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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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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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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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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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@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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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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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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I think this issue needs another bump, as it has been three months since I raised the problem and the fake "Betty Boop" (1930) TV series is still listed.

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@gromit82 It's rather unbelievable this still hasn't been fixed...

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@Marco 

Marco
Thu, Aug 9, 2018 

Blocking TV shows that can't be that old
https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/blocking-tv-shows-that-cant-be-that-old/5f4a79f28815453dba91e84c

I'm starting this thread, because of all the wrong tv series that turned up in this thread: 


TV series Looney Tunes 1930-ongoing - Part 2
https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/tv-series-looney-tunes-1930-ongoing-part-2.

https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/tv-series-looney-tunes-1930ongoing-part-2/5f4a7a018815453dba9513c5

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Marco
Mon Sep 20 2021 

A bump of this thread is apparently in order, which is extremely disappointing. 
Priorities for a database should be to try and block wrong data.
Apparently, blocking wrong data is not very high on the list of priorities.
Case in point: 

No, "Betty Boop" was not a TV series in 1930
https://community-imdb.sprinklr.com/conversations/data-issues-policy-discussions/no-betty-boop-was-not-a-tv-series-in-1930/61417e5e7999fd0798c634a5

- - -

Michelle, Employee
Thu Dec 30 2021 
Hi Marco -
I'm not certain why this thread was marked "Solved",
however, I have now set the status to "In Progress" 
as there is a pending ticket to address the issue. 
I appreciate your feedback, 
and I understand the frustration for longstanding issues like this
that impact your contributions.
I just reviewed the ticket and unfortunately,
this specific issue is still pending prioritization.
I have made a note on the ticket to help give traction,
however, I don't have a timeframe on a resolution.
In the meantime, any updates I see I will be sure to post them on this thread.

(edited)

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@ACT_1​ Thanks for linking to this earlier thread of mine. Unfortunately, it is still necessary. From a contributor point of view (a properly running database needs correct data!), it is very hard to believe that IMDb has their priorities right. Apart from this issue when it comes to data, two other issues easily spring to mind: there is still no room for data about dubbers (I asked this for the first time on the ol' Contributors Board in 2003) and the infamous five new genres have been waiting since 2006 to be added.

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In the 1950s-1960s, many theatrical shorts from the 1930s-1940s were anthologized into TV shows. For example, The Bugs Bunny Show (1960-1975) and The Road Runner Show (1966-1973), both of which were real shows made up of old Looney Tunes cartoons. In both of these cases, IMDb managed to add these actually-existing TV shows without altering the original titles for the original shorts. In the case of the Road Runner show, they did this by creating duplicate titles for every short/episode. The Bugs Bunny one combines three shorts into each episode. The important thing is that these new episode titles do not in any way affect the original shorts, except perhaps by luring voters away from the originals.

The abominable act of vandalism masquerading as the "Betty Boop" show breaks this precedent by retconning the original titles into "TV episodes". In addition to being factually incorrect, this change also results in loss of genre data as IMDb does not individualize genres for TV episodes. Bimbo's Initiation (1931), for example, no longer carries the genre 'Horror', and Minnie the Moocher (1932) featuring Cab Calloway no longer carries the genre "Musical" despite obviously being one. Falsely designating these as TV episodes also results in them being buried at the bottom of search results and user-created lists when sorted by popularity.

According to Wikipedia (the only source I could find on this subject), Betty Boop was briefly syndicated on television in 1955, but was phased out by the 1960s as color cartoons overtook black-and-white cartoons in popularity. It's possible, then, that there might be a legitimate case for adding Betty Boop as an anthology series if more reliable evidence can be found. However, if this is the case, and the anthology series is added, it should have a release date of 1955 or later and it should not have an effect on the original shorts.

I understand the appeal of having something like this to gather all of the Betty Boop titles in one place (it makes it easier for people trying to put together a list of "favorite cartoon series" or whatever), but there is simply no excuse for the sloppy, misleading, counterfactual way it was attempted in this case. IMDb has already set a precedent for how to add an anthology TV series and this does not even follow that protocol.

(edited)

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P.S. For those interested, I did a count.

See here: Complete Betty Boop series, 1930-1939

Out of 126 theatrical shorts featuring the Betty Boop character released from 1930-1939, all but sixteen of them have been vandalized. Many of the sixteen lucky escapees are rare, hard-to-find or possibly lost, but they also include the highly-acclaimed, National Film Registry-preserved Snow-White (1933), which is fortunate.

(edited)

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I just submitted the following correction. Let's see what happens with this:

  • The Tsarina's Slippers (1887) (TV)
    • Release Dates - Delete
      • Country: Russia
        Date: 19 January 1887
        Attribute: (Moscow, Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater)

  • Explanation: Television had not been invented in 1887.

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Good news. The Tsarina's Slippers has been moved to be a 2009 title, instead of 1887.

I realize that this error stemmed from the fact that a contributor must have misunderstood what the Release Date section was for, and instead of listing only when this particular production of this opera was broadcast on television, also submitted the date when the original opera by Tchaikovsky premiered as a live performance.

But it should be the job of the IMDb staff -- or, I suggest, software which has been programmed to reject television release dates before television was invented -- not to accept data like that which is obviously wrong for the database.

As they said in a great movie, referring to a Stonehenge stage set that was only 18 inches tall:

Ian Faith: Nigel gave me a drawing that said 18 inches. Now, whether or not he knows the difference between feet and inches is not my problem. I do what I'm told.

David St. Hubbins: But you're not as confused as him, are you? I mean, it's not your job to be as confused as Nigel.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088258/quotes/qt0261740

(edited)