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Why don't TV shows have song credits?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Dudley Morris, Aug 4, 2008.

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  1. Dudley Morris

    Dudley Morris Resident Thread Starter

    This was addressed in a short archived thread a couple of years ago, and it's a subject worth another run.

    Does anyone here know why TV shows don't give credits for the songs they use, unlike movies? It's annoying to hear a great song on a TV show, and then have to spend time doing Net sleuthing to find out what it is. Given that such placements are so much more important for new artists to get their music in front of an audience than they used to be, I would have thought that there would have been some push by now to properly credit songs used, but there's been nada. Anyone in the biz know why this is?
     
  2. Frank G

    Frank G Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Thing is, when they crush the credits to the size of a postage stamp so they can pump the show of the moment, you can't read the credits anyway. Not much respect for the people on either side of the camera. I sigh.

    And isn't it strange that with all of the emphasis on names these days that TV does that? If the music is used, should it not be credited?

    Frank G
     
  3. seriousfun

    seriousfun Forum Resident

    Music is often the bastard stepchild of TV and movie production. It's the last thing put in. Often a temp song or track is used through production, with an appropriate song put in at the last minute after creative choices have been made and licensing completed.

    Just go to heardontv.com!
     
  4. Dudley Morris

    Dudley Morris Resident Thread Starter

    That's true for the original broadcast, but now wth the advent of DVD, you can freeze-frame the credits and get this info. I've done this while trying to figure out who guest actors were, for ex.
     
  5. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    I always wondered this--Miami Vice would have cool songs featured, but nothing in the credits. After awhile USA Today would run a little box that said what the songs were going to be that night.
     
  6. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    During the last few years of the WB Network, they used to actually run a promo prior to the end credits, with the songs used in an episode. Of course, that was just "value-added promotion" dollars there.

    Many times I would be touched by the particularly-well-done integration of some music clip and direction, only to be uncredited in the promo. No doubt it was because that one piece of music may have been specified by the director as necessary, while the other, more intrusive clips were shoehorned-in as promotional quid-pro-quo by the network and the label.
     
  7. Blencathra

    Blencathra New Member

    Location:
    UK
    I've always felt it should be mandatory for all music to be listed in the credits.
     
  8. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I worked on Miami Vice for almost two seasons, and I asked that question to Billy Sackheim, who was the associate producer on the show (and is now a top director in his own right).

    Sackheim told me, "we're so jammed with credits already, we don't have the time to slip in extra credits for the music. Besides, we already paid those people a fortune for the rights, and legally we don't have to give them a credit." (We video post people didn't get credit, either, but that was partly because we were working for a non-union company.)

    So that's what I was told then. I think for feature films, they almost always list the song publishing credits at the end of the film, with individual copyright notices. But they have the luxury of 8-10-minute credits nowadays.
     
  9. RDK

    RDK Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, if the networks could get rid of all the credits altogether they would - not becauese they don't want to credit anyone but because in those seconds when the credits roll people tune out and/or switch channels. The vast majority of people don't read credits anyway and don't care.
     
  10. RDK

    RDK Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Do you really want 2-3 minutes of credits for each TV show?
     
  11. Blencathra

    Blencathra New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Blimey - how many programmes use more than a couple of pieces anyway? Even films that use multiple songs can only take a few seconds to list. Mind you, the way that programmers squash the final credits of nearly all TV programmes nowadays, with snapshots of the next progtramme etc, you do well to read any credits at all!
     
  12. Blencathra

    Blencathra New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Ha! They've got me wrong for a start. I read credits but switch when the adverts come on - I have not watched one for years.
     
  13. RDK

    RDK Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    No, no. Don't mean that they'll be that many additional minutes just for the songs. But they only show a fraction of the TV production as it is (as Vidiot attests), and you can rest assured that if the songs were credited then every last person who isn't now credited would want a credit as well.
     
  14. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    yes, the same people get up and walk out on the movies after THE END comes on the screen. It seems some movies got the point and rolled some extra bits a few minutes into the credits...Hancock comes to mind.
     
  15. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Or that great bit in Iron Man.

    I vividly remember back in the 1980s when SF writer Harlan Ellison jumped up on his chair and castigated a Writers' Guild audience, when they had the audacity to try to leave while the credits were running.

    "Sit down! Sit down and show your appreciation for the artists who made this wonderful picture!"

    They all sheepishly went back to their seats.

    Me personally, I always have watched end credits, even when I was a little kid. I like Woody Allen's Annie Hall line: if the theater is only :30 seconds into the opening credits, he won't see it. Gotta be the whole thing, start to finish, or he walks.

    Anyway, getting back to the original question: American TV networks have very strict rules on the maximum runtime of credits, and I think :30 or :40 seconds is pretty much the limit. Plus, they squash them pretty small to make way for simultaneous promos (which NBC started about 10 years ago).

    There are union rules that demand that certain artists and technicians have to get credited, but typically, I'd say only about 70% of the entire crew gets an on-screen credit. But the unions and guilds have been unable to get any kind of agreement on the amount of time anybody's credit can last; that's why you see credits zip by in an unreadable blur on some shows.

    Movies are different, and that's why you see things like "Special Effects Accounting Dept. Caterering by" in the credit crawl. I think Superman was the first movie with an 8-minute credit crawl, and that's been the rule of thumb for blockbusters for the last two decades.
     
  16. Blencathra

    Blencathra New Member

    Location:
    UK
    Mind you, anyone for forgoes the Lord of the Rings special editions can be forgiven. I can't remember - are they 20, 30 or 40 minutes?
     
  17. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    Me too. It's not crediting people (which sometimes meant enjoyable music, not incidentally) it's more advertisement in an hour of already ad-packed programming. Click! :agree:
     
  18. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    Of course movies used to feature credits only during the opening and had very brief to no credits after "The End" (usually none).

    Suppose if someone really wanted to know who did something in particular they could write (snail mail! :D) to the studio or the head of a department (who was credited) care of the studio and maybe they would be answered. It seems to have been an effective approach for decades. Anyway perhaps the TV shows should take that approach if their end credits are going to be negated anyway.
     
  19. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver
    And the reason why a show's website can't have online complete readable credits is.....?
     
  20. TaterBones

    TaterBones Active Member

    Location:
    The Upstate, SC
    Sometimes the song title, artist and lyrics appear in the closed captioning.
     
  21. Drawer L

    Drawer L Forum Resident In Memoriam

    Location:
    Long Island
    Annoying innit???--Other thing--the show 'Swingtown' has been listing SOME,but not ALL of the songs heard.Thanks guys...:realmad:
     
  22. Frodis

    Frodis New Member

    Location:
    Balti-Moe
    That's a good question!! If they're going to have a site, it should be completely searchable! Complete credits should be an option. :edthumbs:
     
  23. MikePh

    MikePh Forum Resident

    http://www.tunefind.com/

    The site above gives you info on the songs heard on the more popular US shows. A great resource.
     
  24. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    before I had the internet I relied on the massive "Motion Picture Guide" with yearly annuals (I still have them, a huge investment back then ) for cast, credits, etc...
     
  25. Dudley Morris

    Dudley Morris Resident Thread Starter

    The only TV show I've ever seen that acknowledged the music, beyond the score or theme song (a la CSI), was the short-lived MTV cartoon Clone High, which listed the bands whose music was featured in the credits. Not much, but it was something to point you in the right direction.
     
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