It's been two weeks since tvrage.com suddenly went offline. For those of you who didn't know it, tvrage was a crowdsourced database full of TV information - somewhat like TVmaze itself. Tvrage was created over 10 years ago by a group of people using the data from a site called tvtome when tvtome was sold to a different company and slowly started to disappear. After these many years of collective editing, tvrage contained a wealth of information; we ourselves have more than once thankfully used it as a resource while researching TV shows.
The sudden disappearance of tvrage has been quite a mystery: there haven't been any announcements on the site, on their twitter, facebook page, or anywhere else. Because of this, in the past week a lot of people have turned to us for answers. We've been talking to a lot of people, including former tvrage staff members and editors, and while we have heard a couple of variants on a story about a conflict between the site owner and its system administrator, the recurring theme appears to be that the only person with answers has simply vanished without leaving a clue about the situation to anyone. After two weeks of this it's hard to conclude anything other than tvrage not coming back online.
The people we talked with expressed their particular concerns about the loss of all the data they had contributed to tvrage over the years: hand-written episode summaries, recaps, quotes, cultural references, cast- and crew credits and much more. We have now started an effort to salvage as much of this data as possible. Since last week, we've been collecting tvrage data from many different sources: the Cloudflare cache, the Google cache, archive.org, etcetera. We also found a few people who still had a large set of cached data from the tvrage API available on their computers.
We hope to be able to combine all these different data sets, sanitize the data, and recover a large amount of the content that was once submitted to tvrage. If we succeed, we aim to make this data publicly available so it can be retrieved again by their original authors, who can then re-add it to TVmaze or other databases if they wish to do so. Don't get your hopes up just yet though, all of this is still pending a lot of hard work and further research on the legal consequences.
Expect an update on this situation in a few weeks from now. In the mean time, if you have access to any cached tvrage data and want to join our effort, please reach out using the site, social media or email: contact at tvmaze dot com.
tl;dr: We have started an effort to restore years of contributed data from users on tvrage.com and will do our best to make it publicly available if we succeed.
The former tvrage sysadmin (kernelpanic) posted the following response in the comments:
Anyway, the last email I got from the owner was that he was going to
sell the domain name "tvrage.com" and that he was quitting, because he
was sick and tired of everything, and yes the 'everything' part is a
long story and is something he needs to figure out by himself.
On the other hand there are rumours that it's going to be back, but that is something you'd have to be willing to wait for.. if you are really eager for TVRage, I don't really care :)