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Television special: Wikis


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A television special is a television program which interrupts or temporarily replaces programming normally scheduled for a given time slot. Sometimes, however, the term is given to a special TV telecast of a theatrical film, such as The Wizard of Oz or The Ten Commandments, as opposed to the telecasting of a film on a continuing movie series such as NBC Saturday Night at the Movies, telecast from 1961 to 1978.

The term originally applied especially to major dramatized presentations of an hour or two which were broadcast during times normally occupied by episodes of one or more weekly television series, thus replacing the(se) series for a week. In the 1960s, multi-part Specials, over several days in a week, or on the same day for several weeks, evolved from this format, though these were more commonly called miniseries. The term "TV special" formerly applied more to dramas presented live or on videotape than to filmed presentations especially made for television, which were (and still are) designated as made-for-TV movies.

Other forms of TV specials are one-time comedy or musical events, one-shot seasonal programs (e.g. Christmas television specials), irregular sports events ( e.g. the Olympic Games or the Super Bowl), live coverage of a popular cultural event (such as the Academy Awards or Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade), or spontaneous interruptions of active programming to cover an important news event (election coverage, however, is generally scheduled).

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