Why are there random "/" after some character names?

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Not sure if this is a problem/bug or if this has some meaning that I am not aware of but:

Look at the cast/character lists for some TV shows; examples:
The Mentalist: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1196946/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast
In the Heat of the Night: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094484/fullcredits#cast

Some (but not all) of the character names are listed with a / after them; like this:
Jason Wylie / ... (13 episodes, 2013-2014)

Normally I would expect that to show the person has played two roles Guy/OtherGuy and so on. But the bulk of the actors I'm finding with / after their character did not have two roles. In the Heat of the Night especially seems to have dozens of characters listed with this extra / .

On a related note, I can't seem to get into either of those two shows to edit the cast/character lists. Do these have to be done on an episode by episode basis? I click edit on the main pages (the two a linked above) but from there the character/credits list is not populated.

If those / need to be taken out than each episode will need to get edited individually to fix it instead of being able to go through and fix the entire series from one page...

Or am I missing something those / actually should be there for some reason I'm not aware of? Some of the characters it appears on were only in one episode like :
Candice Candelori ...  Hostess / ... (1 episode, 2012)

She's in one episode with 1 minute of screen time, she didnt play another part, so shes a Hostess / what? I  don't get it, what's the slash for if she only had one role.

I've glanced around and there seems to be 100's of these out there at random. Would love to know their purpose; or if we should be trying to correct it when we happen to stumble on them.




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Vincent, Champion

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Posted 5 years ago

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gromit82, Champion

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Vincent: You basically have it right with this comment:
Normally I would expect that to show the person has played two roles Guy/OtherGuy and so on. 
... but it's a little more complicated than that. You generally need to look at the actor's IMDb page to find out what this refers to.

If you look at Carroll O'Connor's credits for all episodes of "In the Heat of the Night" at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005279/, you will see that he is listed as playing variously Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie, Sheriff William O. 'Bill' Gillespie, Acting Sheriff William O. 'Bill' Gillespie, and Bill Gillespie. Obviously, these are all the same person with different job titles, but because they are listed differently on various episodes in IMDb, the software formats the credit as though he was playing more than one character over the course of the series. Several of the other characters on "In the Heal of the Night" had different job titles over the course of the series (it looks like the Sparta Police Department promoted most of the characters as time went on), and they are treated the same way.

Note that this does not conform to current IMDb rules for formatting character names:
Avoid extra embellishments/repetitions/nicknames unless they are part of the credited character name: it's enough to listRobert Patrick as John Doggett in the "X-Files" TV series, instead of "Special Agent Jonathan Jay 'John' Doggett"; Jeri Ryan played Seven of Nine on "Star Trek: Voyager", not "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01, aka Annika Hansen"; Edward Norton played Will Graham in Red Dragon, not "William Graham" or "Special Agent Graham" or "FBI Special Agent William 'Will' Graham"; Matt LeBlanc plays Joey Tribbiani in "Friends", not "Joseph 'Joey' Francis Tribbiani". You get the idea.
If "In the Heat of the Night" were new to the database and I was entering O'Connor's character name for the first time, I would probably list his character as Bill Gillespie according to the above principles -- not Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie. But in 2014, it's not worth removing the data about his title, full name, and middle initial just to conform to current policy. So as things stand now, I would leave that data alone.

Fortunately, this problem doesn't carry over to the IMDb character pages. Sheriff William O. 'Bill' Gillespie is listed on the same character page as Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie as the same person, and in fact as the same person as the character Gillespie played by Rod Steiger in the 1967 film. http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0014150/

You will find that this makes more sense when applied to a series such as "The Simpsons" where most of the cast actually do portray multiple roles (see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096697/fullcredits).

In the case of Candice Candelori (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2018590/), she is listed as playing "Hostess / Marie" on one episode of "The Mentalist" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2250995/). This is probably the result of an error in data submission, although I can't be 100% sure without seeing the episode. My guess is that she played a hostess named Marie on the episode. If so, the correct way to format that information for IMDb purposes should be to list her character name as "Marie - Hostess" instead. See http://www.imdb.com/updates/guide/characters (particularly the example given of "Jerry - Paramedic"). Listing Candice as playing "Hostess / Marie" would imply that she was playing two characters: a hostess, and Marie.
On a related note, I can't seem to get into either of those two shows to edit the cast/character lists. Do these have to be done on an episode by episode basis? I click edit on the main pages (the two a linked above) but from there the character/credits list is not populated.
Yes, credits on television series are entered on an episode-by-episode basis where possible (not at series level). Since people like Carroll O'Connor are currently only listed (correctly) as playing one character per episode on "In the Heat of the Night", there is nothing that needs to be done to correct the "/ ..." after his character name on the series page; that's just a consequence of the way IMDb lists the multiple formats for his character name over the course of the series. 

This response has already gone on way too long, so I hope this helps. If I have left out anything important, please ask again and either someone else or I will try to address it.
(Edited)
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gromit82, Champion

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On "The Mentalist", I see that Michael Rady is listed as playing variously Luther Wainwright and Luthor Wainwright. But his first six appearances are spelled as Luther, and his most recent three are spelled as Luthor. I don't know what this means.

Maybe the producers decided to change the spelling of the character's name, or maybe the person who entered the first six episodes got the spelling wrong, or maybe the person who entered the most recent three episodes got the spelling wrong.

In this case, you will have to figure out the situation in order to determine if a correction is necessary at all, and if so, what it should be.
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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gromit82 is dead on in his reply. I would just add that the Pro Series pages show the full character list for each credit. For example, in the case of David Norona on The Mentalist, while the base page shows the character as:
D.A. Osvaldo Ardiles / ...
the Pro page indicates :
D.A. Osvaldo Ardiles / D.A. Osvaldo Ardiles (in Part 2) / DDA Ardiles / Osvaldo Ardiles

One of the few advantages of the new Pro version.

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Vincent, Champion

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Thanks for the lengthy replies.

Some of these I might actually go through and verify character name spellings/changes in episode credits when I'm doing DVD series marathons over the years...

The Luther/Luthor especially is going to bother me until I can check the credits myself to see which ones are accurate or need to be fixed

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