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TV Movies -- part movie, part special[]

We have two officially-billed "TV movies" (It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie & The Muppets' Wizard of Oz) in this category. However the average person doesn't really know the difference between a TV movie and TV special (and really the technical definitions could be streached to call "The Muppets Wizard of Oz" a 2-hour special... and you could probably even something like "Letters to Santa" a movie, albeit a fairly short feature.) The only real difference is that these two "movies" had bigger budgets and slightly longer runtimes. I think it might help people find what they're looking for (and also reflect the release history of the productions) if we dual-categorize the two TV movies as both movies and specials. What do others think? -- Brad D. (talk) 01:55, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, run time always *has* been how everyone, from producers to network execs and so on, has defined the difference between a TV movie and a TV special, coupled with the nature of the program, in terms of narrative (so a two hour Bob Hope variety act or concert or news documentary is always a special). I'm not really opposed to double categorizing for those two, though, but I don't think stretching the definition to relabel Letters to Santa "a short feature" or anything like that would really be beneficial. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:00, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't want to put "Letters to Santa" or "Muppet Family Christmas" in the movies category. But people might remember "that two-hour Muppet Chistmas special that was on NBC a few years ago" and be confused when they can only find "Muppet Family Christmas", "Letters to Santa" and the John Denver special in the specials category. They might not think to look for that TV production under movies. -- Brad D. (talk) 02:11, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we can start categorizing articles based on how some people might remember them. Either it was billed as a TV Movie or it wasn't. β€”Scott (talk) 16:50, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to open this up once more, and I'm probably alone on this, but I feel that in some cases like this one it is confusing to categorize based on length, and I don't believe that the "average visitor" will think much about running time, or ponder as what it was billed when looking for A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. In my opinion, as long as we have the "TV movies" It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz in this category, we should either add the "TV specials" specifically revolving around the Muppet characters as well, or keep the "Muppet Movies" and "Muppet Specials" categories separate from each other, solely based on theatrical premiere vs. Televion premiere; don't people remember better where they saw something, rather than whether its running time exceeded an hour or not?
And I admit that I was probably quite slow when trying to figure out why Template:Muppet Movies omits Letters to Santa, until I found this here discussion, but would you guys at least be willing to compromise in a way and add some sort of disclaimer to the top of the page, redirecting them average folks like myself over to Category:Muppet Specials when looking for something they thought they'd find here (similar to as it was done at Category:Sesame Street Episode Guide, redirecting Elmo-aficionados over to Elmo's World Episodes)? β€” Julian (talk) 08:30, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree - most people don't know the difference between a TV special and a TV movie. Kermit's Swamp Years is categorized as both a movie and a video; MuppetVision 3D is both a movie and an attraction; I think the two TV-movies should be both movies and specials (as they were direct-to-televison and their airings were techinally special programing). I also think a link to the specials category at the top of this category is a good one. -- Brad D. (talk) 15:37, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
A link definitely makes sense, but otherwise, I still don't think changing categorization is useful, not as far as mixing anyway. Oz and Santa are the only exceptions so far, but if it really is that much of an issue, I wouldn't be opposed to a "TV Movie" category just to solve this quagmire, whereas Kermit's Swamp Years *was* produced as a video production (Starz preview not withstanding), we had pre-existing cats for that with no issues arising, and we have all info on the video on that page so naturally it's in the same category as the video releases of Sesame compilations or whatnot, so it's not really comparable. From the early days of film and the difference between "two reelers" and shorts and then features, length is and always has been the factor. And actually Muppet Vision 3-D isn't a movie in the sense of a feature-length production, but it is a film, essentially a short or featurette (and one actually shown in a theater context on a regular basis, even with the animatronic supplements), but I imagine it's here for lack of another appropriate place to put it (but that's another discussion anyway). So "See also" or a definition stressing "feature length" seems to make more sense to me than fiddling with inclusions. We can then figure out how to handle 3-D; explain why it's included (I haven't seen it in awhile but if one clocked the queue monitor footage, which is definitely part of the overall production/narrative, it might fit), find a home for it, or just take it out and likewise note in the "See also." Or if we're having to do explanations anyway, I suppose one could stick Oz and VMX in as specials but leave a not explaining they were actually TV movies, but the two really do fit in more clearly with the theatrical movies (Oz in particular along the lines of Carol and Treasure Island, and with significant footage cut from the TV airing reintegrated for the video release of it). This all makes my head hurt. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:00, 10 June 2009 (UTC)