Movies & TV Shows – A Study

Difference between Movies & TV Shows


  1. Definitions
  2. Types of Movies & TV Shows
  3. Story & Run-time
  4. Release
  5. Cost of Production
  6. Sequels
Movies vs TV Shows

Definitions Of TV Shows & Movies

TV Shows

According to Wikipedia, “a television show is any produced for broadcast via over-the-air, satellite or internet and typically viewed on a television set, excluding breaking news, advertisements or trailers that are typically placed between shows.” A TV Show generally divided as seasons which broadcasts for a particular period of time and seasons are further divided as a episodes which telecasts on regular intervals, mainly once a week, or all episodes are released for streaming at once. There are a lot of platforms offering wide variety of TV shows now, such as, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, CBS All Access etc.


Movies, aka Films, are a type of visual communication which uses moving pictures and sound tell stories or teach people something. People in every part of the world watch movies as a type of entertainment or a way to have fun. A movie typically have a short run-time of 1 Hour 30 Minute to 3 Hours. A movie tells a short story or a certain incident happened in a certain period of time.

Types of Movies & TV Shows

Different types of TV Series are;

  1. Sitcom : Sitcom is a comical TV Series about fictional characters. Also known as situation comedy
  2. Documentary : Documentary is a TV Program that documents real life events.
  3. Soap : Also known as soap opera. A fictional drama about people’s daily lives.
  4. Cartoon : Cartoon is a program that features animated characters.
  5. Kids/Children : TV programs that are produced for children.
  6. Sports : TV programs that featuring sports or sporting events
  7. Drama : A fictional TV Story featuring actors.
  8. Anthology Series : TV Shows which have different story for each season or each episode

Different Types of Movies are

  1. Short Films : Any film not long enough to be considered a feature films which generally have run time of 40 minutes or less including credits
  2. Documentary Films : A motion picture intended to document reality, primarily for the purposes of education or maintaining historical record.
  3. Animated Films : Animated films are one in which individual drawings, paintings or illustrations are photographed frame by frame.
  4. Feature Films : A full-length film intended as a main item in a cinema program.

Story & Run-Time

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Movies : Movies/Films have a typical run-time of 1 Hour 30 Minutes to 3 Hours, so a movie contains a short story or a certain incident which happened in a certain period of time. The story of a movie can be an original story or adapted from a book or a novel or inspired. The shooting of a movie generally starts when the original story or screen play is finished completely. Since the run-time is not long, even if the movie is bad it will end in an average of 2 Hours. The people who watching movies can enjoy the satisfaction of fulfillment by the end of the movie in 2 to 3 hours.

TV Shows : Unlike Movies, TV Shows does have a longer story and run-time. It generally divided as episodes where each have a run-time of 30 Minutes to 1 Hour. Some miniseries episodes will go up to 1 Hour 30 Minutes. The story of TV Shows are generally inspired from a book or a series of books or inspired from an event or it can be an original story. TV Show will get enough time to establish a big story and it will give enough time for us to connect with each characters.


Movies : Due to short running time, movies are generally released in theaters. The movie theaters are dedicated institutions which shows movies for a specific period of time. Now there are some streaming services which produce original films for their respective platforms.

TV Shows : TV Shows are generally telecasts in streaming services or national channels. Some streaming services like Netflix releases all episodes at once and some are broadcasts their episodes weekly.

Cost of Production

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Movies : The production cost is the main difference between a movie and a TV Show. There is a lot of costs to cover in order to make a good movie, like, remuneration to actors and crew, Visual Effect works, dubbing, promotions, campaigns etc. Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides (2011) is the most expensive films ever created ($378.5 Million). The Blair Witch Project (1999) is the least expensive film ever created ($60000).

TV Shows : Unlike Movies, TV shows doesn’t usually need that high expenses for production. Lot of new actors with one or two established actors are the usual recipe for any TV Shows. Most of the TV Shows doesn’t require any special effects so cost can be reduced. Don’t get me wrong, there are many expensive TV Shows out there. Netflix’s “The Crown” was said to be the most expensive TV series ever made with a rumored budget of $156 Million for two seasons.


Movies : A sequel means a work of film that continues the story of, or expands upon some earlier works. There are many movie sequels. Generally there will be an original movie and the sequel will be about what happens next after the original movie or what happened before the original movie (e.g. Star Wars). Or a sequel will make a completely different movie with existing characters from the original movie (e.g. James Bond). Or the sequels will be based on a series of book already exists (e.g. Harry Potter)

TV Shows : Since the TV Show is intend to go on for years the “sequels” are not a thing in TV. Each year we get a continuation of the story unless it is an Anthology Series. TV Shows sometime have spin-offs, which is a completely different story happening in the same universe. It will always be a subsidiary for the original series. (e.g. The walking Dead & Fear The Walking Dead)

To Conclude

Both Movies and TV Shows are the best way to communicate with people. While Movies focuses on telling a short story in 2 to 3 hours TV Shows covers a large story over a certain period of time.

Check out my top 10 TV Shows of 2019 List here

Netflix Amazon Prime HBO HULU

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Movies & TV Shows – A Study

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