A TELEVISION SPECIAL is a television program which temporarily interrupts programming normally scheduled for a given time slot . Sometimes, however, the term is given to a telecast of a theatrical film, such as _The Wizard of Oz _, which is not part of a regular television anthology series such as _NBC Saturday Night at the Movies _ (1961–1978).
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 series for that specific 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 or musicals presented live or on videotape (such as _Peter Pan _) 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 ), fundraising campaigns (telethon ) or spontaneous interruptions of active programming to cover an important news event (election coverage, however, is generally scheduled).
Today, with the rise of cable television , online streaming , and home video , it is virtually impossible for an annual telecast of a program to have the same impact on television as before. In pre-cable and pre-home video days, television audiences often had to wait an entire year or more to see a special program or film that had a great impact on first viewing. Online streaming makes it possible for viewers to watch a television show again almost immediately after it is aired, and home video, digital downloads as well as internet television and video on demand , make it possible for the general public to own copies of television shows and films.
Most TV specials can be filmed in one country but broadcast in another. For example, a 1998 TV special _ The Wiggles Live at Disneyland_ was filmed in Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in the United States but broadcast on the Australian version of Disney Channel .
* ^ "What\'s New With the Wiggles". _The Wiggles.com_. Archived from the original on 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2014-04-07.