Monday, May 29, 2006

Airings Update

As promised, I spent the past week filling in gaps and correcting some errors in the historical TV schedule. I assigned dates/days/times to 1,462 records, bringing the grand total to 120,447 records that you can search.

Right now the trivialTV online database is about 98% correct and complete for the period 1/1/1983 to 4/23/2006. It's about 1% incomplete — you'll still find the occassional empty time slot, and I estimate the error rate is about 1%.

Not bad for free.

Next week I'll add another 530 records for the time period from 4/24/2006 - 5/21/2006 once I finish entering Nielsen Ratings for those four weeks.


aux2master said...

Where did you find this data going back twenty years? It's really, really interesting. Excellent job.

dr. tv (mike vicic) said...

I'm happy that you're enjoying it! Please tell others about it:)

It wasn't easy, and it's been a long project.

I started with Nielsen ratings reports from SF Chronicle, LA Times and other newspapers that simply listed the shows that aired with their networks and household ratings. I didn't originally intend to build this type of database; so I didn't care about times/dates initially--just the week the shows aired.

I cross-referenced this list with: (1) Marsh & Brooks for typical airing times/days for series, (2) Library of Congress d/b, TV Guide, UCLA d/b,, classic tv archive for ep titles and additional airing times/dates,
(3) for movie release years,
(4) multiple sports archives for scores,
(5) multiple pageant sites for winners, (6) older records at TheFutonCritic to fill in some gaps for number of viewers, (7) internal consistency checks in the trivialTV d/b to find errors and missing records,
(8) probably many other records that I don't remember now.

To keep current over the past two years, I've used a combination of zap2it (listings), USA Today (viewers) and Broadcasting & Cable (ratings/share). Unfortunately, B&C usually has an error or two; so I also use TelevisionWeek as a corroborating source for ratings/share data. I also use TheFutonCritic to make corrections when a network replaces one show with another at the last minute.