From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A television program (television programme in the United Kingdom, Ireland and many Commonwealth countries) or television show (in the United States) is a segment of content broadcast on television. It may be a one-off broadcast or part of a periodically recurring television series.
A television series that is intended to be broadcast as a finite number of episodes is usually called a miniseries or serial (although the latter term also has other meanings). A short run lasting less than a year is known in the United States and Canada as a season and in the United Kingdom and (not necessarily) the rest of the PAL countries as a series. This season or series usually consists of 12–26 installments in the United States, but in the United Kingdom there is no defined length. United States industry practice tends to favor longer seasons than those of some other countries.
A single instance of a program is called an episode, although particularly in the USA this is sometimes also called a "show" or "program", and in Great Britain and Ireland a "programme". A one-off broadcast may, again particularly in the USA and USA-influenced countries, be called a "special", or particularly in the UK a "special episode". A television movie or in the UK a television film ("made-for-TV" movie) is a film that is initially broadcast on television rather than released in cinemas or direct-to-video, although many successful television movies are later released on DVD.
Today, television advertisements play a role in most broadcast programming, such that each hour of programming can contain up to 15 minutes of advertisements in some countries. By contrast, being publicly funded, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the United Kingdom does not run advertisements, except to trail its own programmes. Its promotions appear between and near the end of programmes but not in the middle of them, much like the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in Australia. The number of commercial interruptions can also vary. For instance, Japanese television has fewer and longer commercial breaks, while American commercial television has several spread throughout the program. This requires writers to provide a smooth transition, as well as keep the audience from channel surfing.
- Alphabetical list of television programs
- List of lists of television programs
- Network programming (television)
- Category:Television schedules (by country and year)
- List of animated television series