How to cite a TV show in MLA

MLA TV show citation

To cite a TV show in a reference entry in MLA style 8th edition include the following elements:

  1. Contributor(s) Last, First, label: Start with the action of the key contributor (Directed by, Performed by, Produced by, etc.), follow with the name.
  2. Title of the show: Titles are italicized when independent. If part of a larger source add quotation marks and do not italize.
  3. Contributor(s) name: Start with the action of the key contributor (Directed by, Performed by, Produced by, etc.), follow with the name.
  4. Publishing studio: Always use the abbreviated version, e.g: MIT P for MIT Press or Oxford UP for Oxford University Press.
  5. Year of release: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a TV show in MLA style 8th edition:

Contributor(s) Last, First, label. Title of the show. by Contributor(s) name, Publishing studio, Year of release.

Take a look at our works cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:

Shows are commonly produced by many people performing different parts. If your research focuses on the contribution of one particular person, e.g. the performance of an actress or the ideas of the screenwriter, begin the entry with their name, followed by a descriptive label.

Examples

A popular TV show with focus on the writer

Martin, George RR, writer. Game of Thrones. HBO, 2011-2019.

Otherwise, if you are discussing a show without focusing on an individual's contribution, start with the title. You can add information about key participants after the title.

A popular TV show with its producers as key contributors

Game of Thrones. Produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, HBO, 2011-2019.

MLA in-text citation of a TV show

Audio-visual material uses the specific time of the audio/video for in-text citations.

(Last name time) or (Short form of title time).

Examples

A popular TV show with focus on the writer

The following scene exemplifies the writer's intention (Martin 00:15:43).

A popular TV show with its producers as key contributors

The Stark siblings portray a powerful medieval family (Game 00:026:16).

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