Episode titles - on-screen titles only?

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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Hi.

The guide for the TV episodes says ( https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/episode-guidelines/GDF7HR6CCCBKU3CP?ref_=helpms_he...# ):

The title: as it appeared on screen for that particular episode. If the episode you are submitting has no title you should leave the Episode Title box blank on submission (but remember to include one other piece of information: original air date/episode number).
Some TV series might have episode titles (from the production company/television station) included as part of the TV listings information (or similar sources) - but they don't necessarily appear in the actual episode (as on-screen titles). The Episode Title box should be left blank also in these cases?

Thanks.

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Eboy

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Posted 1 year ago

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Jeorj Euler

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Until the guide is updated, we should probably follow the guide, while editing the episode plot outlines or episode trivia sections to mention the off-screen titles. We, the customer base, should also stress the importance of having the technical capacity to add items to the alternate titles sections of episode title entries of the database.
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Adrian, Champion

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This would leave the vast majority of shows without titles. I watch a ton of TV and there are just a handful of shows that actually show the title of an episode on screen.
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Jeorj Euler

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Hi, Adrian. The guide ought to be amended, but ignoring it (without explicit approval) could cause some hiccups as far as verifying the proper title, yet these "hiccups" are bound to happen regardless.
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gromit82, Champion

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In this case, I think the guide is incorrectly phrased and should not be followed literally. I believe that contributors should feel free to submit episode titles which are found in reliable sources such as the web site for the series or an on-screen program guide, even if those titles are not actually shown on screen during the episode.

For example, if you look at https://www.cbs.com/shows/cheers/ you will see a listing of episodes of episodes of "Cheers" (1982), with their titles shown. None of those episode titles appeared on screen during those episodes, but that doesn't mean that the episodes didn't have titles. They always had titles, even if viewers back in the 1980s didn't have an easy way of finding out what those titles were.

I suggest modifying the guide to say instead something like this:
  • The title: as it appeared on screen for that particular episode. If an episode title is not shown on screen, the episode title listed in a reliable source such as the show's web site or on-screen program guides should be used. If the episode you are submitting has no title you should leave the Episode Title box blank on submission (but remember to include one other piece of information: original air date/episode number).
I don't want users to make up their own episode titles, but I also don't want anyone to be deterred from entering a correct episode title just because many shows don't display their episode titles on screen.
(Edited)
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Jeorj Euler

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Hi, gromit82. Thanks for providing an example and a proposal for course of action.
(Edited)
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Eboy

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Indeed. Fully agree with gromit82. Let's hope that official IMDb staff also agrees.

Ps. I would say something like: "...source such as the show's web site or a printed or on-screen program guides.." There are times when you have to track down the old television listings (magazines, news papers, etc).
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi Eboy -

It's common that episodes don't not have an on screen title, however if they are given titles on the supporting press releases during their announcements, or on their original digital TV listings then we would allow them. However, note that we don't currently allow episode titles to be added if they were retrospectively given (for example, the "Twin Peaks" German DVD release titles).

I have also forwarded all the suggestions regarding updating the current guide to our editors to take a look.  Cheers!
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gromit82, Champion

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Thanks, Michelle. If the guide is updated as you suggest, that will be helpful.
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Eboy

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One additional question: How about when the actual episode title is not listed - NOR is known, but there's (e.g.) "Episode One", "Episode 2", "Episode II" or similar listed? Do we add (e.g.) "Episode One" to the episode title field? Or leave it blank (since IMDb already creates the season/episode number)?