A segment of one-off or recurring content intended for broadcast on television. To be used on general questions about TV-shows, not for questions about a specific TV-show.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

39
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I find tv shows/films similar to one I like?

As a general case, how can I find movies or TV shows similar to an existing movie or TV show that I like?
31
votes
7answers
2k views

When/Why did American television change from primarily episodic to primarily serialized?

My recollection of the prime-time television I watched growing up -- the 70s and 80s plus whatever were on at the time -- are almost invariably of episodic television. At the end of each episode, ...
30
votes
4answers
10k views

What rules govern how TV show opening credits are structured?

I've always been curious what decides if a credit is in the opening or closing credits. It seems loosely that cast (in order of today's "big name" significance), directors and financiers get the ...
22
votes
1answer
7k views

In opening credits for TV shows, why does it say 'with so and so' for some actors?

I am thinking of Ally McBeal in particular. For the entire run of the show the opening credits generally had clips of a character and the name of the actor that plays them. The final two actors (Peter ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

What is the biggest crossover universe in TV?

Franchise movies have crossed over for over a hundred years, however despite the long and serialised nature of TV, they're still relatively uncommon besides spin-offs. Crossover episodes between shows ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do film studios buy domains of fictitious companies?

A few moments ago I saw an episode of 'The Blacklist' and recognized a sign with the address of an fictitious estate agent. My curiosity was to check the domain in the web browser. It seems that the ...
16
votes
3answers
13k views

Why are there so few episode of Sherlock?

I know that usually British sitcoms have far fewer episodes than US ones, but Sherlock kind-of takes this too far. I mean, one season has has only 3 episodes, and even the seasons come about 1-2 years ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens to actor salaries around seasons 6-7 of a show?

Many successful (broadcast, United States) TV shows last about 5-7 seasons. Somehow I'd gotten this story in my head in which this was a combination of two factors: TV shows become more attractive ...
14
votes
9answers
26k views

How real are Bear Grylls TV shows? (Ultimate Survival in particular)

In Ultimate Survival on Discovery channel, we see Bear Grylls do amazing stuff, hunting dangerous animals, climbing dangerous mountains and all that fun stuff. There was another similar show on that ...
12
votes
1answer
180 views

What happens to unaired or one time only aired pilots?

Television pilots are made every year and not all of them get picked up for a season or series. What happens to the pilot then? Does it get stored somewhere? Who holds the rights to it?
12
votes
1answer
144 views

How are the measurements used by Nielsen evolving to meet new methods of content delivery and viewing?

I was interested to find out that in the 1950s, Nielsen used devices in the homes of the families that were surveyed to record their viewing preferences, and only later introduced their system of ...
11
votes
4answers
358 views

What was the first case of a celebrity playing a fictionalized version of her/himself?

James Van Der Beek in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is one of the more recent examples of celebrities playing a fictionalized version of themselves To be clear, I'm not talking about a ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do TV networks air pilot episodes?

Why do TV networks air pilot episodes of a series that has already aired a first episode? Why do they call it a pilot episode? Irrespective of the result (good or bad ratings) of the pilot episode, ...
9
votes
2answers
839 views

What are the exact responsibilities of the show runner?

Some of the series I follow intensely have showrunners I know off the top of my head. Doctor Who has Stephen Moffat (who was preceded by RTD). Lost had Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. They are ...
9
votes
2answers
285 views

Are more movie stars acting in TV shows nowadays (and if so, why)?

I recently saw the TV show Fargo, and the presence of Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton (both legitimately successful movie actors) made me wonder: Is doing the switch from movies to TV more ...
9
votes
2answers
182 views

Has a TV showrunner ever blamed U.S. television content rating standards for compromising his/her creative vision?

The Motion Picture Association of America is sometimes blamed by filmmakers and film producers for hampering creative vision. However, the U.S. television content rating standards (or TV parental ...
9
votes
1answer
88 views

What is the purpose of a mid-season finale?

I did look around before asking so hopefully this isn't a duplicate. With shows like The Walking Dead, why do they use a 2-part season? There are other shows like Son of Anarchy that do not have a ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

How does the budget breakdown for a US TV season compare to a UK TV Season?

Firstly, regardless of the total amount how is the budget for a US TV Season of twenty odd episodes typically broken down? What percentage goes on writing, sets, equipment, actors, etc? Secondly, how ...
8
votes
2answers
725 views

Why are there so many different writers to TV series?

Whenever I search for episodes of various TV series, I am wondering why there are different writers and/or directors. See the list of Almost Human Episodes for an example. It doesn't make sense to me ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are there typically no more than 24 episodes in a TV Season?

I noted that there is typically a maximum of 24 episodes per a season in a TV show. What is the reason for that?
8
votes
1answer
794 views

Why do panelists on British panel shows have a pen and paper which they seem to use regularly?

I personally find British panel shows to be among the funniest shows you can find on TV. One common occurrence I've noticed is that the panellists are often seen writing scribbling notes while another ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What year did they begin announcing that TV shows were “Filmed in front of a live studio audience”?

I was watching antenna TV and now I wonder: What year did they begin to make the point of announcing that specific TV shows were "Filmed in front of a live studio audience"? and which show was ...
8
votes
2answers
176 views

What does the audience do during hour-long breaks while taping Wizard Wars?

There is a relatively new show on the SyFy network called Wizard Wars. The format is somewhat of a ripoff of cooking shows like Chopped and Iron Chef; two teams of magicians are each given the same ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

What are the 'quadrants' in TV testing?

When talking of the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee said: “We don’t normally talk about testing, but [Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.] tested so well in ...
7
votes
2answers
624 views

Which film or TV-Show was the first to use a '555-' phone number?

[Toy Story 3] Using a fictional '555-' phone number is not uncommon in American films and television shows. Watch a compilation of films using a '555-' number My Question: Which film or ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a precedent for casting the same actor in an American remake of a British/foreign television show?

Broadchurch (ITV/BBC America) was my favorite television show, specifically crime drama, in 2013. FOX is remaking the series but changed the name to Gracepoint. Interestingly, they cast David Tennant, ...
5
votes
4answers
436 views

TV Shows with Season Parts 1 & 2

Why do some shows have certain seasons broken into 2 parts, when their spacing would otherwise mean that they were separate seasons altogether? Many examples are from non-network stations: Sex and ...
4
votes
2answers
374 views

Why use commentator in TV broadcasts of sports?

Obviously a radio broadcast of a sporting event requires an commentator or two to tell the listening audience what is going on. But why do TV broadcasts of sports almost always use commentators? What ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do TV shows take frequent breaks during a season?

I notice this more when watching American shows - but for example, the Canadian show "Continuum" skipped a week after only four episodes in the current season. This is something I have seen frequently ...
4
votes
2answers
308 views

Why do they change the storyline?

Why do producers change the storyline when they take a book/comic book and make it into a movie/ TV show? I mean, I've been watching the walking dead since 2010 and I recently read all the comic book ...
4
votes
1answer
388 views

What does it mean for TV shows to be ordered?

Whenever a TV channel wants a new series of a show, they are said to order it. I don't understand why they use this word—wouldn't it make sense to say Channel X is making another series of Y. Why is ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

When did “Previously On …” become the first 2:30 of every show?

I've been rewatching seasons of 24 and Fringe lately, and I've noticed something really annoying, especially in 24: the first 2:30 of every episode is dedicated to reviewing what has previously ...
3
votes
2answers
240 views

What is meant by bloopers and marathon?

I have seen TV shows marathon episodes and bloopers such as: Leverage Marathon X-Files Bloopers Are they things like credits or previews? What are their meanings?
3
votes
2answers
730 views

What happens to unbroadcasted episodes of cancelled series?

Recently the CBS sitcom "We Are Men" was cancelled after just two episodes aired. I imagine that several more episodes of the show had been filmed. Am I correct? And if so, what will happen to these ...
3
votes
1answer
332 views

How come Top Gear (UK) has swearing in season 22?

I've watched Top Gear (UK) for all its 21 seasons. Recently, season 22 started airing and I managed to catch the first episode. What surprised me is that it is rated as TV-MA and they have explicit ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

What is syndication?

I was looking at broadcast schedules trying to figure out when a season of a show I like would enter syndication, and I realized that I wasn't really even sure what syndication was. So, what is ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Why is it Okay for movies / TV shows, to show that their story is based on real events when it is actually not?

I just finished watching the TV show Fargo. Each episode begins with the lines that this is based on real events. When I looked for it on Wikipedia, it said However, this claim is completely ...
3
votes
1answer
476 views

How do TV shows with live audience manage special effect scenes?

Many sitcoms are recorded in front of a live audience who provide the laughter track. Now this is simple enough in most scenes. But some scenes require added special effects. For example the dinner ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

What is the reason that the air order and the DVD order of a tv show is different?

Some TV shows the order of the episodes on the DVD and the order how the episodes where aired is different, e.g., Freaks and Geeks. The fact that on thetvdb there is a field "DVD order" implies more ...
3
votes
2answers
499 views

How do you identify a song in a TV score?

Specifically I'm trying to track down the song playing at the end of Rescue Me, Season 4, Episode 6. A friend was asking me about this. Naturally I assumed with a few Google searches I'd be able to ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Is the “season” meant to be the interval from September/October to May/June or is it not striclty defined like that?

Almost all TV series like Two and a half men, Smallville, The big bang theory, etc. start in Sep/Oct and end in May/Jun with some weeks/months off in between. Their episodes are thrown at you almost ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Legalities of shows recording crime?

I'm not quite sure how to form this question, but basically I've watched a lot of shows that record crimes happening. These are usually the series about narcotics, violence, etc. The shows film crimes ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

How to find who is the showrunner?

Some of the series I follow intensely have showrunners I know off the top of my head. Doctor Who has Stephen Moffat (who was preceded by RTD). Lost had Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. But I only ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

Why was John Doe cancelled?

There was a TV series called John Doe I think, about a man who finds himself on a beach with amnesia about his recent past. Yet he find he has an encyclopedic memory and can cleverly apply it. So he ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Upto what extent do foreign sitcoms/drama shows exhibits 'real culture' of those countries?

Looking at sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and other ones, up-to what extent do they reflect the culture of America? Is it good to make a statement about other countries' ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Why are TV shows not aired at the same time across the World?

It's not as bad now, but it used to be the case that in the UK an American TV show would air, and we would only be able to watch it months later. Sometimes when we got the first episode, in the US ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

What was the longest successful Primetime cartoon prior to The Simpsons?

The Simpsons, which started as a series of shorts shown during The Tracy Ullman Show, has now been on the air for 25 years as its own full-length half-hour episodic cartoon. Its success spawned a ...
1
vote
4answers
169 views

Have any TV shows spawned spin-offs of a different genre?

Spin-offs are a long-standing tradition in television, but generally the new shows stick quite closely to the aesthetics of the old. The Flash is much lighter in tone than Arrow, but it's still ...
1
vote
3answers
209 views

A TV series which was totally written before filming began

I need to settle an argument! I want to know if there is a TV series which 1) was completely written before filming started, and 2) was "short" - 1-2 seasons or something. Note that I am interested ...
1
vote
3answers
118 views

Why do TV shows sometimes change the intro mid-season?

I've noticed with a few TV shows (most recently White Collar) midway in both season 2 and 3, the intro has changed. How come they change it mid season? I'd have thought they would have sent all the ...