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Introducing support for Significant Episode Specials

Hi everyone, 

Today we introduce another long-awaited feature: better handling of specials across TVmaze.

Specials are episodes that don't have an episode number and one way or another air outside of the regular sequence of episodes. Most of the times specials are not very important, such as previews or recaps, behind the scenes interviews or "after shows". Interesting content for die-hard fans, but most people don't care for them. 
Therefore we've always treated all specials a a second-class citizen by displaying them in a separate section on the episode list and hiding them from your watchlist.

But every now and then a show releases a special that does contain important content. Notorious examples are Doctor Who's Christmas specials, or South Park's recent pandemic special. Despite not having an episode number, these specials are very similar to regular episodes from that show, and in some cases they are even crucial to the show's storyline. You've rightfully been complaining that these kinds of specials didn't get the kind of attention they deserve.

Source: https://cheezburger.com/10040837/sixteen-of-our-favorite-doctor-who-moments

To rectify this but at the same time keep the first category of specials tucked away, we've split up the episode types in three: regular episode, significant special and insignificant special. For the exact definition of (in)significant specials, check the episode policy at https://www.tvmaze.com/faq/15/episodes
At launch, all episodes that were previously marked as "special" were converted to "insignificant special" and for them nothing changes. 

But significant specials are now:

  • Displayed in the episode list together with the other episodes from that season, ordered by airdate
  • Shown in your watchlist
  • Shown in the previous/next episode section on the show page
  • Accessible via the previous/next episode links on an episode page

See it in action for example in the Doctor Who episode list: https://www.tvmaze.com/shows/210/doctor-who/episodes.

For our API users, episodes now have a new property "type" that indicates whether it's a regular episode, significant special or insignificant special.

We hope this change will ensure that you'll never miss an episode of your favorite show anymore, even if it's a special.  Let us know what you think in the comments!

Written by david at Oct 6, 2020

Comments

whispurr posted a day ago

Great functionality...thank you. And Doctor Who is one of those shows I watch and is well-known for its "specials" which usually carry a huge story line!

foo posted 2 days ago

Love this site! Thank you, David. 

Keep up the great work! 

rruggles posted 15 days ago

@Sheldon131 wrote:
Thank you, TVMaze !

How about watching our own comments we made ? Can you change that, please ?!

That would be great also. Most other forums that I sub to have that feature and would be absolutely great here.

Cheers!

tvwerks posted 15 days ago

Hooray, thanks so much for this! Very appreciated as an API developer.

Jinxy1961 posted 16 days ago

Well done and thank  you for taking this  on board and adding it here. It is much appreciated!!  :)

Nesdy posted 16 days ago

This is GREAT and a huge help, thank you so much!!! 

tvjjbj12 posted 18 days ago

Great job, David. This will be quite helpful. 

Now, how many shows do we have on TVmaze? I suppose your next effort will be reviewing the site for significant specials. Just kidding... We all should be looking for them. When we have a question about how to list one, ask in the Data Forum.

Take care of yourself and your family in these crazy times.

Sheldon131 posted 18 days ago

Thank you, TVMaze !

How about watching our own comments we made ? Can you change that, please ?!

ts24 posted 19 days ago

Great work, thank you!

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