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How do you decide if a title is a film, a TV movie or a Miniseries?

The short answer is:

If it's made for TV, it's a TV production; if it was made to be released in theaters, it's a theatrical film.

However, sometimes it's not so easy to categorize titles!

For example:

  • There are films that were intended for theatrical release, but ended up debuting on cable TV instead.

  • Some made-for-TV movies are distributed theatrically in certain territories, or go directly to home video.

  • And it's often not so easy to decide whether a big TV production that airs on two or more separate evenings should be considered a "mini series" or a multi-part TV movie or something else.

We've created the following table as a guide to help you make the best determination. It includes the criteria that are normally used to determine whether a production should be listed in the database as a theatrical feature or a TV Movie, TV Miniseries, TV Series or Video.

These are only broad guidelines, as per our general eligibility rules we reserve the right to change and adapt our rules as required by circumstances and may decide to make exceptions for certain special cases or when we lack sufficient evidence to make a final determination.

Please see the Title Formats submission guide for more details on the correct way to categorize different types of titles within our existing title type structure.

 Film/TV/Video Title Categorization Guidelines

TV Movie (1)
TV Miniseries
TV Series (2)
Video (3)
Originally produced for release
in Theaters
on TV
on TV
on TV/Internet
on Video/Internet
Initial wide release or premiere (4)
in Theaters
Actual total running time (5)
less than 240 min
240 min or more
Normally shown in how many parts/episodes?
1 or 2
2 to 4
How many seasons/years?
1 or more



(1) = TV pilots and TV Specials are also categorized as "TV Movies" (4) = excluding festivals, film market screenings and other special events
(2) = Web Series are also categorized as "TV Series" (5) = not counting commercial breaks
(3) = Online Standalone Videos, Music Videos, DVD Extras and Commercials are also categorized as "Video"  



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