gromit82's profile
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Wed, Sep 15, 2021 5:02 AM

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No, "Betty Boop" was not a TV series in 1930

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15180956/ is a supposed TV series titled "Betty Boop" which supposedly debuted in 1930.

As I'm sure everyone reading this already knows, television broadcasting existed on only a very limited basis in 1930. The Betty Boop series of theatrical short films began in 1930 -- these films were not broadcast on television until years later.

What's worse, apparently every Betty Boop theatrical cartoon has been converted into an episode of the supposed TV series -- they are no longer entered as theatrical films. I was just looking for The Old Man of the Mountain (1933) and didn't see it at first, because it had been listed as a TV episode (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024404/) instead of a film.

This isn't even the first time someone has created a pseudo-TV series for "Betty Boop" starting in 1930. As discussed in the thread here, there was another entry for "Betty Boop" (1930) in 2019, which was deleted. Why was this series allowed to be re-created when it was already determined to be an invalid entry before?

IMDb claims to be "the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities." Yet how can IMDb be considered authoritative if it doesn't demonstrate basic knowledge of television history, like when television came into common use? 

As I've said before, any television program submitted to the database with a start date in the 1930s or earlier ought to be scrutinized by an IMDb staffer to see whether it actually existed or has been submitted erroneously. In this case, the submission was erroneous. 

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@gromit82 

IMDb Community Forums | IMDb | Data Issues & Policy Discus...
Related Conversations

betty boop "tv series"
bderoes, Champion
Thu, Sep 12, 2019
https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/betty-boop-tv-series/5f4a7a2e8815453dba9ca075

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6280424/episodes

The first problem is the series years: (1930–1939)

- - -

similar problem here ? ?

[ The Three Stooges Collection TV Series ? ? ]
ACT_1
Sat, May 1, 2021
https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/the-three-stooges-collection-tv-series/608dd5667d101772332111be

The Three Stooges Collection (2007-2010)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11137618/reference

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11137618/episodes?season=1

These are Not TV Episodes

.

(edited)

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2 m ago

Here are some other problematic "TV series" from the early days of television as listed by IMDb.

"Andy Panda" (1939-1949): Another series of theatrical short cartoons.

"Barney Bear" (1939-1954): Another series of theatrical short cartoons.

"British Movietone News" (1929-1979): Newsreels for theatrical release. This title even has a trivia entry that says, "This popular series was produced for showing in cinemas. Interestingly, it was also shown on experimental BBC TV during the 1930s." Produced for cinema ... first shown in cinemas ... not a TV series.

"British Pathé News" (1910-1970): Another series of newsreels for theatrical release. Note that the first television station did not begin operations until 1928, eighteen years after this supposed TV series debuted.

"Color Classics" (1934-1941): Another series of theatrical short cartoons.

"Comicolor cartoons" (1933-1936): Another series of theatrical short cartoons.

"Grand Prix Motor Racing" (1906-1949): Grand Prix motor racing, as a sport, started in 1906, but they weren't broadcasting it on television then. Vladimir Zworykin hadn't even started experimenting with television in a laboratory yet. 

"Hunky y Spunky" (1938-1941): Another series of theatrical short cartoons. For some reason, this title is in Spanish; it's an American series which should be listed as "Hunky and Spunky".

"John Wayne Classics" (1935-1963): These are theatrical feature films. I'm not sure what someone had in mind to submit them as a TV series.

"John Wayne Colorized Collection" (1934- ): See above, with the additional note that color television was still experimental in 1934 and there had not yet been any over-the-air color broadcasts.

"Parrotville" (1934-1935): Another series of theatrical short cartoons. The plot summary on IMDb says, ""Parrotville" is a classic U.S. animated series that first appeared in 1934 and was produced by Van Beuren Studio. It was created to showcase the new color technology possible for television." Maybe to showcase color technology for films, but definitely not for television.

"1937 Coronation" (1937- ): Probably a real television special, but the British don't crown their monarchs often enough to make it a regularly scheduled television series. In fact, they only had one 1937 coronation, another in 1953, and none since then.

More to come ...

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@gromit82 The last one is:

1 - 1937 Coronation (2017)

Running Time - 5 minutes

Colour - Black and White

Broadcast Date - 12th of May 2017

Channel - BBC Parliament

https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/p051mmwj

(note: BBC footage)

2 - 1937 Coronation (2017)

Running Time - 50 minutes

Colour - Black and White

Broadcast Date - 12th of May 2017

Channel - BBC Parliament

https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/p051mmwp

(note: Pathe footage. First time it's been broadcast on British TV)

3 - 1937 Coronation (2017)

Running Time - 10 minutes

Colour - Colour

Broadcast Date - 12th of May 2017

Channel - BBC Parliament

https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/p051mmwq

(note: Pathe's Dufray-Chromex footage)

(edited)

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Daniel: That supports my point, that "1937 Coronation" was a TV special in 1937, not a TV series. https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/p051mmwj says:

BBC Parliament marks the 80th anniversary of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 12 May 1937. Just five months after its launch, the BBC Television Service showed an hour-long live outside broadcast of the 1937 Coronation procession to the Abbey for its small number of television viewers. This was the first outside broadcast by the BBC and no copy of the live output survives. BBC film cameras were on hand though to record the remarkable achievement for this 4 1/2 minute film.

 

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@Daniel: Thanks for finding that link. This implies that we should replace "1937 Coronation" (1937), the supposed TV series, with The Coronation Procession (1937) (TV), a TV special.

Actually, the "1937 Coronation" (1937) entry is very confused. The plot outline says, "BBC Parliament marks the 80th anniversary of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 12 May 1937." The runtime of the broadcast is given as 5 minutes, which would correspond to https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/p051mmwj, the 2017 rebroadcast of what was left of the original broadcast, not to the original broadcast in 1937 which was an hour long. So the person who wrote the plot outline and assigned the runtime was trying to describe one of the broadcasts made on 12 May 2017, the 80th anniversary. 

(edited)

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2 m ago

Wow, so we have to search every quarter to see if these things get re-implemented? <sigh>

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And here are some more ...

"Puppetoons" (1932-1942) (I)

"Puppetoons" (1932-1942) (II): George Pal's series of stop-motion animated theatrical shorts -- entered into the database twice.

"Rainbow Parade Cartoon" (1934-1936): Another series of theatrical short cartoons. 

"The Three Stooges" (1934-1959): A series of live-action theatrical short films.

"Toonerville" (1936): Another series of theatrical short cartoons.

"US Presidential Elections" (1928- ): While I assume that the BBC News would have reported on presidential elections in the United States as part of their regular news coverage, I am skeptical that they had a television series called "US Presidential Elections" in 1928, which was before the BBC even began to make any television broadcasts.

"Allen and Kendal" (1940-2015): I pointed out two years ago that this series appears to be some kind of YouTube production (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xeOPcRxgBM), not something from the 1940s. Note that the supposed "S1 E1 Pilot" on YouTube was streamed live on March 7, 2019, which would be 79 years after this series is supposed to have debuted.

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IMDb claims to be "the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities." Yet how can IMDb be considered authoritative if it doesn't demonstrate basic knowledge of television history, like when television came into common use? 

I think the fact that they changed their ambitions from being the most up to date/most complete/most accurate movie & tv database to being the most popular and authoritative movie & tv database is very, very telling...

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I'm bumping this thread, because the titles above being listed as supposed TV series is a problem that merits a response from the IMDb staff. I thought about taking the problem to the Help Desk, but given that the "Betty Boop" (1930) TV series was added once before and deleted, then re-added, that means that a systematic problem needs to be addressed, not just by having the individual titles deleted. 

(edited)

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I'm going to keep bumping this thread until we get a staff response.

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I'm going to bump this again, since we have had no staff response to this thread after three weeks.

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@ACT_1 I thought about using the contact form and started to write a message there, but gave up because it was too difficult to explain there that I need an alleged TV series removed and all of its episodes converted back into films. Not to mention that there are about 20 titles that I've raised concerns with above, so I think this problem needs to be escalated to a slightly higher staff level for purposes of developing a policy to prevent such inclusions.

We need an algorithm like IF title-type=TV series AND year<1940 THEN send submission to a knowledgeable editor for review. Given that something like 20% of the listed titles that meet those criteria have significant problems, like not being TV series at all, they aren't receiving enough scrutiny before being accepted.

Also, maybe I'm missing something, but what do those Sprinklr user links have to do with contacting Taylor, Michelle, Rida, or Sally? I'm not aware of any private messaging system here on Sprinklr so I can't contact them directly as far as I know.

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gromit,

In our Sprinklr profiles, we have the option to receive notifications that "mention" us with the links Act_I invoked.

Hopefully IMDb staff have those notification options ON.

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2 m ago

@Col_Needham -- if you are getting notifications, this thread is one you might be interested in, as it reflects a serious problem with data accuracy.

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1 m ago

Hi gromit82 -

My sincere apologies for the delayed staff reply on this thread.  I have collected all the titles reported and requested an extensive clean-up with our editorial team.  I have also opened discussion for  improvements regarding flags and approvals surrounding TV Series title submissions with a start date of 1930 or earlier.

As soon as I have any updates on the status of the clean-up I will post them here.

Thanks again for catching these titles and reporting the inaccuracies!

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@Michelle Thank you for looking into this problem.

I would note, however, that any submission of a TV series title with a start of 1940 or earlier (not 1930 or earlier) ought to be scrutinized by the staff. There were a few actual TV series in the 1930s, but as indicated upthread, quite a few incorrect TV series from that decade have been mistakenly accepted into the database.

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The Betty Boop cartoon film series from the 1930s has some reason been placed as a TV series on IMDb even though they are theatrical cartoons and not a televison series, other theatrical cartoons film series from the same time period have not had the same treatment on the site.

Link to the IMDb page: tt15180956

Note: This comment was created from a merged conversation originally titled Why is Betty Boop categorised as a TV series?

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10 d ago

As it's been two months since this thread started and one month since Michelle acknowledged the problem, I think it's time for a bump.

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@gromit82 

"Tex Avery" isn't a TV series
https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/tex-avery-isnt-a-tv-series/6190cc13203b6a57f41e0935

tbrainerd
https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/users/5f49543072a09d2019eaac0b

Sun, Nov 14, 2021
"Tex Avery" isn't a TV series
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12644110/ 

is a listing for a television series which doesn't exist. 
It is simply the filmography of director Tex Avery as collected by an  Internet uploader. 
The films all already have their own entries on IMDb, 
so the information, such as user votes, should be merged to the existing entries.
- - -

Michelle
Thu Nov 18 2021
Hi tbrainerd -
I have now moved/merged the episodes into the existing standalone movie title pages.
The incorrect series title should be removed from the site shortly.
Thanks again for your report!

Solved - Accepted Solution

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