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Valid sources

In some cases, there might be multiple sources that conflict with each other. When that happens, they should be considered in the following order:

  1. Data shown on-screen during the episode's announcement, intro, or credits
  2. Data in a press release or press kit
  3. Data on the show's official website
  4. Data in TV guides/TV listings/EPG's for the show's country
  5. Statements by show crew in articles / interviews

Rewriting history after an episode has premiered is never accepted. For example, if a show's official website indicates that a certain episode belongs to season 1, but changes it to season 2 a year afterwards, it should remain listed as season 1.

Inclusion Policy

An episode should only be added to TVmaze after it has been announced by one of the valid sources above, or once it has premiered. Either the episode name or release date has to be known before a future episode can be added. Adding "TBA" episodes beyond that point is not welcome.

A few examples:

Episode Type

Either a regular episode or a special. An episode is a special either when an official source labels it as such; or when it does not designate an episode number to the episode while episodes on that show normally do have a number. Note that it only counts if an episode is explicitly labeled as special, using the term special somewhere in an announcement ("join us for a special episode of..") should be ignored.

Specials are always part of a season. If the official source does not specify the season, the episode should be added to the closest possible season (which can be either the current season, the previous season, or the upcoming season).

Specials should be rare; if a season has nearly as many specials as regular episodes, you're most likely doing it wrong. Specials should be standalone and not in a serial format with other specials. For example, if each episode in a season is followed by an "after show" or "webisode", those episodes should be in a separate show entry.

The inclusion policy for shows applies to specials as well. If the special was not released on the same source (network or web channel) as the show itself, it must meet the notability requirements. Theatrical movies related to a show may not be added.

Significant special

If the episode has the same premise (for scripted shows, a scripted episode; or for reality shows, a reality episode containing predominantly new footage) as regular episodes on the show, it should be marked as "Significant Special". Examples are the Doctor Who Christmas specials, or Black Mirror's "Bandersnatch".

Insignificant special

If the episode has a different premise than regular episodes on the show, it should get the type "Insignificant Special". Examples are previews/sneak peeks, recap episodes, after shows, behind the scenes, "best of" episodes.

Insignificant specials are only allowed if their length is at least 50% the length of regular episodes.


The season number for the episode. For the vast majority of shows, the network or web channel announces and assigns season numbers to each episode.

However, some shows like daily soaps or daily talk shows don't have any notion of season numbers. In such a case, the premiere year of the episode should be used as season number. For example, the season number for an episode that aired on June 1st, 2015 should simply be "2015". This also goes for shows that only air once a year, such as award shows: each episode should be placed in its own separate season.

It's not allowed for two seasons to run simultaneously. For example, there cannot be an episode in season 2 with an airdate that's before the last aired episode in season 1. If a source provides season numbering like this, it should be discarded and you should look at the next best source instead. If none of them offer a valid season numbering, fall back to year-based numbering.

Episode number

The unique sequence number of the episode within its season. This should always reflect the order in which episodes were originally premiered. The first non-special episode in a season should always be numbered "1"; specials don't have an episode number.

Two-part episodes can cause contention on whether they should take up a single episode number, or two separate consecutive episode numbers. If this happens, refer to the order of the valid sources as listed above and note that on-screen indicators are considered the primary official source and trump anything else. A few examples:

In all other cases, it should almost definitely be a single entry/episode number. Only if on-screen indicators are unavailable or inconclusive, the other valid sources should be considered in their respective order. Note that DVD numbering should never be considered. Production codes as found on official sites or in press releases can be used as an indicator, but specifically do not trump the on-screen indicators listed above.


The name/title for the episode. For the vast majority of shows, the network or web channel assigns episode titles to each episode. In such a case, the original episode title should be used, without any changes to e.g. the punctuation or capitalization. If a future episode for such a show is officially announced but no title is known yet, "TBA" may be used as name until the title has been announced as well. Suffixes that are not part of the original episode title are strictly forbidden. Examples of that are "(Part 1)", "(Pilot)" or "(a.k.a. Previous Working Title)".

For episode titles in a non-Latin character set such as Kanji, the same policy as for Show naming applies.

If no official episode titles are available, the rules are as follows. In all these cases, the chosen format must be applied consistently within a show. For these shows, "TBA" may never be used as name.

For talk shows, a list of guests which appeared in the episode may be put in the name.

For sports or documentaries, a very brief unique identifier of the episode may be used. For example, the names of the teams competing in a sports match, or the name of a person or location that's the subject of this episode.

For award shows or other events, the official title of the event should be used. For example, "The 87th Academy Awards".

In all other scenarios, the fallback is to name the episode "Episode X", where X is the episode number for that episode. In case of a foreign (non-English) show, the local translation of "episode" may be used. In no case should the season number be included in the episode name.


The date this episode premiered (was first made available). The airdate may be left empty, to indicate that the episode never premiered or the date is not known yet.

Airdates normally always follow the world premiere. If a show premieres in Japan and airs in the United States later on, the Japanese airdates must be used. If a show premieres on a Web Channel like Netflix and is aired on a TV Network later on, the Netflix premiere dates must be used. However, some exceptions apply as noted below.

Only sources available to the general public are considered for premiere dates. This means premieres on a film festival or screeners sent to critics don't count. Also note that only premieres in the Show's original language should be considered; e.g. if an English-language show has its world premiere on a medium where no English audio track is available at all, this date should not be used as airdate.

Season consistency

The source (a specific Network or a specific Web Channel) of episode airdates must be consistent within a season. If episodes within a season premiere on multiple sources, the source with the most amount of premieres wins. The airdates for all episodes in the season must follow the winning source, or the airdate must be left empty if the episode never premiered on that source. This rule does not apply to specials, which should still always follow the world premiere.

For example, a show airs 10 episodes on FOX after which it's cancelled. A few months later, the final 3 episodes air on a foreign network. In this case, the airdate for those final 3 episodes must be left empty. Or; a show's pilot premieres on a Web Channel after which the rest of the season premieres on a Network. In that case, the Network's airdates must be used for all of the episodes.

In cases where premieres within a season are almost evenly split over different sources (Mythbusters would be a notorious example of this), a ruling must be made specifically for that show. Please consult the show's edit wiki when it exists, or open a thread in the Data forums otherwise.

Airdate owner

A show's owner is the entity that commissioned the show. Usually, this is the same entity that airs the show's world premieres: a show commissioned by NBC will premiere on NBC. But occasionally, episodes have their world premiere on an outlet that's completely unrelated to the show's owner.

If a show has a single unambiguous owner throughout its lifetime, the episode airdates should be set to the premiere dates on the owner's TV Network or Web Channel as described above. However, if a show's owner is ambiguous - because it's co-produced by multiple entities - or if the ownership changes throughout its lifetime, the world premiere dates must be used. For example:

Use owner's premiere dates:

Use world premiere dates:

Using the owner's premiere dates should be rare. When in doubt, always use the world premiere dates.

Airtime / release time

For all broadcast TV, airtime is the start time of the episode, as announced by the network in e.g. a press release or schedule. If there is conflicting information about the start time, refer to to see which source takes priority. We specifically only consider the pre-announced start time; if an episode starts earlier or later than announced this should not be taken into consideration, unless the deviation from the schedule is more than 15 minutes. The time should not be rounded.

The time should be in the local timezone where the episode premiered. If the show's network operates in multiple timezones, the earliest timezone should be used; for example in the United States this is Eastern time. Special care should be taken when episodes air at or after midnight. To ensure that the episode airdates on TVmaze are in line with the dates used by TV guides and listings worldwide, episodes that start airing at or after midnight but before 5:00 are considered part of the previous day. For example, if an episode airs after midnight between Monday the 1st and Tuesday the 2nd, the airdate should be set to the 1st; even though technically the proper date would be the 2nd. (API users should take note that the property "airdate" uses the date as described here; while "airstamp" uses the technically correct date). This only applies to broadcast TV shows or Web Channels that operate in a single country; global Web Channel shows should have their airdate set to the exact date that's announced for them.

For local web channels (that only operate in a single country), release time is the time where the episode was first made available for streaming.

For global web channels (that operate in multiple countries), we don't store an airtime/release time.

Scheduled runtime / episode length

For all broadcast TV, scheduled runtime is the amount of minutes between the start time and the end time of the episode. As with airtime, only pre-announced times are relevant and the order in should be used when different sources offer conflicting information. If the network doesn't explicitly announce an episode's end time, the start time of the next program in the network's schedule should be used for the calculation instead. This means commercial breaks within or between episodes, as well as other interstitials will be included in the episode's scheduled runtime.

For web channels, episode length is the length of the video stream on the original web channel's platform.


A brief description of the episode. It should be concise, and generally not exceed the length of one paragraph. It's explicitly not a subsitute for actually watching the episode. The episode summary should be free of major spoilers. The summary should not contain duplicate information that's already available elsewhere on the episode page. For example, a list of actors guest starring in the episode should be withheld from the summary and added as Guest Cast entries instead.

A summary should always be in English, regardless of the Show's language.

The summary may be from an official source - like a network's press release -, may be hand-written or may be a combination of the two. Neither form is preferred over the other; replacing an official summary with a hand-written one is welcome if the hand-written one is of a higher quality, but doing so is not a goal in itself. If the summary was fully copied from an official source, it should be marked as such by checking the proper checkbox.

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