When Acknowledging TV Contributors Goes Wrong


An important facet of comprehensive entertainment metadata is the treatment of people who participate in or otherwise contribute to television shows and movies. Whether it’s an actor, news anchor, musician, politician, sports team or film producer, all deserve care when being associated with TV programming and receiving an entry in an EPG.

Failure to effectively show these individuals or groups the proper respect can result in a few different scenarios. First, viewers are likely to experience confusion, especially when an incorrect name appears in their on-screen guide. Someone may tune in to a program expecting a certain talk show guest when someone else should have been selected. Second, mockery is bound to ensue when a blatant error is quite obvious, which only causes embarrassment.

Accuracy in spelling; the placement of official titles and team names; and related imagery are all important. The businesses that maintain all of this are not the cable companies/telecoms themselves; the cable companies/telecoms acquire this data from specialized businesses.

Here are a few examples of what not to do. This is the sort of chaos and pandemonium that occurs when faulty TV metadata providers get it horribly, horribly wrong. 

On the May 12, 2014, episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” rocker Jack White was a guest. The supplier of this data mistakenly submitted comedic actor Jack Black instead.

Since 1999, Jon Stewart has hosted satirical news program “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. For the show’s first two years though, Craig Kilborn was the go-to guy. This data provider is apparently stuck almost 20 years in the past.

On the June 22, 2014 episode of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was featured in a discussion about Iraq. This data company did not double-check the spelling of his surname.

While Jay Carney’s resignation from his position as White House Press Secretary was officially announced at the end of May 2014, he remained in the role until June 20th. On June 19th, Carney made an appearance on “The Colbert Report” to reflect upon his job, but this data provider jumped the gun a day early and falsely stated that he was no longer involved with his duties.

On June 27th, a Major League Soccer match took place between the Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City. The latter team was known as the Kansas City Wizards for approximately 15 years, but they officially changed their name in November 2010. This guide data provider is seemingly unaware of that.

During the July 8th episode of NBC’s “Today” show, girl group Fifth Harmony appeared as a part of this summer’s Toyota Concert Series. One metadata supplier seemed to believe that the 1997 sci-fi film “The Fifth Element” was appearing instead.

1989 animated film “The Little Mermaid” aired on the Disney channel during the morning of July 15th. The provider of this EPG data incorrectly listed Christopher Daniel Barnes (the voice of Prince Eric) as the voice of Ariel (actually voiced by Jodi Benson), and Pat Carroll (Ursula the Sea Witch) as the voice of Prince Eric.

On the episode of FOX Sports 1 interview show “UFC 1 on 1” that featured MMA fighter Urijah Faber, a guide data supplier proved their incompetence by erroneously inserting a letter into his surname for some strange reason.

As is evident in the abundance of examples above, there are some metadata providers that have an incredibly lackadaisical attitude towards various TV program contributors. In fact, many were flat out wrong with their data and supplied ancient, outdated information in several instances. This is how that happens.

FYI Television ensures the veracity of television and film participants in TV listings metadata with a masterful excellence. Additionally, we also provide in-depth biographical facts and up-to-date imagery. To find out more, click below.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image credit: Shutterstock

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