The Ultimate Guide to How to Cite a TV Show?

The research process for any academic work calls for looking into diverse sources of information. One unique avenue of getting credible sources to back your research is through TV shows.

Over time, TV shows are a great source of entertainment. Most TV shows mirror society while reflecting on human values and connections. Hence, they contain credible information with a large influence on human lives.

The Ultimate Guide to how to Cite a TV Show

This article explores how to use different formats when citing a TV show. Learn the best technique to use for your next research paper.

Reasons to Cite a TV Show

Citing TV shows bears a significant importance on the academic writing process even professionals at writemyessays uphold. Here are some compelling arguments why citing your TV show is important:

Act as a Fact-Checking Tool

The research writing process calls for accuracy for all claims the research paper makes. Citing a TV show and looking for verification is a fact-checking tool. Moreover, researchers can directly quote a passage from a TV show or paraphrase or cite another study related to the TV show.

Better Research Skills

A good researcher pays close attention to details. Moreover, the research can differentiate different patterns while making connections within the paper. This is achievable through a good citation. The citation process involved relevant information about the TV show, such as writer, director, executive producer, and title.

This process’s detail-oriented nature helps build good research habits that enforce good research skills. Moreover, it prepares for a good and detailed bibliography.

Better Writing Skills

Proper citation helps build the foundation for becoming a more credible writer. Citing specific information from TV shows intellectual integrity, critical thinking, and a good research process on behalf of the writer.

Moreover, proper citation gives your reader full evidence that backs up all your claim in your research paper.

Formats to Cite a TV Show

There are different formats scholars can employ when citing a TV show. However, the most popular formats available for academic work include:


APA is one of the most used formatting styles in college. At some point, it was one of the only styles we knew after joining college, especially for scholars undertaking any psychology courses. 

APA features a unique style that represents a particular citation style. The style dictates a specific way to structure your research paper while paying close attention to your academic sources.

One way that APA differentiates itself from other styles is its citing style. Citing is often common when referring to research content we didn’t write. It is a way of paying tribute to other researchers in our field for their work. 

Hence, utilizing the research from another person as part of your current research needs to pay tribute to the originator of the content or information. It is a clever way of preventing cases of plagiarism from your instructor. Moreover, it showcases your research skills in correlating previous work by authors with your current work to prove credibility and present a solid case. 

The unique format features in-text citations and a reference list at the end of the paper containing authors’ contributions to the work submitted. An in-text citation exists in the body of the paper, often in parentheses. It contains a direct quote or paraphrase added to the current body of work. Moreover, it covers the author’s name, date, and page number. 

On the other hand, a reference list provides lengthy information about all sources used within a project. It contains the full author’s name, year of publication, title, publisher, and URL, among other relevant information related to the source. 


This is a popular formatting guide that majorly works on language and literature. It is a common style most colleges often use for academic work. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise on your next assignment.

Some common areas of expertise that this style majorly appears include liberal arts, literature, humanities, and languages. 

Currently, it’s in its 9th edition and standardizes the nature in which students format papers and cite their sources. The main essence behind the style is for uniformity purposes when presenting an academic paper for grading. It becomes easier for an instructor to access your sources used for research purposes.

Each piece of information used during the research process must appear in the sources cited section part of your paper. While using this style, one common area of confusion for scholars is the differentiation between bibliography and work cited session. 

However, there are two phrases used interchangeably on most occasions. A bibliography represents a list of sources where the specific writer urges their readers to continue reading for more information about the topic under discussion.

On the other hand, a work cited section refers to sources the writer divulged in their paper as part of the research. Therefore, the reader will encounter this information while reading the entire paper. Also Read – 5 Things To Do If You Can’t Handle All Your Academic Projects

How to Cite in APA

APA is the most popular format for citing TV shows in academic writing. Currently, the 7th edition is the latest APA style. The latest edition requires writers to add the episode’s writer and director, including authors, airing date, season, episode numbers, executive producers, TV show name, and production firm.

Below is a simple layout using the APA format:

Creator (Including writer’s name and director’s name). Year of airing TV show (Year, Month, and Date). TV show title (name of the show). Network (Name of production company).

In addition, there are rules writers should follow when mentioning the creator’s name. Here is a simple example of how the APA citation should appear like:

Hunter, J. (Writer), & Russ, W. (Director). (2014, November 12). Episode 4 (Season 2, Episode 4) [TV series episode]. In J. Martins, James. N, Houston. E, Xavier. Q, & Ernest. K (Executive Producers), Eastwood. Ben and Jacobs Productions.

How to Cite in MLA

The next popular referencing style for citing a TV episode for your academic paper is MLA format, currently in its 9th edition. MLA referencing calls for a writer to mention the episode’s title within quotation marks featured in brackets. Here is a simple format for executing this format without any problems:

“Title of the episode.” Name of TV Show, name of creator(s) name starting with their last, number of seasons, episode number, name of production firm, date of airing TV show.

A good example of a properly cited TV show in MLA format looks like this:

“The Good Doctor.” Last of the Normals, created by James Turner, season 1, episode 3, Tomorrow Today, 14 Nov. 2012.

Besides citing in MLA, the writer must know how to place the relevant time stamp for the particular episode. Watch the episode while taking note of the time stamp where the dialogue or scene you’d like to place in your research paper. This helps in knowing where to put your time stamp next time. A simple time stamp looks like this:

(“Name of episode title” timestamp)

(“The Good Doctor” 11:34)

The citing process in MLA is different when citing from a streaming platform like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. Here is a simple example from a Hulu streaming platform:

“The Last Days on Planet Earth.” Day 121, created by Evans Monsoon, season 3, episode 5, Head First/ Ben and Jacobs/ Universal, 12 Jun. 2016. Hulu,

How to Cite in MLA Literally

Citing in MLA is quite different from other citation styles. However, it maintains the same stance of giving credibility to the original authors of the work. Here is a simple guide for beginners:

For a movie/film, it starts with noting the contributors to the film, including the names of all producers. Afterward, it captures the production firm involved in the production process and ends with the year of release. A good example looks like this:

The Life of a Pet. Directed by John Grinder, performances by Peter Joel, Kevin Nobel, Darwin Einstein, Susan Baldwin, Ernest Win, and Peter Jokes. House of Terror, 2013.

The overall format looks different for a citation from a website such as Youtube. It starts with the video’s title and is followed by the title of the hosting website. After, it captures the video uploader’s name, publication date, and video’s URL:

“How to Make Money in 24 Hours in Paris. ” YouTube, uploaded by The Touring Guide, 5 May 2012,

It is important to know that this style pays close attention to paying tribute to contributors’ work and their specific roles. Therefore, each citation should mention the authors, publishers, and actors involved in making the TV show. Offering context for your citation goes a long way in offering your audience a better understanding of the importance of the TV show. 

Moreover, ensure to integrate in-text citations carefully with the rest of the paper. Hence, ensure you have a flawless analysis incorporating all aspects of formatting guidelines for your audience. 

Bottom Line

Citing a TV show is integral in meeting the academic expectations of a good research paper. Therefore, students need to learn different formats that suit their referencing style for their academic papers.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Sam