A lot of songs have multiple edits - usually at least a radio edit and a album edit. To my understanding, the difference is usually that the radio edit is edited to be shorter and more "to-the-point": No long intros, only short solos, and no outro. Sometimes, they are also made to sound louder (see Loudness War).

I was wondering if something similar happened with movies and TV-Series. There is at least one difference I seem to have noticed, but I don't know if this is done right at the edit, or is done by the broadcasting station: Movies in digital format or that I have on Blu-ray seem to have far more dynamic range in their audio. When other people are in the house, I have to often constantly turn the volume up and down (quiet dialogue v.s. loud, more active scenes). However, this never seems to happen when watching TV.

Is this an actual thing or am I just mistaken? If so, is it done in during the edit and are two versions released, or is this done by the broadcaster? I assume it is for viewer comfort - people who don't want this level of immersion would perhaps not like the fact that you can barely understand dialogue but cannot have a conversation while there is shooting going on, but I can imagine it might be for bandwidth reasons, or even the same reason as the loudness war in music?

Are there any other differences in edits? Perhaps the TV edit is edited to fit nicely in a multiple of 20 minute blocks?

  • The slight shortening of the Wizard of Oz for TV to allow time for ads seems an especially apt example simply due to its frequent TV broadcasts. Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 11:46
  • Do the ubiquitous Director's Cuts / Unrated Editions / Extended Editions count, for movies? Generally they involved adding in deleted scenes that were left out of the theatrical release for whatever reason (usually time, sometimes censorship)
    – Steve-O
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 13:22
  • @Steve-O : I'd say no, since those are different cuts for artistic reasons. I was thinking about cuts for more practical reasons due to the different media (broadcast vs blyray or such).
    – Joren Vaes
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


There definitely are alternate edits for some TV shows, especially ones that tend to include cursing and other "naughty bits." Family Guy is a great example.

Most of the edits are done by the production studio, but often the network that broadcasts the show will remove objectionable material or bleep words or phrases that the production house didn't think was a problem. TV shows also have segues between scenes that can be trimmed by the network to fit air time more precisely. Networks will also refuse to air some episodes presented by the studio, usually for ideological reasons. A Family Guy example would be Fox's refusal to air "Partial Terms of Endearment," » which dealt with abortion.

DVD, Blu-Ray and iTunes versions offered for sale after broadcast also often include extra scenes edited into the episode that were left out to fit tight broadcast runtimes. And, as you noted, some shows tend to even out the audio a bit to make dialogue easier to hear, but that is almost a thing of the past now that most networks broadcast in 5.1 channel audio and HD TVs are much more sophisticated than CRTs used to be.

TV Stations have edited episodes or movies before, but is supposed to be a big no-no and some stations have lost their network affiliation because of this sort of thing. (I will try to find an example to link to.)

Here is an example of the difference between the uncensored DVD version of an episode with extra scenes and the broadcast version. »

  • 1
    Ofcourse - the censorship thing is something I forgot! I remember watching US day-time versions of "The Expanse" a few weeks ago, and being disturbed how swearwords were clearly cut. Censorship like that is very uncommon where I live, so it was very odd to me to see it.
    – Joren Vaes
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 9:39
  • This is so common that TBS uses a specific screen to warn the viewer that cuts are taking place. Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 11:41
  • 2
    Another change broadcasters have been known to make which disgusts me is speeding up the playback speed slightly so it has a shorter runtime and they can fit more adverts into a segment (seriously). Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 13:49
  • Yes! That is awful. Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 13:56

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