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Thinking about our show statuses

By Lemon - Feb 16, 2024

I've been thinking about our show statuses. Our UI currently shows these ones: Returning series, New series, Final season, On the bubble, On hiatus, Ended, Pilot rejected, In development, Pilot ordered, Never aired, Unknown. Many of these are badly out of date and I'm working on the importer to revamp all of them in a simplified list of categories.

I want to simplify these a lot! Thinking about our shows, pretty much the majority goes through these six stages:

  • Future Show: It's being developed, nobody knows when it will air exactly. Sometimes we know the year
  • Upcoming Show: The pilot episode release date is known. Its about to be released soon
  • New Show: We are currently in the first season of this show, the season may not have ended yet
  • Returning Show: Season 2 has been announced or we are already further into the show. This is the stable state of a running show.
  • Final Season: We are in the last season, the show is going to end.
  • Ended: The show has ended

These stages make sense for shows like Breaking Bad, Stargate SG-1, etc. Where there is a nice ending to the story.

The example of The Expanse

The Expanse is a weird one, SyFy started the show, and then they cancelled it after 3 seasons. At this point it was considered Ended, but Amazon Prime bought the show and it then turned back into Returning Show/Running Show.

New shows that get cancelled immediately

These are also interesting. They go from New Show directly to Ended. Do they ever go through Final Season? How would you want to see this in the UI?

Would love your feedback!

Can you poke some holes in this? Does this list make sense? I would love your thoughts!


John81 (Mar 03, 2024)

@Lemon I don't think it's worth splitting the "future" and "upcoming". It could be just "in development" with a "confirmed" symbol once you have a release date.

If you eliminate "final season" altogether, you can further simplify things for mini series and cancelled shows.

Is there any AI you can tap into? Make a few ChatGPT prompt buttons with simple frequently asked questions:

Did [insert show name] get cancelled?
Does [insert show name] have a proper ending?
Was [insert show name] renewed for season [n]?
What's the release date of [insert show name]?
What do people say about [insert show name]?

and so on... Or do it on the back end if you have a limited API pull. With this added functionality you can simplify the categories to upcoming (alternatively "planned" or "in development"), running and ended. The "new show" category is simply [release date] + [time]. You can customize the prompts based on the category (for example, hide the does it have an ending question for in dev and running shows).

An alternative solution for simplifying things is to embrace the complexity. Make a separate "tags" from genre. Tags for status and categories. You can tag shows in endless categories:
mini, cancelled, ended, running, renewed, undecided, unconfirmed, in dev, satisfactory ending, unsatisfactory ending, on hiatus, first season, last season, etc..
This way you can have things in more than one category.

HazeEllen (Feb 22, 2024)

Love it! Gonna be so helpful, without needing to google that on your own on other sites.

I've also been thinking about the prompts in the last update message and the possibility of new graphics. How about few themes, users could choose from? Like the slightly modernised the original old school one, maybe some dark theme, or even in the future customisable backgrounds with your favourite shows, or even like holiday events (like valentines, new years, Christmas/Eid and any other big holidays). Maybe users could gain some points for participating by rating episodes and writing reviews on them and then gain the ability to get the show template. It could encourage users to be more active. Just two ideas of mine, have a lovely day :)

seriealkiller (Feb 21, 2024)

Interesting topic! I would keep it simple and avoid overlap between categories:

In development: no exact date
Upcoming: exact date known (and within 1 year maybe)
Running: 1st episode aired and more episodes will air
Ended: last episode aired

Maybe build a delay between running and ended depending on how quickly new seasons get added to the database. Moving shows from Ended to Running upon revival seems fine.

Then I would create a separate label/definition for "new" series. For example: new = if the date is between the pilot date and 6 months after the pilot date. Add it to the show page as an icon. This solves ambiguity with miniseries or canceled shows because you can combine ended & new. And you have flexibility in adding even more informative labels while keeping the core statuses intact.

Foaman (Feb 20, 2024)

if possible, a cancelled status instead of ended for cancelled shows would be great for new viewers who would rather not watch a show that never got a proper ending. I have been bitten too many times by this..

Lemon (Feb 20, 2024)

@youandwhatband My exact thought as well. "returning show" implies a new season. While "running" is more open-ended.

Lemon (Feb 20, 2024)

@ryano1076 I like the idea of a distinct callout that a show is cancelled, not just naturally ended. The hard part is figuring out when a show is actually cancelled though.

I would need to scrape some news sites to figure that out automatically :thinking:

ryano1076 (Feb 19, 2024)

Hey what about if you added an option for shows that got canceled rather than just 'ended'? That way there could possibly be an opening for if they get picked up by another network or something.

ryano1076 (Feb 19, 2024)

Also now you have shows that ended long ago that are coming back with a "new" season rather than a reboot or new series. I'd imagine that's a headache to sort out.

youandwhatband (Feb 18, 2024)

A new system would be great!

The only thought I have is that 'returning show' makes it sound like it is definitely renewed for a next season. I think something like: 'running' as episodes airing, 'awaiting renewal' and 'renewed/returning' (or cancelled/ended), would be more intuitive as a user. That does complicate things more though, as that would mean there is no stable state for running shows. So I don't know how practical it would be to implement and keep up to date.

And to answer your question about the (new) shows that get cancelled: I don't think there is a need for them to have a final season, especially if cancelled after S01. Maybe it would be good to specify cancellation though, so it's clear from the start that you won't necessarily get a proper ending (like you would for a mini-series or a true ending, like Breaking Bad).

Lemon (Feb 17, 2024)

@ForgotMyLines yup, there is a special case with shows that are fairly new (last couple of years). But only had 1-2 seasons by design. Mini-series like Chernobyl are a good example of this.

ForgotMyLines (Feb 17, 2024)

Nice idea. I like it.

It's almost like with the New shows that air all at once They should show as "New" for a certain amount of time, then switch to "Ended" after that time elapses. I'm guessing that would be a pain to code or impossible/pointless. It is a shame when the new shows turn up on the site and are listed as ended, before they get a stint with the new show group.

Is there a time limit type code? What happens with the "New Series" Tab? Surely they can only be listed in there for a certain amount of time?

Edit: Just had a look, and "She Hulk" is still in that tab. Is it just that the profile is still saying "New Series"? And if I change it to ended it removes from that "New Series" tab? So nothing to do with time since release, and automatically removing?

(EditEdit: Yes, that is the case, and I just tried it. I need to work my way through that list. Mare of Easttown is still on there. from 2021)

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