Wikipedia:Naming conventions (television)

As is the general practice across Wikipedia, the article title for any topic related to television should be simply the most common word or phrase used to describe that topic. In particular, if the title of a television program is sufficiently unambiguous compared to any other topics or is considered to be the primary topic, then let that also be the title of the article; for example, The Prisoner or Guiding Light.

If the common title of the show is ambiguous, an alternate article title will need to be used to distinguish it from other similarly named programs, series, movies, books, terms, or other topics. Natural disambiguation may be used if the show has an alternate title that is also commonly used to refer to it. Failing that, then parenthetical disambiguation may be needed – use the most appropriate method as described in the sections below.

For guidelines relating to television broadcasting (networks, channels, stations, etc.), see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (broadcasting).

Television programming[edit]

Series television[edit]

Episodic, serial, or limited series television shows are made of episodes which may relate part of an unfolding story, feature recurring settings or characters, or express a unifying narrative theme. These shows are typically aired only part of the year, and are produced as a set or cycle of episodes usually called a "season" or a "series". When disambiguation is required, use (TV series).

Do not disambiguate by genre or format, i.e. "sitcom", "telenovela", "soap opera", etc., unless further disambiguation is required (see Additional disambiguation below). For the special case of episodic television known as "miniseries", when disambiguation is required, use: (miniseries) or (serial) according to common usage in reliable sources. Example: Taken (miniseries).

Non-series television[edit]

Non-series television shows tend to be produced on either an on-going basis (airing daily or weekly) or as a one-time event. Each episode of an on-going show usually is self-contained with little connection to other episodes, other than title, format, hosts, and other on-air personalities. These shows generally lack on-going narrative or story elements.

  • For game shows, use (game show).
  • For talk shows, use (talk show).
  • For all other programs use (TV program) or (TV programme) according to common usage in reliable sources.


Additional disambiguation[edit]

When there are two or more television productions of the same type and name, use one of the following methods:

  • Prefix the country of broadcast (adjective) – (American TV series), (Argentine TV series)[a], (British TV series), (Canadian TV series). Generally the preferred disambiguation when additional disambiguation is needed. Used to distinguish shows with the same title from different countries.
  • Prefix the year of release or program debut – (1997 TV series). Generally used when there are shows with the same title within the same country.

If the year, country, or a combination of both is still insufficient to disambiguate the topic, an appropriate genre or format word ("animated TV series" or "anime", "telenovela", "soap opera", "sitcom", etc.) can then be considered for use via a page move request.

Disambiguation using television network identification is deprecated, but in certain cases, when programs air in the same region within a few years of each other, it may be advisable to create redirects in order to aid searching, linking, and prevent duplicate articles from being created (e.g. The Frank Sinatra Show (CBS TV series) for The Frank Sinatra Show (1950 TV series) vs. The Frank Sinatra Show (ABC TV series) for The Frank Sinatra Show (1957 TV series)).

Television films[edit]

For television films whose names conflict with other uses, use (film). For television films whose names conflict with other films, use (year film), where year corresponds to the year in which the film first aired on TV. If the name of a television film conflicts with a theatrical film in the same year, (year TV film) / (year theatrical film) respectively.


Media franchise[edit]

When the content presented in a TV program or series spans other media formats such as radio, film, video game, or print, then an associated overview page (an article describing and summarizing the items of the franchise) should occupy the primary article title (eg. Star Trek), but may be disambiguated as Series name (franchise) when required.

Season articles[edit]

For an article that describes one season of a television show (possibly containing a section for episode summaries), the article should be named first by the name of the show, and then by the season/series number. Alternatively, if each season is referred to by a distinctive name, that should be used instead.

A consistent naming scheme should be used for all season articles of a TV show: if one season is named something special, this should be noted through redirects and in the article's WP:LEAD, but the article should be named in the same fashion as the other season pages. For example, "The Amazing Race 8" was known as "The Amazing Race: Family Edition", but maintains the naming format as other seasons, the second link being a redirect to the consistently named season page. Navigation to other season pages and to the main show page should be provided by navigation boxes at the bottom of the article, and it is often useful to include preceding and following seasons within the infobox (if one exists) for that season. Redirections should be created for ease of searching by the end user.

If there are multiple shows of the same name, include the disambiguation, similar to the above for TV series in the season description, for example, "The Apprentice (American season 1)" and "The Apprentice (British series 1)". Similar names should continue even if one version of the show has several more seasons than the other; for example, in the case of the above, the American version of The Apprentice has had four more seasons than the British version, but the naming continues up through all of them, including "The Apprentice (American season 11)". Hatnotes should be used to provide links to the other shows' existing season pages if needed.

Episode and character articles[edit]

For an article created about a single episode or character, add the show name in parentheses only if there are other articles by the same name.

Where the title is the same as an episode, character, or other element from the show which has its own page, disambiguate further using Title (Show episode/character/element).

Although editors should avoid preemptive disambiguation, they are encouraged to create extra redirects to help with internal linking and avoid creation of duplicate articles. For example, for the Lost episode, "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues", one could create the following redirects:

List articles[edit]

Disambiguation for list articles related to television productions should be used where necessary to make clear which title is being discussed. If the main TV series page title was disambiguated from other entertainment properties (e.g. other TV series, films, novels, etc.), related list pages may or may not need to be further disambiguated, depending on whether other list articles exist. Otherwise, the series title is sufficient.

Articles about television[edit]

Articles which relate to general concepts related to television technology, terminology, and industry (but not programming) should use (television).

See also[edit]