Constructing an Episodic Record

When searching for or registering an episodic work, start by determining the Series, then the Season (if applicable), then the Episode.

Each record in the episodic tree begins with the standard BaseObjectData as found in a standard Abstraction. Series Collection records are at the root of the tree and cannot inherit any of their data. Season Collections and Episode Abstractions are child records and can inherit some of their BaseObjectData values from their immediate parent. None of the additional descriptive information in the ExtraObjectMetadata section can be inherited.

For a list of the required, conditionally required, and optional but recommended EIDR data elements and attributes, please see Required Data Fields for Abstractions, Episodics, and Edits. For a full list of all possible data points and their individual requirements and restrictions, please see Data Fields Reference.

Series

See Constructing a Basic Record for general guidance on populating BaseObjectData. The following BaseObjectData elements have standard values for a Series record:

  • ID: The EIDR ID – assigned by the Registry at the time of creation
  • StructuralType: “Abstraction” – Collection Record Type
  • Mode: Usually “AudioVisual” (If all the Episodes of the Series are silent, use “Visual”; for a Radio series, use “Audio”)
  • ReferentType: “Series”
  • Status: “valid” (in most cases)
  • Registrant: Your EIDR Party ID as the creator of the record.

A Series is a Collection that exists to hold Episodes so it does not have Associated Orgs, Directors, Actors, etc. of its own. (You do not produce a Series, you actually produce Episodes that are installments in a Series.) Instead, these values are populated based on the most common values for the included Episodes.

  • Associated Orgs are aggregated from those responsible for the majority of the Episodes.
  • A Series Director is only provided when the same person directs the vast majority of the Series’ Episodes.
  • Series Actors are limited to those people who appear in the vast majority of episodes (a sitcom’s series regulars, a talk show’s host, a news program’s anchor, etc.).
  • Alternate IDs are those that apply to the series as a whole: e.g., IMDb has a unique Series ID.

Series ExtraObjectMetadata has five different data elements,[1] most of which provide data validation rules for the Series’ child elements:

  • EndDate: The release date of the last Episode in the Series. (Only populated for mini-series and series that have ended their run.) This (along with the Series’ own release date) limits the release dates of the child Seasons and Episodes. Only “Pilot” and “Special” Episodes can lie outside these dates.
  • NumberRequired: If set “true,” then all child record must have an identifying number – SequenceNumber for Seasons, DistributionNumber for Episodes.
  • DateRequired: If set “true,” then all child records must have full release dates, not just release years.
  • OriginalTitleRequried: If set “true,” then all child records must have user-supplied ResourceNames, rather than the system-generated names common to most Seasons and many Episodes.

Season

See “Constructing a Basic Record,” above, for general guidance on populating BaseObjectData. The following BaseObjectData elements have standard values for a Season record:

  • ID: The EIDR ID – assigned by the Registry at the time of creation
  • StructuralType: “Abstraction” – Collection Record Type
  • Mode: Usually “AudioVisual” (If all the Episodes of the Season are silent, use “Visual”; for a Radio series, use “Audio”)
  • ReferentType: “Season”
  • Status: “valid” (in most cases)
  • Registrant: Your EIDR Party ID as the creator of the record.

Like Series, Seasons are Collections that exists to hold Episodes, so they do not have Associated Orgs, Directors, Actors, etc. of their own. Instead, these values are populated based on the most common values for the included Episodes. As such, these values could differ from Season to Season and from the Series. If they are the same as the Series, then they should be inherited.

  • Associated Orgs are aggregated from those responsible for most of the Episodes.
  • A Season Director is only provided when the same person directs the vast majority of the Season’s Episodes.
  • Season Actors are limited to those people who appear in the vast majority of episodes (a sitcom’s series regulars, a talk show’s host, a news program’s anchor, etc.). For long running Series, this may change from one Season to the next.
  • Alternate IDs are those that apply to the season as a whole: e.g., IMDb does not have Season identifiers, but IVA does.

Season ExtraObjectMetadata has seven different data elements,[2] most of which provide data validation rules for the Season’s child elements:

  • EndDate: The release date of the last Episode in the Season. As with the Series EndDate, this limits the release dates of the child Episodes, excluding “Pilot” and “Special” Episodes.
  • NumberRequired: If set “true,” then all child Episodes must have a DistributionNumber.
  • DateRequired: If set “true,” then all child Episodes must have full release dates, not just release years.
  • OriginalTitleRequried: If set “true,” then all child Episodes must have user-supplied ResourceNames, rather than the system-generated names common to many Episodes.

NOTE: Before registering a new Season in an existing Series, check the number/naming conventions of any current Seasons and adjust to follow that pattern.

Episode

See “Constructing a Basic Record,” above, for general guidance on populating BaseObjectData. The following BaseObjectData elements have standard values for an Episode record:

  • ID: The EIDR ID – assigned by the Registry at the time of creation
  • StructuralType: “Abstraction”
  • Mode: Usually “AudioVisual” (For a silent episode, use “Visual”; for a Radio episode, use “Audio”)
  • ReferentType: Usually “TV”, but could also be “Short”, “Web”, or “Supplemental”. Rarely “Movie”.
  • Status: “valid” (in most cases)
  • Registrant: Your EIDR Party ID as the creator of the record.

Episodes are proper Abstractions, so they have their own direct Associated Orgs, Directors, Actors, etc. If these differ from their parent, then provide them in the Episode record. Otherwise, let them inherit from the parent Series or Season.

  • Alternate IDs are those that apply specifically to the episode: e.g., both IMDb and ISAN have individual Episode Identifiers, but normally V-ISAN IDs are not used in an Episode record.

Episode ExtraObjectMetadata has nine different data elements and attributes, all of which are descriptive. This includes three different types of Episode numbers:

  • DistributionNumber: The original broadcast order of the episodes. In most cases, this restarts from 1 with each new Season. For “Series Sequential” Series, the numbering is continuous from Season to Season without repeating. The domain attribute is optional.
  • HouseSequence: The producer’s or commissioning broadcaster’s numbering sequence, if different from the DistributionNumber. The domain attribute is optional, but strongly recommended to identify the source of the HouseSequence number.
  • AlternateNumber: Some other number or number format not captured in DistributionNumber or HouseSequence. The domain attribute is required to identify the source of the AlternateNumber.

NOTE: Before registering a new Episode in an existing Series or Season, check the number/naming conventions of any current Episodes and adjust to follow that pattern. If your numbering sequence is different, include it as an AlternateNumber.

Footnotes

[1] At least one of the elements in the Series’ ExtraObjectMetadata must be populated to avoid returning an empty XML tag validation error.

[2] At least one of the elements in the Series’ ExtraObjectMetadata must be populated to avoid returning an empty XML tag validation error.

Updated on March 9, 2021

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