Forums: Ask the Editors: Stars vs Recurring Roles

 
  • Avatar of beowulf579

    beowulf579

    [1]Mar 5, 2012
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    Ok, what would the standard be in telling the difference between a "star" and one that just as a "recurring role"?


    I ask because of shows like The Walking Dead that has such short seasons currently. Personally I feel that if you are in the majority of the episodes, you should be considered a star instead of a recurring role.


    Help.

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  • Avatar of Gislef

    Gislef

    [2]Mar 5, 2012
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    There's a pinned thread in the User Submission Support forum that has the TV.com standard.

    Typically in American live action shows, the Show Stars are listed in the opening credits.

    And after you determine who is a show star, that leaves you with guest stars, which brings us to:

    Typically five appearances of the same character constitute a Recurring Role. All appearances by that character should be listed as Recurring Role, up to and including the first five. Editors may use a different number at their discretion.

    I wouldn't consider thirteen episodes for season 2 of Walking Dead particularly short. That's standard for a lot of cable shows.

    Given the official standard, the most recent (11th) episode of TWD had eight show stars. Once you get away from the posted rules and into what each individual editor feels personally, they could subjectively justify posting any recurring character as a show star. Which kinda defeats the purpose of having the Recurring Star category.

    You could contact staff and try to convince them to change the official rules. Most sites use that standard, though, and it's what we agreed to when we signed up as editors.
    Edited on 03/06/2012 8:40am
    Edited 3 total times.
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  • Avatar of jekyll

    jekyll

    [4]Mar 7, 2012
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    Pretty much what gislef said. Star is typically the easiest one to define, though it can be tougher as people get elevated to the main cast officially, but they don't update the opening sequence, instead adding the new 'main cast members' as text overlays only in the opening seconds of the show. 30 Rock is a good example, as the intro has never changed, but the characters who play Toofer, Cerie, Dotcom, Grizz, Jonathan, and Lutz get billed as stars immediately after the intro when they appear.


    As for what number to use for guest vs. recurring, that's kind of up to you, but 5 has been the de facto guideline since the days when a script ran that scooped up anyone with five guest appearances and made them recurring (the fact that it did so whether or not the same role was being played was an unfortunate oversight).


    Still, I've used as few as two appearances in the case that CBS cites a character as recurring in pre-air press releases. I figure it's their show, so who am I to disagree?

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  • Avatar of beowulf579

    beowulf579

    [5]Mar 7, 2012
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    Thanks to you both.
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  • Avatar of CaptainMidnight

    CaptainMidnight

    [6]Dec 31, 2012
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    What if their end credit says "also starring" and they appear in every episode? I would think that would qualify as a co-star, but unfortunately tv.com no longer has that cast category. At least I think they used to have it. I have somebody trying to change such a credit from star to recurring and don't know whether to accept it or reject.
    Edited on 01/02/2013 8:01am
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  • Avatar of TheOldBill

    TheOldBill

    [7]Jan 10, 2013
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    Co-star was a category we had at TVTome but it wasn't carried forward to this site. Site rules are that it's an editor's call whether or not to categorise someone as a show star, (regardless of the on-screen or off-screen evidence, unfortunately).

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  • Avatar of Gislef

    Gislef

    [8]Mar 13, 2013
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    CaptainMidnight wrote:
    What if their end credit says "also starring" and they appear in every episode? I would think that would qualify as a co-star, but unfortunately tv.com no longer has that cast category. At least I think they used to have it. I have somebody trying to change such a credit from star to recurring and don't know whether to accept it or reject.


    A "co-star" typically refers to a minor person with a lesser credit than either a Show Star or a Guest Star. At least as it is currently used in American TV.
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