluntary cleanup from less-deletion-minded editors which can only help to balance out everything in the end. – sgeureka t•c 10:13, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it's important to distinguish between what happens on episode articles a lot, which is non-ideal (plot summary, lack of out-of-universe information) and something that is undesirable and should be forcibly removed. Most episode articles do sit around in a mediocre state for ages, but that's true of most articles period. We still have ugly Rambot articles on towns five years after Rambot started running. (And, notably, Rambot was the subject of a very similar outcry of people decrying, essentially, placecruft.) But a mediocre article or even a bad article is a threshold that sits well above an article that should be merged and/or deleted. There is no harm in keeping accurate articles that are poorly assembled and incomplete around. We are not a finished product. Phil Sandifer (talk) 16:50, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
The largest issue with anything dealing with fictional works (as well certain other areas of coverage) is that we must consider that there are a large number of potential editors out there that have a very strong interest in certain fictional works; they may see WP as being a place they can expound on those works moreso than in forums or other locations, and because WP is very visible to the public, the world can see those writings. That, in of itself, is not bad - more, encouraged editors are great. However, the problem is that most of these editors do not read through guidelines and policies first - instead, they follow examples of what is already on the site and thus until someone points them to any policy or guideline, they are typically writing without that net. (We can't force editors to read these first, however). Because of their numbers and enthusiasm, the growth of such articles on WP will be a kudzu-like growth based on what the average state is of similar representative articles. (This is not limited to fiction, the math coverage on WP is in about the same shape from this point). While we can mark "plot-only" episode articles as stubs and toss cleanup tags on them, that is not going to stop a new editor from creating a comparable article in the same state. As a result, we end up with more articles than we have policy-aware editors to come around and clean up, and this can easily be a losing battle to excessive growth in this area. A similar point can be made about trivia sections and unsourced speculation on certain events in TV shows.
This doesn't mean we eliminate coverage of individual episodes, but instead perform the suggested merge to episode lists, with the present suggestion of allowing a few more lines of coverage of plot and other aspects that may not make a non-notable article but can be covered encyclopedically, splitting episode lists to seasons if length is an issue. Ideally, if our TV was spot-on perfect, new editors would see episodes covered primarily in lists, with notable episodes broken out with lots of real-world aspects discussed, and realize that a bare plot-only article is not appropriate, and thus will create appropriate episode lists for a new TV show. Mind you, I don't expect us to achieve "perfection" any time soon, but the closer we can approach that, the easier it will be to maintain higher quality articles from new contributors.
Mind you, I certainly don't believe that we need to rush to merge "new" stubs (those created in the last few months), as we should give editors time to establish more details. However, if someone has taken the time to invest to put a detailed plot and infobox in place for an episode (questionably moving it from a stub to a Start-class article), and the article hasn't changed for a while (more than 2-3 months), we should prod the editors to make improvements, and/or merge appropriately. --MASEM 17:37, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I tend not to think that "percentage of articles on a topic that are any good" is a useful yardstick. Yes, silly in-universe stubs outnumber good articles on fiction, and yes, this percentage is, over time, likely to become more overwhelming in favor of poor articles. But to my mind the better yardstick than "what percentage of our articles are good" is "how many of our articles are good?" Given that Wikipedia has pretty much embraced its permanent work-in-progress state as a fundamental aspect of what it is, it seems to me deeply unlikely that we will ever make it to a point where 10% of our articles are good. But we will, over time, make it to the point where we have hundreds of thousands of good articles. But the past experience of Wikipedia has, generally speaking, shown that a poor article is more likely to be turned into a good article than no-article, or an article that, if it is spun off, will quickly be reverted back to a merged list. Simply put, Wikipedia generally grows through pretty incremental change, and the change necessary to spin an item on a list off to its own article is pretty non-incremental. And since the in-universe articles are generally flawed due to poor focus, not due to egregious error or violation of core content policies, I tend to suspect that there's just not really anything to be gained by merging and deletion. Especially because plot summary is still an important part of our fiction articles. So it's not like an episode article that is just plot is serving up bad information. It's just not serving up all of the good information that it should. That's OK. Even if the articles doing this grow monstrously, it's still more good information we're serving up. Phil Sandifer (talk) 00:34, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that a stub article is always the best way to grow an article. A prime example of this was with hundreds of Digimon articles, that when they were merged into lists received far more love and care than they ever did as an unmanageable mass of independents. On a less extreme scale, I've seen this same argument used for episode articles, where content is more likely to be neglected because it's spread out between 20 or 50 articles. Sometimes leaving something as a stub makes it harder to work with. -- Ned Scott 06:34, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
And there may be cases where merges are preferable. But I'm very uncomfortable making them the default policy. Phil Sandifer (talk) 20:05, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Other Wikis

While I personally think this policy (although I'm not saying any people behind it are, they're probably just trying to make Wikipedia the best it can be) is incredibly idiotic (most notably because for some of the more complex shows have depth that can't be conveyed through a show overview and which is best displayed within the episodes, but when that depth is attempted to be shown in a table you end up with rather weak summaries or completely unwieldy tables (see List of Cowboy Bebop episodes for an example of this)), I understand the logic behind it and think it'll probably win out.

Wikipedia is apparently not supposed to be an encyclopedia of everything about everything, rather it's just an encyclopedia of everything. It's disappointing and disappointments like this are why I no longer make any real efforts to get into the Wikipedian community, but it is understandable.

However, if this is the case, then it is logical for tv fans to seek out other encyclopedias more tv-centric to edit and/or to place this material (since Wikipedia material doesn't need to be cited (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong on this) (although I believe it is required to go to a free source then). There are plenty of single show-centric wiki's out there, but to point out a wiki that covers all of tv, I'd like to suggest tv-interested editors who are tired of this policy to migrate over to TV IV:

While I don't want to bash Wikipedia too heavily (I am a bit saddened by how it's developed in the last few years, but that's more of a matter of it not fitting my tastes and a few more minor procedural flaws, it still is a project of admirable worth), I do think that if TV-article editors are getting frustrated by episode article restrictions, they should make a statement with their feet and edit elsewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Hear, hear. I'm not against standards being set for episode articles, but too many folks are mixing that up with the whole deletionist vs. inclusionist argument. It's gone from "let's make sure each episode article has X,Y,Z" to "Forget it, it's not as notable as Moby Dick, so delete the whole thing." And I really get bad taste in my mouth at how this will also throw WP:NPOV out the window because apparently some episodes will still be OK for articles while others won't be. For example, two Star Trek episodes, "City on the Edge of Forever" and "The Trouble with Tribbles" both have full-fledged books written about them. But no one has ever written a book about "Spectre of the Gun" so that episode article will probably be deleted. Or, once again proving that Wikipedia for all its claims of being the encyclopedia of tomorrow is still stuck in the 1990s, the only sources happen to be online fan sites and of course they aren't considered "real" sources, even though I have already seen one recently released book ("The Bionic Book", a history of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman) criticized for having not as much info as some fan sites. So a fan website is being declared superior to a published work. But would the fan site be accepted as a Wikipedia-friendly source? Noooo .... 23skidoo (talk) 00:36, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Dont think about this as a done deal--I think the consensus is with you. Frankly it escapes me why there is not an obvious compromise--substantial subarticles for a series or season or sequence or other unit, varying in length according to the importance of the episode and the series, with those where there is enough to say or really good sources broken out into individual articles. A main reason I have supported many individual articles is that in actuality the alternative here is the relegation of the material to a sentence in a listing, which may be enough for TV guide but is not enough for an encyclopedia. WP is not a program guide, and is not meant to provide quickly-read teasers, but actual information to inform people about notable things, including cultural artifacts. DGG (talk) 03:41, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
    • I see no problem with allowing for more length to be given to an episode description in an episode list, breaking out the list by season if length is an issue, to balance the issue of notability and providing more than a quick summary. WP:PLOT is still a guiding principle for these, as WP should not be a replacement for watching the episode, but I can see the argument of providing enough of a summary to provide a refresher, context for other articles, or the like. --MASEM 03:55, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with what you have said, bearing in mind that the amount of information people may reasonably want will depend upon the importance of the series. I do not think there is a real disagreement among those working here on general principles--the question now becomes how they will actually be applied. Write any principle, and people will apply it contrary to the intent. We need to guide, not oppose, what WPedians actually do here. DGG (talk) 05:39, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


What's going on with this page? Would someone summarize it for me? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 07:18, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

In short, nothing. We're all sort of drained from the arbcom stuff, and are still waiting to see more comments for WP:FICT. I get the impression that once things at WP:FICT are stable, we'll tackle this page, but that shouldn't stop anyone if they wish to continue any discussion or proposals specifically to WP:EPISODE. -- Ned Scott 07:38, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. It can be hard to follow the discussion over all the pages it's happening on. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 07:45, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. The discussion is so fragmented and hard to follow that I doubt that it will result in genuine consensus. Colonel Warden (talk) 10:11, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

How the content is arranged in episode pages

I'm bringing this here because this could impact a vast number of articles.

Last night, Tony Sidaway did some changes to Torchwood series 2 episode articles - fair enough, there are only six aired so far, and I, if not the parent project WikiProject Doctor Who have normally been supportive of his small changes, as they are normally for the better. What he did this time around was rearrange the sections to give real-world information a bit more emphasis.

I really think this might be a good idea, so I used my pet project (Featured articleDoomsday (Doctor Who)) to sandbox what the articles would look like in different combinations, which is available on this subpage (not transcluded so the headers aren't screwed up more than they already are). Personally, I like permutation 4 the best. Thoughts, anyone? Will (talk) 21:19, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I like the current version. Production sections reference the plot several times and can be confusing if one does know the plot. –thedemonhog talkedits 00:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
(ec) As a reader and editor of episode articles, the order I am most familiar with is Intro -> Plot -> Production -> (Cultural References) -> (Broadcast and) Reception. Doctor Who and Co are the only shows that seem to have continuity sections. I try to stick to a chronological order for production for obvious reasons, but the plot should (IMO) come very very early (or even first) in the article because it sets the whole context for the reader who is completely unfamiliar with the events in the fictional work. You can't/shouldn't state that the concept of the Daleks and Cybermen appearing together on screen is not new when the unfamiliar reader doesn't even know that they appear together in this episode (which I haven't watched). The only thing that seems to work (at least for character articles) is a shortish conception section (as in where the writers got the idea in the first place), but anything else is IMO better explained in a way of "this is what happened (plot), and this is how and why it happened (production), and this is what others thought of it (reception)." – sgeureka t•c 00:25, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree that the plot needs to proceed the production section, and then subsequently the reception section. Tony Sidaway's changes, stating that the reception is the most important part of the article and thus needs to be first, isn't wrong per se, as that is the encyclopedic information, but without the buildup of the story and how it was produced, the reception section would seem to be lacking. --MASEM 00:30, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with all above, while I like the idea behind option 4 (Production, plot, reception) due to the idea that it is chronologically accurate (first you make the show, then air it, then people react) I find discussion of the production and reception often require a basic understanding of the plot first. I guess the main issue with re-arranging the sections would be that it would be difficult to follow for those who aren't already fans and while Wikipedia articles shouldn't be a replacement for actually watching the show they should be comprehensible to fans and non-fans alike and I think the best way to achieve that is to lead with "What is this episode?" (plot) and then supporting info on production, reception, etc. One thing I wouldn't mind changing is moving the "cultural references" sections after the "reception" sections as this is the format I've generally been trying to move to for Futurama articles (see Space Pilot 3000), that might be a discussion for another time and place though. Stardust8212 01:06, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Some people like to put deliberate cultural references in production, as it's a part of the writing. Re Sguereka about continuity sections - the section's there partially because it's always been like that, and partially because when a show's been going 40 years, you'll get some motifs recurring, some intentionally. Will (talk) 01:16, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
There are cases (I haven't counted) where the cultural references are specifically referenced in the reception section. But only few very few TV shows (or very few episodes in general TV shows) actually have so many sourceable cultural references that it makes sense to split off cultural references from production in the first place. In such cases, local consensus usually works better than general guidelines. – sgeureka t•c 01:28, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


Who came up with the legal judgment "As a rough guide, this amounts to no more than twelve words per minute of screen time. For example, a 45 minute episode would warrant no more than 540 words." ? And on what basis? DGG (talk) 12:03, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I increased it by two words per minute because only two episode featured articles keep below that limit, and one's on the Main Page right now. Don't know who came up with the ten, though. Will (talk) 12:47, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Pilot (Smallville) keeps that limit. A Streetcar Named Marge is below 500; same with Aquaman (TV program). I think maybe it would read "between 10 and 12 words a minute", because that's probably more accurate of the articles we have.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:49, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I did say below - I think the Smallville pilot is short enough to say "three". And Simpsons is 22 minutes long, not 45 minutes. None of the Simpsons episode FAs go below 300 words (I checked last night), thus I've said "don't limit the summaries if it makes them totally useless", so we can explain the plot of a Simpsons episode adequately, but not be reckless with the "and then Marge did then Bart did then Homer fell over" scene-by-scene descriptions. Will (talk) 12:58, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I liked the old rough guide of 10 words per screen minute as a stylistic guide that worked well, but obviously, when there is a lot of production and reception information, plot descriptions can/should be allowed to be longer (referring to the balance described in WP:WAF). There is also a difference between the plot of a 20 minute episode versus 45 or even 55 minutes. – sgeureka t•c 12:59, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I thought that 100 words / 10 minutes was a general guideline that fell out from the Films project to here. However, it should not be hard-set, as noted; it should be of a length that is appropriate to cover major plot points encyclopedically and to provide any necessary basis to understand the work's notability. Of course, when the actual ratio is much higher than this (say, 200 or more words / 10 minutes ), there's likely a need to restructure how the plot is covered. Providing a number at least helps to establish the appropriate length but allows for variances from there. --MASEM 13:14, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Of course overlong plot summaries are very poor ideas, and the absurd ones people write sometimes are what we are all trying to eliminate, but I dont think a single numerical word count is the way to say that. I'm as concerned that people may try to write up to that number as that it might force unnecessary abridgment. For one thing, it depends on the nature of the show. A very long show could still require only a one or sentence plot description, and a short one might be complicated. Some shows as the Sopranos have multiple plot lines that are critically important to the overall continuity; in some other cases the multiple plots are just time-fillers. Some shows have no necessary continuity from one episode to another, like Star Trek, and require somewhat more background. And doesn't the importance of the show have something to do with it? In how much detail do we describe the less important children's shows? I've looked at Buffy and Star Trek episodes, most are about 10 wpm; some of the most complicated are 15--and those do appear over-long. For the Sopranos, some are just over 20, and they need it. (going by estimated actual show timing, not the nominal time slot.) I noticed by the way that the individual episode articles for all 3 do not include actual timings--surely that's an important real-world detail, especially as they varied in different releases. I also noticed the list of episode one-paragraph summaries are not always very accurate, even for single paragraphs--they tend to be written like teasers.
there are some other problems with that paragraph: Unless it gets really long indeed, length is not the only factor in copyright. I see the MOS quote, but, frankly, I think it's not quite right about that. And In the text here, it is not true that "only purpose of plot summaries is to provide context for the rest of the information"--that does not match any of the proposals at WP:Fiction. One main role certainly, but the role of plot summary is to provide information about the show: I would lie changing to "A principal purpose" , but i can see compromise wordings there as well. --
Is the reason for this actually ascribed to copyright law? It seems like that's a fact that would have to be verifiable for it to be included, unless WP:V doesn't apply to guidelines and we can just make up whatever we want to ensure compliance. Torc2 (talk) 19:09, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
No, not really. It's silly m:copyright paranoia at best, and a deceitful reason for deletion at best. --Gwern (contribs) 19:35 10 February 2008 (GMT)

The detail level of a fiction plot should be inclusive enough that references to it outside that specific fiction work will be understood, but not so detailed that it reduces the commercial value of that work of fiction. For example, if I miss an episode of my favorite show, I should be able to keep track of the plot line by reading our article about it; but I should not come away feeling it would be a waste of time to see that episode when it reruns. We must aim to be of encyclopedic value to our reader while still respecting that we are limited to fair use and not entitled to reduce the commercial value of the copyrighted work. Our editors should be told to balance and why to balance. A mere word count is a useful heuristic, but we are writing an encyclopedia here. Let's emphasize thoughtful behavior over blind application of blunt rules. WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:58, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I should also note that part of the purpose of a plot summary is also to allow clear identification of the work from the plot content. Although it is certainly not what the entries were intended for, I have often found myself with episodes numbered wrongly, and having to watch the opening segment and compare the details to the plot summaries here. As most episodes open differently, it should not have been hard to ensure a distinct separate wording that would have allowed me to quickly ID the episode without requiring that for out of order episodes, I watch so much as to reduce the episode's value. Thankfully, careful selection of proper nouns with respect to the plot (e.g. place names) would have typically been enough additional information. Aside from my own uses of the summaries, and the point regarding identification of the work, I agree with WAS 4.250. LinaMishima (talk) 00:15, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
  • As it is now, the limit isn't bad. My main point with the issue is that many people take a very strict limit with the 10/min. When someone is to the point of simply deleting material when it reaches 200+ words for a 20 minute episode, the idea of a limit is taken to the max. There is no real need for the rule to be changed, but for the interpretation of the rule to be changed. The rule should be an extremely loose one, and going over the limit by a few words would be fine. If the limit were increased to 12 words/minute, this would further help, as to provide at least a new margin for further explanation and expansion of an episode. Because of such a limit, many articles are gaining massive trivia/notes sections, as in many cases a particular user is ruthlessly deleting notable and useful information from the episode synopsis, relegating the one who added the information to include it by further lengthening a trivia/notes section. But that's just my 2 cents. Mastrchf91 (t/c) 00:06, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the idea that you can have extensive plot summary without secondary sources of any sort, as it is licence to spam OR, and encourages disruptive editing though editors rewriting and reverting unattributable content. I think the rules need to be tightened up so that unreferenced plot summaries are kept to a minimum. As you know, I disagree with the idea that individual episodes are notable at all, but the ability to split television series into individual articles with 400 words filled with OR horrifies me. What is need is guidelines that proscribe more real-world content to be added, not more plot. --Gavin Collins (talk) 17:32, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, there is a policy that serves to limit the length of plot summary: WP:V, which says that articles cannot be primarily based on self-published sources (and a plot summary clearly is). That serves as a balance if people obey it: it's hard to come up with large amounts of third-party sourcing for most things, and if you keep the plot summary, casting, and production information combined to be less than the third-party sourced material, it stays pretty small.Kww (talk) 17:47, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Self-published sources would mean sources published by the fictional characters. In a different sense, it would also of course mean the author's blog, I think you mean "primary sources", the work itself being the classic example of a primary source/. It is well established that this is permissible and in fact may be preferable for the straightforward description of fiction. DGG (talk) 19:20, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I think that sources published by the creators of a fictional work, or people compensated by the creators of a fictional work, about that fictional work, qualify as self-published. I don't argue that they cannot be used ... just that they cannot be the primary source of information in an article.Kww (talk) 20:53, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
yes, you are correct if you mean the primary source of notability. The notability of a fiction has to be proven from outside sources, and I cannot imagine anyone would disagree there. But the content of an article is something that can come from whatever appropriate source, and the information about the plot and the characters and the setting come from the fiction itself. It's like uncontroversial bios: the notability ha to be proven from outside, but the details of the persons life can come from reasonably reliable sources derived directly from the person,such as official CVs. In some cases, that might up most of the article--and of course this does not hold if the material is controversial.DGG (talk) 22:34, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
WP:V is not about notability at all, and it prohibits using self-published material as the primary basis for an article. I agree that it serves a valuable purpose in ensuring notability, but that doesn't keep it from being a core policy ... articles should not be primarily based on self-published material, regardless of how otherwise notable the material is. If an article is based on nothing but DVD commentaries and official guides, it shouldn't be in Wikipedia at all. If information derived from such things grows so large as to dominate an article, the solution isn't to split it off into a sub-article and to try to claim it inherits the parent article's notability ... it's to reduce the amount of such information until it is in balance with the information derived from third-parties.Kww (talk) 01:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I am a little unclear on one small point. Why should verifiable information be removed from Wikipedia? Doesn't that contradict our goal? Aren't you introducing systemic bias, something counter to our goal? Hiding T 23:34, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
All systems are biased, and it is a matter of tuning the system and its bias to achieve a desired goal. Our whole concept of notability is geared towards letting other people make the decision. We don't decide whether Joe Blow is notable ... we simply pay attention to whether other people notice him. That way, even if we are in some sense "wrong", we won't be too far wrong, because it's unlikely that numerous third-party sources will all make the same mistake. Keeping articles based on third-party materials also helps us detect bias, because it is unlikely that all third-parties will possess the same bias. Reliance on self-published material breaks down the whole check and balance system. Compromising to reality and allowing self-published material to appear is one thing. Allowing topics and discussion that are primarily self-published is another, and one I hope we don't cross. With material published by the creator, how do you decide what's important and worthy of mention, and what's not? What logic can I use to claim that a detailed analysis of Bender's robotic metabolism isn't justified, but the control system inside Speed Racer's Mach 5 is? If we abandon third-party sourcing, there's nothing left but "I like this" vs. "I don't like that." It's not just notability ... it's what level of detail is required, and how to balance presentation of one aspect vs. another.Kww (talk) 00:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Where we go from here

Those that haven't been following the ArbCom case are encouraged to review the proposed decisions, which, to no surpirse, doesn't directly address anything about content. I will, however, note that two of the Findings of Fact, the Locus of Dispute (the conflict is due to notability guidelines) and Unclear Status (notability is applied inconsistently at times). As we should not expect any more content issues to be brought up by ArbCom, we need to find a way to move ahead.

To that end, I'm going to make a restatement of what I think we should do.

  1. First, we should decide if WP:EPISODE should be changed or not, either to retain or remove "notability" aspects from what is admittedly MOS details. I suggested Wikipedia:Notability (serial works) as a way to break off that, but I don't see it gaining significant ground. However, WP:FICT has been put up for active review for several weeks and while there are wording choices and copyedits going on, fundamental details of FICT (which include considerations for TV episodes) are present. The RFC for this suggested that while it is not unanimously supported, the general consensus does suggest there is a notability threshhold for TV episodes which FICT reflects. (How we handle that, is a different issue). Consensus for this point addresses the Locus of Dispute issue and part of Unclear Status (the conflict between the historical "WP is not paper" and the current way notability in general is approached). This has to be determined first if everything is acceptable. Also, I encourage that we consider allowing a generous plot section in episode lists (3 to 5 pargraphs, within reason) for non-notable episodes.
  2. Second, I still encourage we reactivate or create an episode task force. To address some of the issues from my previous suggestion:
    • We make a broad announcement to WP:TV and any other TV-related project that we are doing this, asking for volunteers.
    • We create a table of each TV series that has episode articles (ha ha! this will be fun) for tracking and signing purposes. I suggest we split this by leading alpha character for simplification.
    • A volunteer who has never worked on the series in question signs up and does a two step process:
      1. The volunteer goes through and determines which episodes clearly fail notability, and which ones are borderline. If in doubt, borderline is better than letting the episode get a clear pass
      2. They create a discussion area on the main TV show or list of episode page, and then provide links to that on each episode page. If the show has a project page (like Simpsons) the notification goes there. There will be a cookiecutter block of text to be added, id'ing both types above.
      3. The volunteer waits a month and allows the editors to make corrects or merge to list of episodes (by season if needed), or possibly work towards a consensus (but being aware we are aiming for consistency here); the volunteer should participate.
      4. If after a month there is no resistance to any merge, the volunteer should proceed to merge and redirect all epiosde pages to list of episodes (by season if necessary for length issues). It is the volunteer's responsibility to make sure plot information is transferred to the episode list, if such does not already exist. Ideally, those editors of the episodes will help with this, but in the case of no response, then the volunteering editor will do so.
      5. Likely there will be some disagreement with what episodes are notable. Over the month, the editors and volunteer should move episodes between the two lists (definitely and possibly non-notable), and unless there is significant disagreement with merging the definite non-notable episodes, that task should be done. The remaining "possibly non-notable" episodes should be tagged as such (Eg {{notability}}) and normal handling of such articles per WP:N/WP:FICT should be performed (including further dispute resolution if ther. If there is a major disagreement with the whole of the process for a TV series, the task force should be notified to help resolve the issue, but disputes over singular episodes should be handled as such are normally handled.
  3. All this is tracked through the tables - who volunteered, the dates when notification was made, the location of the discussion, the dates when things were merged.

This addresses the second part of the ArbCom finding about the inconsistency of article treatment wrt Notability. As long as we start with the same notability guideline, there will be some subjectiveness to this but making sure discussion is opened and tracking such will prevent any extreme interpretation from being pushed through. Thus, we need to make sure that, per WP:N/WP:FICT, what "significant coverage in secondary sources" means, which goes back to the first point I made, making sure we have a happy start for episode notability with specific examples of what qualifies as sources.

Basically, it's the same approach, just cutting out the 3 month waiting period people didn't seem to like before. And while it is a lot of work, I don't think we need to push through to complete it by any point, though I would suggest we give ourselves some goal (50% complete within 6 months? completely done with all pre-2008 TV series/episodes by 12 months? rate probably depends on volunteers), such that we ourselves are demonstrating good faith to meet the ARbCom proposals (and yes, I know they're not yet voted on, I'm pretty sure they will be passed). --MASEM 15:21, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Hi, Masem. I think this is a good idea. Certainly it could help to address some editors' voiced concerns that series are not treated equivalently, which will help heal the community; and more importantly, it can actually get some movement on this issue. I'll be happy to sign up for some series I haven't done before, or work in some other part of the project. --Lquilter (talk) 19:07, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
    I like it. And there is precedent for a month-long wait to debate notability - two MedCab cases have suggested it (I mediated the Firefly characters case, and the concurrent 24 RFMC came with the same independently). Will (talk) 19:18, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I like proposal 2 and 3 alot. However, this is dependent on proposal 1 or at least the subsection where we specifically define the "notability threshhold for TV episodes which FICT reflects . . . with specific examples of what qualifies as sources." I think most editors would be willing to compromise and agree to "list articles" but I think the idea of removing all coverage of plot from television articles is too far. Unfortunately, I think proposal 2 and 3 are doomed to failure if we do not clearly define where the line for notability falls and whether list articles (that contain little more than plot summary and production information) are acceptable. Ursasapien (talk) 09:27, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
    Please note that I am encouraging that we allow more plot information than previously considered appropriate within an episode list table, as well as including any real world info that doesn't strongly qualify notability but can be sourced (eg "This episode was nominated for an award...") This does then allow for an approach to meeting WP:PLOT and still provides good coverage on all episodes. Yes, we do need to make sure the threshhold for notability is defined and agreed on, however, before this can be done, because the sweeps of episodes relies on this to be close to objective to achieve the goal. --MASEM 13:27, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself (I support all of Masem's proposal), but what I suggest for getting an accepted notability threshold is for editors to present some episode article diffs (from a dozen or more shows) having different ranges of demonstrated notability. GAs and FAs are no-brainers, so we can ignore them. "Something Wicca This Way Comes", the pilot of Charmed, could potentially establish notability, but is unacceptable in its current form (IMO). "Truth & Consequences" from Heroes barely establishes notability, but is keeping in line with existing guidelines (IMO). "Solitudes" from Stargate SG-1 tries to establish notability through real-world information but will likely fail any further improvement attempts due to age and lack of sources (IMO), while "Window of Opportunity" (also Stargate SG-1) has a vague claim of notability and was later able to fully demonstrate notability despite the objective lack of awards etc.. "Ji Yeon" from Lost is a perfectly acceptable stub (IMO). "The One with the Embryos" from Friends is short but good. The list could go on. – sgeureka t•c 14:36, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Your judgement on notability seems too severe. To take your failing case of Solitudes, I found an additional source which the current article does not use. It is also mentioned in a book which I don't have and can't readily search. And, generally, I am not persuaded that the List of format is any better at addressing notability concerns than individual articles. Wikipedia has far too many "List of..." articles and we should not be adding to them on the dubious grounds that this is an achievement of some sort. Colonel Warden (talk) 19:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
  • To give a sense of what a large-scale review would encompass, see below. I got the results from Category:Television episodes by series, and it is currently 140-150 shows. Feel free to edit the content below. – sgeureka t•c 15:26, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't think plot information should be transferred to the list of episodes page. Especially if the LOE is a featured article. -- Wikipedical (talk) 19:31, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

  • I think this is a good idea, except for the part about it being the volunteer's job to merge the information. While some people may be willing, I can't imagine we are going to get a whole lot of volunteers to be personally in charge of merging dozens of articles when they know nothing about the subject. If nobody is willing to do the merge, under this proposal, that automatically gives all episode articles a free pass. I still think the volunteer should only be responsible for redirecting and handling things; editors who know about the topic and care are the ones who should merge. seresin | wasn't he just...? 19:46, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
    • In the perfect world, the editors of the episode articles would be the ones to make the merge. Even if the merge is initially contested but determined through the project that merging needs to be done, then I would still expect the editors to help make sure the merged result does not end up a mess. However, if there is no response from any editor for an entire series of episode articles to be merged, and there does not exist an episode list page already, the volunteering editor should make a "sloppy" merge, copying the plot information over, even if its excessively long, just so that information on that show cannot be cut. Within the task force scheme, this case can be marked special that a second editor may want to tackle as to clean it up. (If the episode list does exist and details are already there about the episode, there's no need to worry about this). Basically, if there was an episode article prior to this task force's work, there should be some information on some page about that episode after the task force's work, whether created or already existing. --MASEM 20:39, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
      • I support merging most all information into the LOE, at least as a starting point. We can then slowly, methodically edit the sloppy merge. I think a HUGE piece of this conflict is the speed and urgency with which information is cut. We have time to debate and get these list down to manageable size. I think the list idea is an excellent compromise, but we need to remember that WP:PLOT is not like WP:BLP. Ursasapien (talk) 02:21, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
        • Copying any plot to LOEs, especially FAs like List of Lost episodes or List of The Simpsons episodes, just wouldn't be a good idea. I do take issue with Bullet 2 #4 in the proposal and hope someone can at least clarify the wording if I am misinterpreting it. Thanks. -- Wikipedical (talk) 03:37, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
          • I think Lost and Simpsons are not great examples because episode articles of both generally end up being notable, but lets take a for-instance. Obviously, one would not take every aired Simpsons episode and make one massive list with plot information, as the article would be way too long. When a show has, say, more than 3 seasons or 50 episodes, it makes sense to move that plot information in Episodes-by-season lists, which does not discount the creation of a overall list (similar to your examples) which contain the bare details of each episodes. For shows that have completed their run with a small number of seasons, a single list could probably be made with plot included. So, for example, Faulty Towers would have only one episode list page for its 12 episodes.
          • Quick summary: For shows with 3 seasons or more than 50 episodes, you would have articles on: complete list of episodes (no plot), list of episodes by season (with plot), and any notable individual episode articles. For all other shows, you would have a compelte list of episodes with plot, and any notable episodes. (The numbers aren't in stone, I would say that's the point where you start having problems with size). Per the example above, even if any episode of these series were found to be non-notable, the plot would be put into the season episode lists, not the current featured list.
          • As to your concern on the #4, I don't quite understand what you are worried about.. is it this plot issue? --MASEM 03:51, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
            • Yeah, you've addressed my concern. I only hope that you would incorporate this more detailed explanation a little better in the proprosal. -- Wikipedical (talk) 22:36, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a great idea to me! Its a big task, but not impossible (and I think some in the list now probably have consensus to merge, but are on hold due to a certain injunction *grumble*). I do agree with Wikipedical, though, that whatever plot is on the episode article should not just be transferred to a LoE, as most of those are ridiculously long. AnmaFinotera (talk) 20:37, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
  • This looks like a good appraoch to me. I'm a bit worried about the length of the plot summaries (but of course I can imagine that a longer summary is needed for e.g. a CSI episode than for a Neighbours episode), but that is a minor concern. The overall appraoch, i.e. only individual articles for individually notable episodes, and episode / season lists for the others (with redirects from the episode titles if such exist (most soaps don't have episode titles, I believe)), looks to have a consensus and to be in line with what is done in most other areas of Wikipedia (e.g. for comics, where we have articles for story arcs but not for individual comic book issues). That a reasonable amount of time is needed for discussion and merges is also perfectly reasonable. Fram (talk) 10:58, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree with above. Plots definitely need to be trimmed in the LOE transfer. Some editors may wish to export information to Wikia, so the process for that should perhaps be elaborated alongside a merge. Eusebeus (talk) 20:37, 5 March 2008 (UTC)