The TV IV:Proposals/People Pages
- Archive 1 -- Inception through September 26, 2006.
Adding Guest Starring Credits
(Moved from Talk:Dean Stockwell.)
Thank you to any who might be willing to contribute to this page, as it's a massive project I don't look forward to tackling by my lonesome. If you wish to contribute, please note the following guidelines:
1.) IMDb credits are unreliable and should not be taken as gospel. Whenever possible, it is best to verify them with at least one other independent Website, such as TV.com. (Note that Amazon and eBay listings link to the IMDb.) If not possible, try to cast a critical eye on what you're reading. If it seems incomplete or questionable, it's perfectly okay to exclude unreliable information. I've already done that with, say, Stockwell's Greatest Heroes of the Bible appearance. The IMDb lists him as a series-long star, but due to the nature of that series, I happen to know he probably wouldn't have appeared in more than one episode. I couldn't track down which episode he would have appeared in, so until that information can be verified, it need not be here.
2.) TV.com's credits are unreliable and should not be taken as gospel. Whenever possible, it is best to verify them with at least one other independent Website, such as the IMDb.
3.) Over the last year, thanks to the tireless efforts of countless contributors, this site's own internal credits have gotten better and better. Many popular series are filled in. If there is some doubt regarding information taken from IMDb or TV.com, or if it's missing a field of information (episode number, etc.), the first resource to double-check it against should be right at your fingertips. Should there be a mistake in our own listings (it can happen; we are, after all, human), if you catch it, please feel free to correct it. If you don't catch the mistake, and you repeat it, nobody will fault you. The best case scenario is a mistake-free entry. The 'second best case scenario is, when mistakes occur, they are, at least, our own mistakes, and not mistakes copied from another site.
4.) In a similar vein, if you enter a popular series title linked, and the red link indicates there is no such entry for that series, try searching for it. You may have misspelled the title (or the site you copied from may have misspelled it.) Perhaps you didn't misspell it, but one site uses an article ("The," for instance), while another doesn't. In that case, perhaps consider a redirect page. In any event, if something looks suspiciously unlinked, you are encouraged to cast a skeptical eye on it. (That's not always a perfect system. I was recently shocked to learn, while entering Scott Baio's credits, that there is no entry yet for Charles in Charge. It's not always wrong, but it's better to take the ten seconds to check first.)
5.) Also along those lines, almost all (but not all) of the series which have entries for the series also have entries for the episodes. If a series is blue-linked, but the episode-title is red-linked, double-check that. Maybe you're linking to a redirect or disambiguation page. Maybe you're linking to a glossary entry and there is no disambiguation page, but there should be. Maybe you mistyped the episode title - a single capitalization discrepancy can cause a red link. This is the fastest, easiest discrepancy to double-check, and again, it encourages internal consistency.
Thanks to every user who helps out on this and every other page on the Wiki. Every person involves with this site sincerely appreciates and frankly relies on your help to make this site the best site it can be. -- JCaesartalk 19:47, 25 September 2006 (EDT)
- As it seems very likely we could have similiar problems in the future, perhaps it might be prudent to create a "resource page" for people to verify their info against? Perhaps asking people to check at least two of the sites on the list before adding credits? -- Lampbane 20:34, 25 September 2006 (EDT)
- This is a pretty good idea. I try to check questionable credits with TV.com, but I don't know what other resources to check when I'm adding credits. We need some expanded help pages anyway, we may as well start with an area that would perhaps outdo IMDb or TV.com in its completeness and validity. --IndieRockLance 21:07, 25 September 2006 (EDT)
- I will say this in regards to your first comment:
- I don't think it's necessarily prudent (or plausible) to demand that every user double-check every credit. Sure, we can ask, but we rarely have any assurance that they will, and in 99.9% of the time, there's absolutely no way of telling if they did. (I think we can all agree and it should come as no surprise that today's events involving a certain user were beyond what one might call extreme circumstances.)
- Plus, it's not always necessary to double-check everything. I tend to start with IMDb and TV.com as starting points, and I'll admit: I don't double-check every single little credit from either of those sites. Please. I just can't for some of these guys. Some actors have literally hundreds of credits, and it already takes me upwards of five or six hours to enter some of their information - and I'm a speed typist.
- That's why I wrote the guidelines with an eye towards what should raise red flags. If information is missing from the IMDb or TV.com, that raises a red flag for me. If I get red links, that's a red flag. If credits are contradictory, red flag. And if something just plain doesn't look right, red flag. Most of what looks right and leads to blue links probably is, and if it's not, it will likely be caught and corrected down the road. (There were some minor problems with Matt's chart above, and I caught them and fixed them literally in less than five minutes.) It often doesn't require in-depth analysis with a fine-toothed comb on every credit. Only on about 40-50% of them. -- JCaesartalk 02:06, 26 September 2006 (EDT)
- I think the help pages need serious revision, given how it's been over a year without major change despite the site's growth. And I'm going to start putting together a preliminary list. -- Lampbane 21:13, 25 September 2006 (EDT)
- More thoughts, as you're writing up proposals, Lampbane:
- There isn't always one resource for everything. What I mean is: When I'm doing credits for an actor tangential to a larger project, I tend not to put in as much careful examination as I do for one central to a larger project. For instance, when I did the John Cleese page, I made sure his credits were absolutely, 100% accurate down to the most minute detail (as far as they could be at the time; it's possible they have changed or been updated). As a result, I double-checked and triple-checked everything.
- As a result, I'm led to my point, which is that there is not always one resource (nor a handful of resources) for everything. For Cleese, I found a wonderful page drawn from a British library's records (which in turn, as I recall, were drawn from the BBC's and ITV's pay schedules) which listed, in precise detail, every individual appearance and writing credit Cleese had ever made on any British program. As it might not be necessary to say outright, this was immensely helpful, as the BBC frequently destroyed its tapes until at least the 1990s, and some of that information was lost to history. On the other hand, that page (the link for which I have since lost) was only useful in a very limited capacity, as it only lists a handful of British TV stars, and its information is horribly disorganized and laid out. It truly takes a fine-toothed comb to draw something useful out of it. Other sites with precise but limited uses—such as the BBC Guide to Comedy—were also used in the Cleese project.
- Maybe we'd be best off if we make it clear that the first resource should be the TV IV Wiki itself, the second should be a combination of the IMDb, TV.com and other frequently-used sites, but the third should be Google? I genuinely believe most users would be shocked at how much useful information is floating around out there somewhere which could be pulled together and reworked into listings better than those on any other well-known site on the Internet. --JCaesartalk 02:18, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
- When I filled out the page for Paul Shaffer I used Google, which gave me two biographies (one at CBS and one... elsewhere) that I checked his IMDb credits against. I also looked at his Wikipedia profile, which did help me locate a credit that was missing from IMDb (Cover Wars). The annoying thing is that it was still inaccurate (they had the name as "Battle of the Cover Bands") and the only reason it's correct here on TVIV is because I used to be obsessed with the show and remember it quite well. I suppose my point is that a) we're asking a lot of users and b) even with detailed verification, we're still going to have errors.
- Also, I'd like to put up the TV crossovers page as a shining example of how we may still get screwed.
- My first word of advice to all users would be check the source material. Primary sources are their best bet, and if they happen to have the episode recorded or on DVD, go to that first before relying on any web source. -- Lampbane 11:00, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
- I suppose my point is that a) we're asking a lot of users and Well, that goes without saying. On the other hand, the reality is that, while there are close to 4,000 users, literally only about 0.02% (according to the last time we checked user stats) do more than add a few sentences here and there or have much more than a couple dozen edits, let alone add full credits for a bunch of actors, writers, directors and producers. In fact, I'd guess that 0.02% is probably responsible for upwards of 95% of what's on the site. It's that minority who are likely to read Help pages, anyway, and that's whom I'm trying to target with these guidelines, because that 0.02% is also likely to put in the work of researching and verifying anything. The other 99.98% we can safely assume are going to make mistakes, but because they do so little editing overall, it's safe to assume any damage done would be minimal.
- Very good point on the DVD (although if your DVD has a filmography, double-check it to make sure it's not one copied from the IMDb. I don't know how prevalent this still is, but back in the day, a lot of DVD filmographies were directly copied from the IMDb—although those DVD's also credited the IMDb for the information). Also, for people who have done episodes of Inside the Actors Studio, that show is now available on iTunes as far as I know. It's incomplete for credits, but should help with biographical information.
- I guess basically, the overarching rule should be: "Do whatever you can to verify as much as you can whenever you can." On the other hand...
- b) even with detailed verification, we're still going to have errors. Of course. Humanum est errare. But, again I repeat:
- "The best case scenario is a mistake-free entry. The second best case scenario is, when mistakes occur, they are, at least, our own mistakes, and not mistakes copied from another site."
- In other news, I'll try to work up some kind of preliminary guidelines for TV specials/movies and starring roles when I get a chance after some other projects I'm working on right now. -- JCaesartalk 11:40, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
- How would you want to work up a list of sources? I was thinking a variety of ways, which I just realized could get overly complex. By what they offer (cast lists, episode listings, airdates, news) or what level of source they are (primary, secondary, tertiary). I think a combination of both would be adviseable. And I realize that we'll have to write some kind of guidelines/instructions on how to use sources, and I'm afraid that any explanation I write of primary/secondary would be regurgitated from Wikipedia, as I am not an educator and suck at explaining this stuff (ask me what happened on the last season of Veronica Mars however, and I'm down with that).
- Just a note that I'm at work and not thinking all of this through as closely as I should. I just want to get some dialogue going here, because we seriously need more of that (which isn't senseless arguing). -- Lampbane 12:08, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
- I just want to get some dialogue going here, because we seriously need more of that (which isn't senseless arguing) Dunno if you ever check the block logs (I don't recommend it; it's pretty boring reading overall, a couple notable exceptions aside), but the "senseless arguing" is over forever. I've been happy dancing now for 24 hours and haven't stopped.
- How would you want to work up a list of sources? I've got some thoughts on it and will pitch in when I can, but I'd also like to see what sorts of things you've worked up. Hopefully, if we put our heads together (and maybe get a helping hand or two here and there), we can come up with something together.
- I'm afraid that any explanation I write of primary/secondary would be regurgitated from Wikipedia, as I am not an educator and suck at explaining this stuff You're doing a lot and a great job, and it's greatly appreciated. Believe me. -- JCaesartalk 12:38, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
I generally think our resource sites will probably be the list of usual suspects: IMDb, Wikipedia, TV.com (among others) for general reference; TV Squad, Futon Critic (and others) for news. I would also add some general-interest "respectable" news sites and official network sites to that list.
Breaking these out into source levels:
- Episodes themselves, including beginning and end credits
- Press releases from networks and production companies
- DVD booklets
- Official sites (network, program, actor)
- Print and broadcast news media (including their websites)
- User-driven fansites
- Individual fansites
- General user-driven sites (Wikipedia, IMDb)
The reason fansites get placed higher is that fans are far more likely to be referencing the actual episode when creating their pages, while general sites like Wikipedia may be taking their info from other sources on the web. I would say that falls into tertiary, especially since Wikipedia defines tertiary as a compilation of primary and secondary.
Blogs also do the same thing, sadly. That's the nature of the blogosphere - to write articles based on articles found elsewhere. However, if we follow the money trail backwards in many of these cases, we would eventually hit a primary or secondary source.
I would also advise people not to overlook the usefulness of "respectable" news organizations like the NY Times or CNN. It's in their best interest to be accurate, and I've often found that they report on TV-related items I wouldn't normally update (such as my recent additions to Dance Revolution). -- Lampbane 13:57, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
- Pointers to where to find press releases would also be nice. Can we get these straight from the networks instead of going through third parties like Futon Critic? If American networks have equivalents to the BBC Press Office, these should be listed. —Naddy 16:36, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
- I agree more or less, with a huge caveat on the fansites that you can never be 100% sure where their information is coming from. Clearly, though, "official" (or "authorized") Websites trump everybody else's. Otherwise, I think your list is pretty rock solid. -- JCaesartalk 00:53, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
- Well, generally I like to cross-check the fansites to see what they're saying and whether they agree. The way I wrote the list is that they're also ordered by reliability, which is why fansites are at the very bottom of the secondary list, and why individual fansites go lower than user-driven (wikis and other sites that rely heavily on users for information), since the whole philosophy behind wikis is that a larger-group is self-correcting. -- Lampbane 13:51, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
- At the risk of sounding like an idiot, it would be nice if someone wrote up instructions on how to use the citations plug-in. I'm still a bit fuzzy on how to use it, and I'm sure others don't even know it exists. -- Lampbane 13:51, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
- I can look into that, but just out of curiosity, what were you hoping to cite? -- JCaesartalk 20:41, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
- Nothing in particular right now, it just seemed relevant to the discussion. Though I was trying it out on the MTV page and I couldn't get it to work. (The "15 videos by Rod Stewart" is one of those things I figured would need a citation, especially since it was something the VJ said during an interstitial.) -- Lampbane 15:06, 1 October 2006 (EDT)
- I can look into that, but just out of curiosity, what were you hoping to cite? -- JCaesartalk 20:41, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
- What Belongs Here: Birthdates, birthplaces, birth names. Death dates, causes and places. Training, educational background and professional histories. Information on their careers and career highlights, brief overviews (whenever appropriate) of major awards won (you don't need to go too in-depth here—that's what the "Awards and Accolades" section is for). Verifiable family information (marriages, children). Personal tragedies and dramas are fine, particularly if they're in the distant past and have been confirmed, but try to focus on only the highlights and maintain as objective a stance as possible. The same goes for political affiliations, personal causes (particularly the better-publicized ones—e.g., Michael J. Fox's well-publicized and high-profile battle with Parkinson's and work in raising funding and awareness for it should go in his biography; it's not as good an idea to say, "Sean Penn supported Saddam Hussein and hates America." Partly because that's extremely subjective, and also because it's 100% untrue and a politically-motivated and slanderous misrepresentation of fact), etc.
- What Doesn't Belong Here: Political attacks. Reviews of individual television shows/overall talent. (e.g.: Correct: "In the 1980s, Burt Reynolds' films fell out of favor with audiences and critics, and he lost his standing as one of the top movie stars in Hollywood." Incorrect: "Adam Sandler sucks, he's always sucked, and I hate him.") Day-by-day accounting of celebrities' lives. Unverified and ongoing scandals and rumors, excluding those which are either verifiable or extremely prurient. (Correct: "O.J. Simpson is currently on trial for homicide." Incorrect: "According to recent tabloid reports, Britney Spears is dating Kevin Spacey and has been seen around town wearing a wedding ring." Yes, that was a rumor for a while.) Minute detail about a celebrity's favorite color, food, TV show or personal relationships.
- Generally speaking, try to imagine you're a journalist for an objective, respected newspaper or magazine, and you're writing a four- to five-paragraph (max!), general profile of a person. If it helps, you can also imagine you're writing a summary of someone's appearance on, say, Inside the Actors Studio. Obviously, certain TV personalities have been extremely influential or are currently extremely popular, and some of that is going to bleed into a bio. It's not unfair to say that House, M.D. has garnered Hugh Laurie a much wider and more devoted international fan following than he had ever had before; or that Ed Sullivan was one of the most significant figures in both television and music in the 1950s and 1960s. Similarly, it wouldn't be unfair to say that Jane Fonda's actions during the Vietnam War evoked harsh criticism and anger amongst many groups. However, again, as much as possible, remember that this is an informational source, not a fan site or message board. We don't have the strict NPOV rules of Wikipedia, but we're also not the proper site for sounding off on what a dreamy hunk Jesse Spencer is, or whether or not Bill O'Reilly is a fascist. Keep it simple, keep it objective, keep it verifiable. -- JCaesartalk 00:53, 29 September 2006 (EDT)
Musicians and Musical Groups
I've had an idea kicking around in my head for a while about to what extent musical groups should be covered on the wiki. There's no doubt that musicians and musical groups frequently appear on late-night talk shows and things like that, but they're also prone to appearing as groups on cartoons and other programs (i.e. Aerosmith in the Flaming Moe's episode of The Simpsons, Mick Jagger in The Knights of Prosperity).
I think it would be to our benefit to create pages for musical groups and list their appearances and maybe even what songs they played. As far as I know, there isn't a resource like what I'm describing online and it seems natural that it would fit into what we're doing here with actors. My idea is as such: The Rolling Stones get their own page with a modified template that includes band members. For all appearances where the credit is "The Rolling Stones," that page lists what show, episode, date and song they performed (if any):
|Saturday Night Live||The Rolling Stones||October 7, 1978||"Beast of Burden"|
I'm sure there could be an easier way to show that the band played three songs through a template or something, but whatever. So, let's take Mick Jagger's page real quick. Since he's established as a solo artist and as an occasional guest star in non-musical roles, his page might look like this:
| Saturday Night Live
(credited as The Rolling Stones)
|Himself||4x01 - The Rolling Stones||October 7, 1978|
|The Knights of Prosperity||Himself||1x01 - Pilot||January 3, 2007|
However, solo music appearances would go in that separate box further down the page, like so:
|Saturday Night Live||Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger||December 8, 2001||"God Gave Me Everything"|
|"Visions of Paradise"|
- I'm thinking that maybe the song listing could be a different section like for "Talk, News and Game Show Appearances," but I don't know. I'm making this up as I go along. I just want to know what everyone else thinks. --IndieRockLance 19:14, 2 January 2007 (EST)
- This got buried when I first put up the proposal, so I'm adding another comment to try and get some other people to take a look. --IndieRockLance 18:31, 10 January 2007 (EST)
- I don't see a pressing need to add seperate categories for this information to the wiki. It fits just as well on trivia pages for individual episodes. --Stabbey 13:46, 11 January 2007 (EST)
- TuneFind already indexes this kind of stuff, and they already have a lot of links on pages here. --CygnusTMtalk 13:57, 11 January 2007 (EST)
- In response to both above comments: I'm not talking about incidental music by popular artists though. I'm talking about actual appearances of the band in the flesh. It wouldn't be so much as adding separate categories as it would be making a new table for groups that appear on late night shows to perform. On TuneFind, they list music that's included in episodes (which is a fine resource and one that I use occasionally), but if you look under let's say The Decemberists, their appearances on Letterman and Conan are notably missing.
- You're right that the wiki is the wrong place for a song listing of background music, but it seems like it would only be natural for the song that a band plays on Letterman would be included in their talk/news/games show appearance table, just as a character an actor was playing would fit into their guest star table. --IndieRockLance 15:33, 11 January 2007 (EST)
- I've created a few pages for musicians who are members of one or more group and groups, and I've been treating artists (like Chrissie Hynde) and bands (like The Pretenders) as separate entities. That makes sense to me—the same way treating John Cleese and Monty Python as separate entities makes sense to me—but right now, I can't honestly say creating song listings on the bio pages makes sense to me. It's not that I think it's a bad idea so much as redundant and unecessary, insofar as that information would usually be on the Episode pages, and where it's not, it's often not available. But that's only my initial impulse, and I could totally be convinced otherwise. -- JCaesartalk 14:34, 11 January 2007 (EST)
- If we do list appearances like this I'd say listing appearances as part of a band on both the artist's page and the band's page is a little redundant. Just list it on the band page and link to the band page on the artist page. -The-jam 16:16, 11 January 2007 (EST)
- I know you're talking about actual band appearances. I still don't think there's a pressing need for this information. --Stabbey 16:22, 11 January 2007 (EST)
- Why not? Isn't all information good information, especially when there isn't another resource for it? I'm not asking people to go out of their way to start working on these pages, I'm just trying to find a steady middle ground to work from if someone does come to the point that they want to make a page for an artist. --IndieRockLance 16:32, 11 January 2007 (EST)
- I think a separate section for musical performances is a great idea. DCEdwards1966 | Talk 16:39, 11 January 2007 (EST)