leonard_david's profile
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Employee

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6 Messages

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240 Points

Saturday, November 4th, 2017 12:27 AM

Updates to TV Series Full Cast & Crew pages

As Col referenced in his post earlier this week, we're pleased to announce that we've added episodic information to the Series Cast section of the TV Series Full Cast & Crew page.  This means that TV Series Full Cast & Crew is now a one-stop shop that not only provides the number of episodes in which a given actor / actress appeared, but also shows the exact episodes in which the actor / actress appeared (with links to the episodes).  You can access the data by clicking on the down arrows to the right of the years (see screenshot below).  

You can access the particular's episode's full cast by clicking on a particular episode's link.  For example, clicking on the "Wrap Around the Clock" Family Ties episode for Micheal J. Fox will take you to the episode's page, which shows the entire cast for the episode.    

As part of this enhancement, early next week, we’re eliminating the old Episode Cast page.  If you had an Episode Cast page bookmarked, upon using your bookmark, you’ll automatically be redirected to the corresponding Full Cast & Crew page. 





568 Messages

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13.1K Points

7 years ago

IMDB added some new features and thought that this meant that they could remove the Episode Cast page for each title. We're trying to persuade them that this feature is still used.

The feature that they added is a merged cast page for the whole series, which shows how many times and in which episodes every cast member appears. This might be useful (though I'm not sure how often I personally would use it) but it solves a very different problem to the episode cast page which is a list of every episode, in order, with the episode cast, in order, for each episode.

I use episode cast to look for modifications to the cast of any episode, possibly as a result of an unrelated change or credit vandalism. For the various TV series that I regularly submit to, I:

- open EpCast, select all, copy, paste to text file on my PC
- use WinDiff to compare that with a text file from a few days earlier
- copy the new text file over the previous one, ready for next time

If I find any differences, I check what's happened. The two most common problems are:

- uncredited background actors added without "(uncredited)" attriibute
- every occurrence of an actor deleted or the actor's name changed

On one occasion I found an actor who has appeared for many years under one name, and someone had changed their official name to their full name (addition of middle name and change of surname). Not every case of this is wrong - Samantha Janus and Jessica Stevenson changed their official acting names to Samantha Womack and Jessica Hynes respectively on marriage - but it flags it for further checking. On another occasion I found a high-profile actor (Jim Norton) who had had all his credits deleted: this showed up because he disappeared from all the before/after text files, and I was able to use this to get IMDB to retrieve his filmography from their backup.

3 Messages

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300 Points

7 years ago

The new feature is a nice to have for the "full cast and crew" section, but as serveral people already proclaimed, no replacement for the "Episodes cast" section at all. I can't see the reason why this section is shut off!? It's a totally different feature. So please bring it back again, I'm using it daily, the new feature doesn't meet my needs at all.

3 Messages

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300 Points

7 years ago

btw. as I just found out, the new "Full cast & Crew" page seems to be messed up as well... There is no sortation at all (at least I couldn't find out any). Except for the sortation by episode appearances, all actors seem to be in random order, not sorted by release year nor alphabetical. Should be fixed as well.

14 Messages

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460 Points

7 years ago

This is a horrible change.  It makes it a thousand times more difficult to find information.  I am hugely disappointed and majorly upset.  I hope IMDB reverses this and returns the episode cast list pages to us.  What a terrible thing to take away.

14 Messages

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460 Points

7 years ago

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Why is the episode cast list option gone from some shows like Stargate SG-1?.

Why is the episode cast list option gone from some shows like Stargate SG-1? I saw a similiar question for another show. Perhaps that outage/problem from earlier this week caused issues like this. Please restore the "episodes cast" info for SG-1. Thanks.

53 Messages

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1.1K Points

7 years ago

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Episode Cast.

The episode cast button was deleted or taken down. Why? If I want to see the every episode of a TV show along with the episodes full cast and a synopsis without having to go back and forth I now can't. Why?

3 Messages

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142 Points

7 years ago

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled why does IMDB no longer have the Episode Cast option?.

You used to be able to click on the link for each Season of a Series and there were options for Episode List and Episode Cast and the Episode cast is no longer an option.  I used it when I had watched a show, saw an actor I recognized but couldn't recall their name or where I had seen them before and I would come to this site, look up that episode and see the cast by episode to see who it was.  What happened to this option?  I see you can see all cast and crew, but it's no longer by episode.

14 Messages

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460 Points

7 years ago

I'm still upset about this.  What would it hurt to keep the episode cast pages?  All that work was already done.  Why remove it and create this more difficult to use page they have now?  I am so disappointed in IMDB.  What a bad move to make.

10.6K Messages

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224.7K Points

The whole old platform hurts apparently, and the developers don't seem to have the prowess or motivation to immediately (if ever) cause to new platform to produce certain effects. It's strange indeed.

568 Messages

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13.1K Points

7 years ago

Yes I am frustrated and disappointed too. They need to listen to us and find out the implications of the changes that they impose on us. They should keep submitters (and other people who use the Episode Cast page) on their side. They have gone down a long way in my estimation. I'm very disappointed in them.

The implications are not insurmountable. I'll still carry on submitting data. The lack of the Episode Cast page simply means that I will no longer be able to do a periodic check that I do out of the kindness of my heart which may show up problems (misguided deletion of an actor's credits or changing of his name) that may affect more than just the credits for the titles that I check. I'd gladly have carried on doing this; now I can't. Your loss, IMDB.

4 Messages

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612 Points

7 years ago

It's strange to learn that a feature so valued by many users is considered a tiresome burden by those who maintain it.

It is in essence an unheralded ”episode guide" feature that possibly some users were even unaware of with its somewhat vague understated title of ”Episode Cast". It certainly contains all the elements that one would expect such a guide to have. (Episode number and title, broadcast date, plot and cast, all in chronological order) - perfect!

I certainly considered it a key feature of the site, much like the perfectly presented Reference/Combined pages for Names and Titles respectively.

If using old code is so problematic why couldn't you replicate the functionality with new code and then seamlessly replace it so the users don't know the difference. Better than the ”can't be bothered" attitude that your approach seems to convey.

422 Messages

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14.2K Points

A page such as you describe is a severe technical challenge for series with thousands of episodes such as "Coronation Street" or "Days of our Lives". A page listing all the thousands of episodes with the credits for each episode would have hundreds of thousands of credits and pages that size tend to cause trouble.

There are ways to incrementally add more data as you scroll down the page but that sort of approach would not necessarily do what you want as well as being an unnecessary overhead on pages that do not need it.

This is not a simple thing that IMDb staff can't be bothered to do, it is something where it is difficult to know what is the right thing to do, let alone to find a technical solution to do whatever has been chosen. With series that are still adding multiple episodes per week, a solution that works today may be overwhelmed by the volume of data in the future.

14 Messages

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460 Points

For shows where the data is already there, shows no longer making new episodes, there is no reason to remove access.  The new system takes much more time and is far more demanding of time to find pieces of information.  IMDB is often updated by individual members as well.  I rely on those episode cast pages and having them removed is unacceptable to me. 

4 Messages

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612 Points

Surely then the most obvious answer is to decide on a page limit (for instance 100 episodes) and have a Next Page link at the bottom for the next 100 and so on. Much like the existing User Reviews or the advanced search which have a display limit and next links. That would be better than not having it at all.

568 Messages

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13.1K Points

That is a lot better than nothing, but what's wrong with continuing as you used to, and creating a single page of all the episodes? Or is there some new limit to the size of dynamic page that your scripts can generate?

568 Messages

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13.1K Points

It used to work fine. Lots of people used it, judging by the many people who have said that they want it brought back.

IMDB, you've broken it, so you fix it.

Maybe impose a limit on the number of episodes, so as to exclude soaps with many thousands of episodes, but to include a shorter-run series with (for example) up to 10? 20? seasons each of up to 13? 26? 52? episodes per season.

Maybe break down the list into groups of seasons - S1-S10, S11-S20 etc, though that means that people will need to join together the list themselves if they want to compare "all the cast for all the episodes, as of 1 week ago" with "all the cast for all the episodes, as of today" which is how I normally use it so as to look for cast who have disappeared from old episodes because of tinkering and misguided deletion.

A common problem that I have found is that someone decides to delete all the credits that an actor has for various programmes because they think that this is not the same actor who has one credit for something else - and instead of creating a new entry for that one credit and moving it, they delete all the other credits - and they don't even create a new entry for those, they just let them die. This happened to Irish actor Jim Norton a few years ago. My comparison technique showed that he'd disappeared from various programmes that I monitor, and I was able to get IMDB to resurrect them from a backup copy.

But if IMDB don't want their submitters to trap situations like that, then that's fine by me: I'm doing it as a favour, not a duty. If the ability to do it goes, so does my offer to find the problem.


Above all, CONSULT!!!! Discuss what you are proposing to change, BEFORE you remove it. Take your loyal band of submitters into your confidence and don't alienate them.

Keep all existing functionality (even if the code behind the scenes changes), even if you add new functionality which you think is a replacement. Only ever add new functionality, never remove.



I have NO CONFIDENCE that IMDB will listen to this. I think they can't be bothered to work with us to find a solution - maybe they are even concerned about loss of face if they backtrack. Shame on them.

18 Messages

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794 Points

7 years ago

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled What the HELL is going on with IMBD site?.

1. "Episode Cast" STOPPED WORKING. 2. Instead it tracks to "Full Cast And Crew"
3. "On Tonight" disappeared, cutting my reason for visiting IN HALF. 4. Slap-In-The-Face ads for movies that already surround the entire page Frame! (Like you think we MISSED IT!) 5. Stupid Ads every 3 pictures when going through the photo gallery...

10.6K Messages

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224.7K Points

About those ads, a certain eponymous extension for the purpose of blocking web advertisements seem to eliminate them (even in the image gallery slide show), but I should caution that ad blockers can impair the functionality of the site, so, you might want to reconfigure them to not indiscriminately block ads. Also, every site that you visit would really appreciate it if none of us blocked ads. It's how a lot of sites earn revenue, and IMDb is not exactly an exception. For IMDb, what I do is temporarily disable my web browser's ad blocker once in a while to see what ads there are to see. I've observed a lot of Amazon, Amazon Prime, Amazon Video and Amazon Prime Video ads, which is kind of funny. I hope it is not a sign of IMDb being a struggling company.

14 Messages

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460 Points

Considering how I feel about IMDB right now, I don't care.  lol  They've taken away my most used function for what feels like a whim, and I'm not happy about it at all, so personally, keep those ads off.  That said, my ad blocker doesn't actually do much these days anyway on some sites, including IMDB.  I should probably look for a newer one.  Back to ads, I'm sick of them, especially those pre-rolled ads that play up to 30 seconds before videos you want to watch.  Most of the time, I forget it and close out the page.  I'm sick of ads.

18 Messages

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794 Points

First of all, the Site itself has ads framing the page your viewing, so no ad blocker is going to stop it. The ad after every three photos in any IMDB photo gallery IS IMDB doing the inserting. And it's getting out of hand.
Yes, IMDB needs revenue like every other site, but while framing the whole page with a monster ad for "Thor: Ragnarok", and THEN have it burst through the center of the page (As if we POSSIBLY MISSED IT!!!) has crossed the line into the OBNOXIOUS, and drying us AWAY from the site. Is it REALLY worth that much more revenue to frame it AND have it burst through the page? I'll start boycotting films that do that.
At what point does IMDB think it's 'ad saturation' is too much? Because as far as the rest of us are concerned THEY PASSED IT!

14 Messages

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460 Points

Actually some ad blockers do work to an extent.  All we can do as individuals is follow through.  I'm already not using it nearly as much as before because it's too difficult to find what I need.  I'm not recommending the site anymore either.  It's all I can do as one person.  I just have to hope that people continue to complain and lessen site usage and stop viewing those ads until they listen and reverse themselves.  I want my ep cast pages back!

11 Messages

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438 Points

7 years ago

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Episode cast.

Where has Episodes Cast gone? This is an incredibly useful feature as it allows us to scroll down and look at the cast episode by episode for an entire series. It would be far more time-consuming and irritating to have to go to every episode to look at the cast individually. I hope IMDb has not decided to reduce functionality by doing away with this feature, which I use all the time.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Changes to IMDb Characters.

11 Messages

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438 Points

And yes, looks like they have! What an awful decision. Thanks very much for making my life researching characters much more difficult. Please reconsider this stupid move.

1 Message

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100 Points

7 years ago

I agree with many other commenters. Please restore a viewing option for Episodes Cast. That's a much easier to way to see information when you're looking up a specific episode.

1 Message

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120 Points

7 years ago

IMDB has made a serious mistake in removing the "Episode Cast" link for TV Series. This was the most frequently visited "one-stop" page for any TV Series in the decades I've been visiting the site. "Most frequently used" should scream out to IMDB "DO NOT REMOVE!" and "Advertising Hot Spot."

If their intent was to multiply "hits" for ads by making us click on dozens of pages instead of one, I've got news for them: we won't be clicking on different pages for every episode. Instead, we'll leave IMDB and search for another website. Maybe someone will create a new competitor. Maybe users will "identify" the sponsors on the "full cast and crew" page and begin boycotting those websites, emailing them and telling them why. This insult goes deeper than they realize--this was an "essential" feature.

On the other hand, if the removal was because of some incompatible functionality in their new monitoring scheme, they'd better explain it was "necessary" to remove it. That is still no excuse for not creating something with the "same functionality" to do the same job: All episodes with cast listed by season on one page with only scrolling necessary for all TV Series.

In a classroom, the first lesson an instructor in Microsoft Access will teach students when creating any database is "never delete" data or functionality. IMDB's "full cast and crew" page is a waste of time for users who need the "Episode Cast" feature because it is NOT an Episode Cast Guide By Episode and Season. I'm not saying take away anything new. I'm saying they had better get to work fast and build a new function for "Episode Cast" and place it exactly where the link used to be below the "Episode List" so users can easily find it. I'm so disgusted I've stopped visiting the website at all and hunt for an alternative. Pay attention, IMDB.

14 Messages

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460 Points

You are absolutely right.  My time on IMDB is down 75% and lessening because I'm so frustrated by the change.  It's annoying and way too time consuming for my tastes.

568 Messages

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13.1K Points

Sadly I doubt that IMDB are listening to us or think that our opinion matters in any way,

Which is sad, because they depend on submitters like myself for their raw data. How they mess up the data that the punters see, with popup and pop-over adverts and dumbed-down presentation is of no great concern to me.

But I would like a submitter's view of that data, in credits order, and with as few distractions as possible, to make it easy to check and cross-check.

But as time goes on, I think things are turning worse and worse. I see that even with Reference View turned on, the entries for people have changed to the dumbed-down version that non-ref-view people have been getting.

Ho hum. IMDB used to be good when it was data-oriented rather than presentation-oriented - the usual and inevitable style-over-substance decline.

10.6K Messages

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224.7K Points

The time I spend using IMDb has largely been forgone for interacting with the Get Satisfaction portal for IMDb. Come to think of it, I should check to see what is being expressed on the Twitter page for IMDb, and maybe Facebook as well (though I'm not fond at all for Facebook).

2 Messages

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80 Points

7 years ago

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Epsode Cast.

Why does the Epsode Cast category no longer exist?

10.6K Messages

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224.7K Points

The question is why the IMDb company will not instate a new Episode Cast page generator. I'd guess that pages of such kind consume too many resources for shows that have many episodes or large casts.

18 Messages

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794 Points

Because they're IDIOTS. It isn't "consuming too many resources" because the cast-per-episode pages still exist! (Just harder to get to)

10.6K Messages

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224.7K Points

I'm referring specifically to the situation of running all those casts lists together. It creates a very large page to transmit from the server machine to the client machine. That costs time, network bandwidth, processor usage and RAM usage. The company, regardless of wisdom or lack thereof, doesn't believe that we're worth accommodating. That is the bottom line.

14 Messages

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460 Points

Well, my use of their bandwidth is dramatically down.  They are no longer a user friendly site.