Series-level cast/crew for TV series - general advice

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In general, should a TV series (with title entries for each episode as well as for the series) have any cast and crew listed at series level, or should the entries only be for individual episodes?

I can imagine that "creator"/"created by" might warrant a series-level entry as well as for individual episodes since it is the whole series, not the separate episodes for which they may have an on-screen credit, that has been created by the person. Are there any other exceptions?

Apart from that exception, if I encounter any people who have credits at series level as well as episode level of that series, should I remove the series ones?
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Posted 2 months ago

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Photo of Eboy


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I don’t fully understand the question (could be just me), since all the credits from individual episodes also appear in a series-level.
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Phil G

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[ Eboy, I believe Martin's talking about the way cast/crew appear in the update form for series level, rather than the display view, which as you say consolidates all episode listings. ]

A little background might help here. For many older titles, most if not all series-level credits would have been listed before episode support existed in IMDb. When episodes were added there was (if I remember rightly) an automated system that was supposed to remove series-level credits once the same individuals had been added to a certain number of the episodes (although I'm not sure how effective that system actually was).

For newer titles, a certain number of cast and crew have to be added at series-level to create the title in the first place. I think that this is now the only way series-level credits could/should be added (and the update form should prevent adding more when episodes exist).

I think the official policy is that series-level credits should be removed once the episodes have been filled in, but it often doesn't actually get done (not sure if the old automated system still tries to do this or not). But new series-level credits definitely should not be added when they're already covered by the episode-level credits.

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Yes, Phil, that's what I was meaning. I was going to reply earlier but then we had a power cut :-(

It was really a matter of database tidiness that I was asking about, since series-level credits get superseded by episode level credits so you see Fred Bloggs (3 episodes) and only see Joe Soap (unknown episodes) if Joe only has a series-level credit and not any episode ones. I'm not sure what happens if the character name or job title attribute differ between series and all the various episode credits: does the series one show up as another alternative name/attribute as it does if there are variations between one episode and another?

I've actually managed to get new titles accepted with no information at all (no cast or crew) - just the title and some supporting evidence copied from a listing site. I often need to submit the series simply so I can start submitting episodes (which do have full cast/crew). I used to submit the series-level release date but I tend not to do that now because it gets in the way if an earlier episode gets added later (or rather an earliler release date for an existing episode, maybe in a foreign country), meaning that the year-in-the-title can be wrong.

I tend to do a check when I'm adding episodes to an exsiting series (especially one that was boradcast and therefore probably entered a long time ago) to make sure there's no series-level cast/crew - or at least I leave in only those people who don't have any episode-level IMDB credits.
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Meredith, Employee

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Hi Martin, 

Credits on episodic TV shows should be submitted as additions to individual episodes of the show, rather than to the main parent listing for the series. In other words, even if someone worked on several episodes of a show or even for one or more seasons, he/she should be added to the cast or crew of each episode in which he was featured. 

There can be exceptions to this however. As stated in our guide - 
A series-wide credit is permitted if both these conditions are true: you specify a year range (in the character field for cast credits, or the attribute field for crew credits) and we don't currently list any episodes for the start or end year of that range. We would much prefer you to tell us which episodes we're missing or add these yourself using the "Add Episode". You can add your credits to the new episode at the same time. 

If some episodes are missing and for any reason it's not feasible for you to tell us about all of them, then you can still tell us the correct year range but you may need to use a combination of episode and series credits to do it.

E.g. if you submit a year range of "(2004-2006)" but we already list a 2006 episode for that series, your credit will be rejected. For your credit to be accepted, you should change it to just "(2004-2005)" and submit your credit separately for the relevant 2006 episode(s). This will result in "(2004-2006)" being displayed in our filmography listings.

This workaround will not give you the correct episode count (e.g. "24 episodes, 2004-2005"). The only way to achieve that is to tell us about each individual episode credit.

For more information on episodic credits, please refer to the guide below: