How do you decide if a title is a film, a TV movie or a Miniseries?

The short answer is: if it's made for TV, it's a TV production; if it was made to be released in theaters, it's a theatrical film.

However, sometimes it's not so easy to categorize titles: there are films that were intended for theatrical release but ended up debuting on cable TV instead; some made-for-TV movies are distributed theatrically in certain territories, or go directly to home video. And it's often not so easy to decide whether a big TV production that is airs on two or more separate evenings should be considered a "mini series" or a multi-part TV movie or something else.

The following table includes the criteria that are normally used to determine whether a production should be listed in the database as a theatrical feature or a TV movie, miniseries or series.

Please note that these are only broad guidelines: as per our general eligibility rules we reserve the right to change and adapt our rules as required by circumstances and may decide to make exceptions for certain special cases or when we lack sufficient evidence to make a final determination.

Film/TV Title Categorization Guidelines
FILM
TV Movie (1)
TV Miniseries
TV Series
Originally produced for release
in Theaters
on TV
on TV
on TV
Initial wide release or premiere (2)
Theatrical
TV
TV
TV
Actual total running time (3)
Any
less than 240 min
240 min or more
60 min or less (per episode)
Normally shown in how many parts/episodes?
1
1 or 2
2 to 4
4+
How many seasons/years?
N/A
1
1
1 or more
Notes
(1) = TV pilots, MOWs and TV Specials are also categorized as "TV Movies"
(2) = excluding festivals, film market screenings and other special events
(3) = not counting commercial breaks

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