When a show is sold to a foreign country, things may well be changed for a foreign audience. That is, things apart from the obligatory dubbing or subtitling.
This is especially prevalent in anime
exported to America and other western countries for broadcast, though it's lessened over time. See Cut-and-Paste Translation
Sometime in the '70s or '80s, television standards in America changed to include more commercials, so shows made before a certain point might be edited to add several extra minutes of commercials. This might also happen to BBC shows exported to the US or Canada, unless shown on commercial-free public or pay television, or run in a longer timeslot with adverts added to make up time.
Occasionally this is done where there is no clearance
for footage to be re-used and an alternate clip may be shown.
For a similar phenomenon that removes chunks of screen time for other reasons, see Bowdlerise
A Sub Trope
of Deleted Scene
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Anime & Manga
- In the first chapter of Cowboy Bebop, Jet finds a bottle at a thrashed bar. In the Japanese original, he says "Presidente? I'll take it"; however, since there is a brandy called Presidente Domecq in Mexico, the Mexican dub replaces it with "A bottle of tequila, eh? I'll give myself a little luxury".
- Instead of cutting scenes out, the version of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann that airs on SyFy speeds some scenes up to fit in more commercial, including both the opening and closing (the latter of which is impossible to hear anyway, as it's both crunched to the side and talked over by the announcer; even by adverts for itself). Most of the edits are surprisingly graceful, but some – especially in the last couple episodes (including Kamina's talk with Simon and Viral's family in the Lotus-Eater Machine and the Big Bad's impossibly huge explosion) – can really screw up important moments, as can some incredibly inappropriately timed commercial breaks. Though to be fair, there was almost nothing unimportant in the last couple episodes.
- [adult swim] has a practice of shortening anime openings/endings and removing every Eye Catch which allows more commercials than the original airing. Opening themes in particular are cut out completely.
- The most jarring of opening/ending shortenings would be Durarara!!; its ending is a major Memetic Mutation, to the point that many people found out about the series through that ending. The opening meanwhile, is important due to the fact that it lists the main characters, and while it lists important characters like Celty, Shizuo, Izaya, Simon and Shinra, the Raira Trio (Mikado, Kida and Anri) are sadly left out.
- They also cut out the intros to InuYasha.
- Also Trigun, Outlaw Star, and pretty much every anime they aired that wasn't Cowboy Bebop or Bleach (FLCL was exempt because it doesn't have opening credits, but the ending was still cut from the final episode due to time).
- For a while in the UK, the CITV block had episodes of Pokémon awkwardly split into two parts.
- Wandering Son's last two episodes were shortened and mashed together for the TV release. The DVD release has the original versions.
- The Tech Tv broadcast of Betterman has the ending credits used for the Opening. A positive example of the trope, the Ending was well animated, with haunting imagery and a memorable song. Contrast with the Opening, which is just live-action footage of a tidal pool.
- Reversed in the case of Jalila: the Egyptian censorship board forced the publishers to cover up the title character's bare midriff, but the UK and US editions allowed her to go as originally intended.
Live Action TV
- Happened every time channel 9 in Australia re-released episodes of Farscape especially at earlier time slots - prime episode was 'out of their minds' with every fake swear word and scene cut out, losing about 20 minutes.
- When The Adventures of Pete & Pete was still being aired as shorts, several half-hour long specials aired during that time. when the series became Half-hour fulltime, those specials were re-edited to appear as standard episodes, adding the title sequence and song "Hey Sandy" and re-scoring the episodes with the standard cues. This is most jarring with "how we spent our Summer Vacation".
- When Star Trek: Voyager reruns aired on Spike TV, there were very noticeable cuts to several episodes.
- A small one, but in the '70s and '80s especially, the titles of the shows themselves were changed if the show itself was still first-run on the networks. See: Happy Days Again, Laverne and Shirley & Company, and CHiPs Patrol.
- Some more examples: Jim Rockford: Private Investigator (The Rockford Files), The Raymond Burr Show (Ironside), Ponderosa (Bonanza). Also reruns of The Ropers and Three's a Crowd are sometimes aired as part of the Three's Company syndication package under the name Three's Company's friends - The Ropers and Three's Company Too respecitvely.
- Me TV and other digital networks still run Gunsmoke as "Marshall Dillon".
- The Canadian cable network Prime (now known as TV-tropolis) used to alter the titles of syndicated series it broadcast to read, for example, "All in the Family on Prime". They even went so far as to digitally alter the title screens of these shows to incorporate the "on Prime" part. Their over-the-air counterpart Global was notorious for doing this as well, but they've finally stopped.
- Many of the syndicated versions of series mentioned above (such as "Happy Days Again" and "Ponderosa") used different opening credits music than the network work. In the case of "Happy Days", whereas the first two seasons of "Happy Days" featured a 1973 recording of "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets, the opening credits of "Happy Days Again" used Haley's original 1954 recording of the song, even on episodes that originally aired with Pratt & McClain's "Happy Days" theme song that replaced Haley's tune.
- In an interesting reversal, the UK version of Season 1 of 24 has a scene not transmitted in the United States: Teri informing Nina of her pregnancy in that series' finale. However, the American syndicated airings on the A&E Channel contain scenes which weren't broadcast during its initial broadcast run (for instance, a longer gunfight between Jack Bauer and the Drazen family in the first season finale).
- MythBusters in the United Kingdom has appeared in two versions. On the Discovery Channel, the show is practically identical to the U.S. original except with an Anglicized voiceover (being more metric friendly, and replacing American terms with British terms where appropriate). The version shown on the BBC is edited down to 30 minutes with a totally different, very over-the-top — and supposedly "funny" — voiceover.
- Meanwhile, down in Australia, MythBusters is repackaged and condensed for use as a segment on the gee-whiz science show Beyond Tomorrow (which is another production by the same production company as Mythbusters). The latter program is then turned around and re-broadcast in America on The Science Channel (owned by Discovery Networks, who make MythBusters in the first place), complete with the "new" version of MythBusters.
- At least it still airs in full on SBS.
- Some of the American DVDs contain the 43-minute episode that you saw on Discovery... but some contain the full 50 minute episode that Beyond Productions made. The cuts in the US-aired versions are all about the commercials.
- Sometimes the American version (and, presumably, other versions) will accumulate so much material that some of it has to be edited out just so that the episode will fit in the time slot; these usually include a quick sting at the end with Adam informing the viewer that they can see the stuff that didn't make it to air on the Discovery channel website.
- Over on another Discovery network, No Reservations also gets a few extra minutes per show in Europe; Lampshaded when they do Clip Shows, during which some of the cut bits are aired for American audiences. Others show up as web extras (as is common for Mythbusters now).
- The British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (now on BBC America) has a game cut from each episode, due to added commercials when shown in America.
- When the first season of Roseanne was released on DVD, it contained the syndicated version of many episodes. This was not received well by fans, whose uproar caused those in charge to provide the original uncut episodes in subsequent box sets.
- Reversed when the Sci Fi Channel first aired Star Trek: The Original Series: they restored scenes that had been cut from syndication for almost thirty years, and aired the episodes in an expanded 90-minute timeslot.
- And crammed in an extra 20 minutes worth of commercials.
- The 2006-07 syndicated feed of Beakman's World removes all mention of the mailing address that kids used to send in science questions, which could make new viewers wonder where all those letters they get are coming from.
- Also, for some unknown reason, the same syndicated feed only aired seasons 1 and 4, leaving out seasons 2 and 3 (the Liza episodes).
- Netflix edits out the robotic Eye Catch bumpers, seeing as how there are no commercials to cut to.
- Possibly one of the first shows that fans cared about enough to notice and complain about this sort of thing was M*A*S*H. Most egregious in the episode where Hawkeye and BJ try to top each other in pranks. A scene early on has a wounded soldier offering Hawkeye a cigar, which Hawk, Properly Paranoid at this point, refuses and proceeds to "disarm", fearing BJ had put the soldier up to giving Hawkeye an exploding cigar. This scene is cut in syndication, but a callback at the episode's climax, where BJ assures Hawkeye that the incident was innocent, is left in, confusing viewers who haven't seen the full version.
- Large chunks of various 2005-present Doctor Who season finales were removed to make room for commercials when it aired in America on the Sci Fi Channel. (Some find it suspicious that Captain Jack's passing mention of his crush on the Doctor was cut despite lasting all of three seconds)
- The Master's dance number was disappointingly cut out of the season finale on CBC, presumably due to the rest of the things happening in the scene.
- The CBC usually made only minor edits to episodes to fit commercials in, but the fourth season finale, "Journey's End" was butchered, with more than 15 minutes worth of scenes edited out to fit the timeslot. And one episode, "Voyage of the Damned", was never even broadcast. Outcry from fans over this is credited with CBC dropping Doctor Who immediately after and Space picking it up; Space has aired Doctor Who virtually uncut.
- Luckily, the show is mostly uncut on BBC America (which gets it about six months after the Sci-Fi Channel is done with the first run) and PBS (which, like the BBC, does not have commercials). Australia also received the intact episodes.
- The finale wasn't the only episode cut. Almost all the episodes of the revival have about two minutes cut. Among the important things cut include the scene where Jenny was named in "The Doctor's Daughter" and the brief mention of the Torchwood team on "Turn Left" (many believe that scene was picked on purpose because Sci Fi Channel did not own the rights to Torchwood, BBC America did).
- This is all especially baffling. Russell T Davies once claimed that the whole reason they decided to make the new series in 45 minute episodes (as opposed to 50 minutes, or even 60 minutes) is because they wanted to allow enough time for the American networks to insert the commercials, without them having to hack apart bits of the programme. Problem is, a typical "hour-long" TV show in America is only around 43 minutes (first-run shows on the Big 4 broadcast networks are a few minutes longer).
- The Steven Moffat-produced episodes are cut on BBC America (for the repeats, first air/night is uncut), who now own the US rights for Doctor Who after Sci-Fi changed its name and decided it wanted little to do with science fiction anymore. In particular, a set of Chekhov's Gun Arc Words were removed from "'The Eleventh Hour". However, they cut far less than Sci-Fi did and the version of "The Eleventh Hour" they showed was far longer than it ever would be on Sci-Fi (although after the premiere, they show a 45-minute edit in repeats)
- Averted with the Canadian Space Channel; it does uncut broadcasts (with commercials) a few hours after the BBC's initial broadcast.
- The classic series underwent a number of syndication changes during its broadcasts:
- Initially syndicated in the US to commercial stations, episodes were re-edited to accommodate commercials and recaps narrated by actor Howard da Silva were added to most episodes.
- When the series began to be primarily syndicated to commercial-free PBS stations, many affiliates aired "movie" editions in which complete storylines were edited together into films lasting anywhere from 45 minutes (for 2-episode stories) to edits of several hours' duration for longer stories like the 10-episode "The War Games". This involved deleting recaps and other scenes to make the episodes flow better.
- Australian and New Zealand broadcasts were notorious for being censored, especially in the 1960s (though, fortunately for archivists, the censor authorities actually kept the scenes that were cut, which later were used to help restore missing Doctor Who episodes, or at least give a glimpse of lost stories).
- The 90-minute special The Five Doctors was re-edited for syndication as a four-part story. Similarly, the 1985 season, which featured 45-minute episodes rather than the standard 25-minute ones, were re-edited into 25-minute episodes for syndication.
- BBC America routinely shows cut versions of BBC programs. Sometimes during comedy shows a commercial break will cut off the punchline to a joke or obscure a plot point.
- Red Dwarf was once given a test dub for the Japanese market (it's available on the Series I DVD). The episode has nearly 5 minutes of content cut out to fit a Japanese commercial timeslot. It wasn't too obvious at first, seeming to be the standard episodes with Japanese subtitles. However, any British references that the Japanese audience may not get have been crudely edited out, to the point where the entire middle of some scenes are missing and characters sometimes suddenly swap places. The audience reaction wasn't edited either, so laughter can be heard for no reason at some points.
- A now-defunct British satellite channel that made heavy cuts to archive programming was ironically called Granada Plus (italics the editor's).
- Episodes of Highlander: The Series shown in Europe and Canada were slightly longer than those shown in the US; the extra material is referred to as "Eurominutes."
- Little Britain was conceived to air on digital-only BBC Three, and then move over to BBC Two. It proved so successful that The BBC wanted to air the second season on its mainstream service BBC One. However, the creators were more extreme in their material for this season (Crossing the Line Twice in places). Before production, orders were received on high to record Bowdlerized versions of some scenes, on basis that "you can't say cock on BBC One". Results included the cutting from BBC One transmission of a scene involving a carer performing a particular act on an old woman ("it's on the DVD", apparently), and "What that boy (Daffyd) needs is a
nice big cock up his arse nice bit of bum".
- Police, Camera, Action!, a police documentary on ITV 4 (a digital-only channel in the United Kingdom) has often cut episodes in syndication. However, it irks the fans, no end. Also, Completely Missing the Point to fans - why edit a documentary in such a way?
- The 1994 episode Danger! Drivers Ahead has two edited versions; one full-length, the other is edited.
- The 1995 episode Tales of the Unexpected has been edited from original version, with 4 - 6 clips of footage removed for some unexplained reason. However, these survive in the published version of the show.
- The 1996 episode Road to Nowhere gets the end music changed - it is normally "The Magic Roundabout"'s theme tune but it gets changed to generic orchestra music for re-broadcasts
- The 1997 episode Enough's Enough also gets re-edited, with footage cut out, and a different version of the end music (Martha And The Vandellas Nowhere to Run is replaced by a Cover Version.)
- The 1997 episode A Lorry Load of Trouble has 4 pieces of footage cut out in re-airings.
- The 1998 episode On The Buses (no relation to On The Buses the TV show) has 4 pieces of footage removed in recent repeats. No explanation is ever given for this, but fans of the show have noticed the re-edited episodes.
- The 1998 episode The Unprotected has the very last bit of footage cut out before the end.
- The episode Getting Their Man from the 2000 series had the music changed from Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" to "The Stripper" by Joe Loss and his Orchestra. Bizarrely, none of the rest of the series is ever edited for syndication.
- It's probably to make room for commercials, according to television sites discussing ITV. Executive Meddling by ITV, and certainly a pointless one at that. It is believed that the episode originals have rights issues; but copyright is certainly a major point here, and getting clearance from the various police forces is the issue.
- WKRP in Cincinnati is notorious for being heavily edited in syndication; the original series largely used music which was popular during the specific years (late 1970s) in which the series was made, but these hit songs were only licensed for use in the television series over a short time-frame and then removed. The Season 1 DVDs, to fans' dismay, had more music edited out.
- Which resulted in future DVD releases being abandoned.
- Top Gear, as an hour-long BBC show with no room for advert breaks, has to be edited for the repeats on Dave. The cuts tend to be rather abrupt. Some of the music also goes missing due to copyright issues when the show airs on BBC America.
- Dave does that for Dragons' Den and perhaps various Ray Mears shows as well. However, half-hour shows (like pre-Dave Red Dwarf or Catherine Tate) aren't cut - instead, they become 40 minutes and three are shown, which gets them back to the "on the hour" schedule.
- BBC America used to run BBC shows in a 40-minute format. The remaining 20 minutes of the hour would be filled with short-subject films or previews for other shows. They quit doing this and began just hacking into the sitcoms to make them fit the 30-minutes-with-commercials template. "Red Dwarf" was shown in its complete format the first time BBCA aired it. By the time is was ready to repeat the show, it had edited all of the episodes dramatically.
- QI averts this, as the longer QI XL (45 mins) has been picked up for the channel, as of Series F- this is uncut, but fills an entire hour of schedule.
- UKTV, the larger network of channels responsible for Dave, receives a lot of criticism for cutting documentary programmes to fit normal schedules while leaving comedy intact.
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent: the dialog is sometimes censored in syndicated airings. Also, certain shots have been blurred.
- Many of the blurred shots tend to be in the opening credits, to avoid having to pay actors whose faces appear in them.
- When Sex and the City started airing in syndication, two different versions were made: one for TBS that kept most of the sexually explicit dialogue and digitally covered up most of the nudity with underwear and aired late at night and a heavily edited one for regular daytime syndication, that purged all nude scenes and removed/redubbed the bulk of the sexually explicit content and lines. With TBS no longer airing the show, the second bowlderized version has become the default syndicated version, as seen on E!
- In late 60's/70's syndication and original NBC summer re-airings of The Monkees, songs from earlier albums in the "romp" sequences were sometimes replaced by tracks from their then-recent albums.
- Also played straight, with some romps being entirely cut for time. Ironically, some of these romps had only been included in the original episode because they were too SHORT.
- For more recent syndication (Antenna TV, etc.), all the "romps' were kept in their entirety, with many of the original songs intact. However, they are now SPED UP at an annoyingly fast pace to save time (see Adrenaline Time).
- The Buffy musical episode "Once More With Feeling" ran 1:10 on its first showing, and has almost 10 minutes cut from it in the syndicated version shown in the US (though the full version was regularly shown in Canada, in a 1 hour time slot.)
- An episode of Remington Steele actually used this practice as a major plot point: The killer du jour had used a co-worker as an alibi, noting that the two had watched a classic TV show together at the time of the murder (unbeknownst to the co-worker, the culprit had used a VCR and reset the clocks; but it turned out that due to syndication, the scene the two had watched together had been cut.
- Both Walking With Dinosaurs and Walking With Beasts were edited significantly when aired on the Discovery Channel, apparently for time.
- The Future Is Wild actually had at least two different edited versions made. It originally aired as a 13-episode series, was significantly edited into a two-hour special when aired on US TV (each time period lost one habitat, among other things). Then a longer version was created later, restoring some (but not all) of the removed content
- Played with on It's Garry Shandling's Show. The show started (commercial free) on cable but was later picked up by the Fox Network and shown both with and without commercials. At one point Gary announced to the audience that they had gone to commercial but that the cable viewers shouldn't worry and proceeded to put on a Carmen miranda outfit and did a short dance
- Although Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was originally on ITV, which when it was filmed showed adverts in all its programmes, a few re-runs on other networks seem to be pretty abruptly cut and pasted - for example, much of the banter between the host and contestant is removed, as are the sections between one contestant leaving and the Fastest Finger First round. One episode skips the last question of the show entirely but strangely doesn't skip the pre-question status mention.
- Mc Cloud is surely one of the worst victims. The first season, before the show was expanded to either 90 or 120 minutes as part of The NBC Mystery Movie franchise, consisted of six one-hour episodes. For syndication, these were chopped up and combined into 3 90-minute episodes, each of which haphazardly combined the plots of two separate episodes with hasty re-dubbing and re-editing. On DVD, these cuts are not restored.
- Quincy reversed this problem; the first episodes were part of The NBC Mystery Movie in its final season, and these 90-minute shows were later cut for 60-minute slots in syndication.
- Pretty much every American TV series sold into syndication suffers from this. Since the shows are routinely syndicated to local stations throughout the country, each will make cuts to fit commercials from local advertisers. Therefore, people in different markets can get different scenes/lines cut.
- Also occurs when a US series is sold to another country. British channels often have breaks where the US version didn't, whereas the parts with two seconds of black screen (where the US version would have had a break) are intact. For example, the re-runs of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where a few episodes even have a break after the Cold Open, the result being that part 2 opens with the titles.
- As a gimmick, NBC sometimes has its shows do special episodes which are slightly longer than the standard half-hour/twenty-two minutes formula. When they reach syndication, or even reruns, they're trimmed down to the usual length or, if there's enough extra footage, stretched out into a two-parter.
- Most of the BBC's natural history programming from the past couple of years has a rather obvious way to get around this - the British broadcast has a 50-minute show followed by a 10-minute behind-the-scenes slot, which can easily be removed to make space for adverts.
- When Green Acres was broadcast in Malaysia, all scenes with Arnold the Pig were edited out so as to not offend Muslim sensibilities. This meant that in some cases, the human characters were having one-sided conversations with an Arnold who never replied.
- BET's run of the HBO series The Wire is a truly epic case of being edited down for syndication - this time, to appeal to a very specific audience. The network has only aired the first four seasons, and while seasons 1,3, and 4 aired with just minimum censorship for content and in 90 minute blocks, season two (which primarily focuses on the plight of caucasian dock workers in Baltimore) was absolutely butchered. The second-season episodes were cut down to run in an hour-long block, and a massive number of scenes crucial to the storyline (mostly focusing on Jimmy McNulty's investigation and Frank Sobotka's crew) were axed, leaving plot holes (such as the background regarding the rivalry between the dock workers union and the police union, which is the real reason the Major Crimes Unit reformed and launched an investigation on the dock workers, being entirely chopped out) and rendering the season's themes castrated. Interestingly, the entire plot of the second season changed as a result of these cuts (roughly 20 minutes chopped from each episode), as the entire dock subplot took a backseat to the drug storyline (which was minor at that point).
- Reruns of The Mickey Mouse Club were shortened down to 30 minutes from the hour long length they originally aired in.
- Saturday Night Live has at least five syndicated versions of itself:
- The NBC Rerun: This is the version that airs during the weeks when SNL doesn't have any new episodes (and doesn't air a "Best Of" clip show special). It's 90 minutes long (just like a typical first-run episode), has the phrase, "Previously Recorded From An Earlier Broadcast" during the opening credits, and has dress rehearsal scenes (and, in some cases, sketches) to replace the live show footage (either for content reasons, to fix a technical error or missed cue, or to make a sketch/segment funnier after flopping badly on its first-run. This cut is the same one they air on the West Coast.
- The 60-Minute Rerun: This is the version of SNL that aired on the cable channels Comedy Central and E! Entertainment (and, as of 2013, on NBC at 10:00pm Eastern Time). It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a rerun of an SNL episode cut down to roughly an hour (minus commercial breaks). This version includes note the best and funniest sketches from a given episode while weeding out the sketches that weren't as good and the second song by the musical guest is cut for time. Originally, Comedy Central aired Saturday Night Live episodes from the 1970s to the 1980s (barring the Jean Doumanian episodes, except for the Bill Murray/Delbert McClinton episode, and the last episode of season six, which had no host, but included guest appearances by Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, and Christopher Reeve, with a musical performance by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars), but after a while, those got phased out for the episodes from the mid-to-late 1980s to the 1990s (seasons 12 to 25), then those got phased out for episodes from the 1990s to the early 2000s (seasons 21 to 27). After Comedy Central picked up MA Dtv in place of SNL, E! aired the 1990s to the early 2000s episodes, but also added episodes from seasons 28, 29, and 30. The one-hour cuts of SNL that air on NBC are reruns from the current season (season 38; 2012-2013).
- The VH-1 and VH-1 Classic Rerun: Similar to the Comedy Central and E! reruns (in which the show is condensed to one-hour, leaving in only the best sketches, Weekend Update jokes, and one musical performance), only the episodes that air on VH-1 and VH-1 Classic are from seasons 28 to 37 (and some occasional episodes from seasons 24 to 27), with some "Best of" clip show episodes and the occasional behind-the-scenes special about the show's history in the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s. The "Best of" clip shows and the "behind-the-scenes" documentaries are the only 90-minute reruns of SNL ever aired on cable TV.
- The Nick At Nite Rerun: These were 30-minute reruns of SNL that aired in the early-to-mid 1980s, often with an hour-long syndicated cut of SCTV: Network 90. The episodes used were from the "Not Ready for Primetime"-era (fall of 1975 to spring of 1980), though episodes from seasons four and five were shown more often than seasons 1-3.
- The HA! Network Rerun note : A season seven SNL episode hosted by Susan St. James was the first program that aired when The HA! Network premiered. It (and other episodes) aired pretty much the same way as an NBC rerun (full 90-minute version with dress rehearsal footage added when necessary), but HA! Network only aired SNL episodes from when Dick Ebersol was executive producer (between 1981 and 1985), which was when the Susan St. James episode aired.
- The Comedy Network Rerun: The Comedy Network is essentially Comedy Central in Canada (meaning whatever Comedy Central airs, Comedy Network airs). The only difference is Canada has much looser standards about profanity (sister network CTV, for instance was able to air The Sopranos in primetime on broadcast television without any editing or bleeping to speak of). Comedy Network doesn't use bleeps to censor out bad language (the comedy special "Russell Brand Live in New York" aired with all bleeps removed and South Park has its language uncensored as well). This edited version of SNL is similar to the NBC rerun (airs for 90 minutes with little or no edits), only Comedy Network airs all of the season six episodes produced by Jean Doumanian in addition to airing the good (or So Okay, It's Average) episodes from both Lorne Michaels eras (fall 1975-spring 1980 and fall 1985-present) and Dick Ebersol's era (spring 1981-spring 1985).
- The Xfinity On-Demand/Hulu version cuts the musical guests, as well as any skits that include copyrighted music. Usually this cuts the 66-minute (without commercials) show down to about 55 minutes (sometimes lower than that, like somewhere between 30 minutes to around 50, depending on how much musical content is cut). The 2012 Mick Jagger episode was just over a half-hour long after cutting the musical numbers, a skit involving people singing Rolling Stone songs at a karaoke bar and one of the office workers (played by Mick Jagger) complaining about it, and the heartwarming end sketch with Kristen Wiig "graduating" from SNL.
- A recent Ben Stiller episode had a cameo by Hugh Jackman in a sketch that was edited on Hulu for those reasons. When Jackman appeared with the rest of the cast during the end credits, one who never saw the episode before would most likely be confused.
- MA Dtv first aired in syndication on local TV stations, under the title, "The Best of MA Dtv." Only the first two seasons aired. The show then got picked up by Spike TV (back when it was TNN — The Nashville Network, a channel dedicated to everything that most people would consider "redneck" or "trailer trash") and aired the first two seasons, followed by seasons 3-5. The local station and TNN cuts of MA Dtv were 30 minutes long (MA Dtv runs their show for an hour while SNL runs for 90 minutes [an hour and a half], and, much like the reruns from Saturday Night Live, the ones for MA Dtv only had the best material from a given episode while leaving the weaker, less funny stuff on the cutting room floor). The TNN reruns were off before anyone noticed and eventually the show found its way to Comedy Central after E! acquired the rights to air Saturday Night Live (MA Dtv's long-standing rival). Comedy Central aired seasons 1-7 of MA Dtv in their full, hour-long version [with some bleeping and/or muting for obscene language], and as the years went by, seasons 8, 9, 10, and 11 were added as well (seasons 12 and 13 were only shown on Comedy Central's Canadian sister channel, Comedy Network, and the final season [season 14] has yet to be aired on either channel). In 2008, Comedy Central phased out the first seven seasons of MA Dtv in favor of the episodes from seasons 8-11, and those episodes have been running until 2010, when MA Dtv was dropped from the syndication schedule in favor of reruns of reruns of canceled Comedy Central original programming, exports of canceled animated comedies (i.e. Futurama, The Goode Family, and Sit Down, Shut Up), more movies, and more stand-up specials.
- MA Dtv even parodied the practice to hell and back, with a PAXnote version of an episode of The Sopranos that removed all the swearing, sex, and violence, bringing its 40+ minute run time to just under three minutes. Once upon a time, it was merely a commentary on how the frank, HBO-style depictions of sex, violence, and foul language would be edited on any channel that wasn't a premium cable channel. Now, the idea of an Edited for Syndication Sopranos is a reality, only it's syndicated on A&E and a bit more well-done than what MA Dtv showed.
- When Monty Python's Flying Circus was aired on ABC in 1975, it was heavily condensed, rearranged and edited all to hell for content, completely destroying the sketches — leading to a situation where the group had to go to court to prove their own material wasn't funny when treated thus and get it taken off the air. Apparently the trial was hilarious. In The Pythons Autobiography, Michael Palin describes trying to tell the judge about a sketch set in a courtroom where the judge keeps interrupting the prosecutor to ask questions about the witness's gaiters, and having the American judge keep interrupting to ask what gaiters are.
- A side effect of this dispute was that the Pythons obtained the copyright to their own series, something that has never happened with any other BBC show. The DVD releases are not on BBC Video or its partner comany 2|Entertain, and the packaging doesn't credit the BBC at all.
- The DVDs A&E distributed in America have some sketches missing. For example, the episode "How Not To Be Seen" had one of its cartoon segments cut short to remove scenes of Jesus crucified to a telephone pole.
- Particularly noticeable in NCIS. Every new segment (i.e. when returning from a commercial) starts with a 2 second Black and White still shot of how this segment will end. When syndicated, you'll get at least one segment per episode that doesn't end with the preordained image, and then doesn't start up with the customary lead-in after the commercials.
- In Australia, they've apparently figured out how to make their own in house. You can still tell though, 'cause the DIY ones aren't still images. Which, if you're familiar with the show, is possibly even more jarring.
- GSN's airings of classic game shows usually have ticket fee plugs removed and prize plugs crunched to small size to accomodate promos for upcoming shows. Many shows are also time-compressed, which would normally not be an issue — but they tend to do it really poorly, resulting in parts of the show sounding like the Micro Machines man. Their replays of classic black-and-white shows (Bill Cullen's version of The Price Is Right among others) usually have ticket plugs and sweepstakes mailing information excised, as well as having shows with cigarettes as sponsors for those particular shows excluded from replays.
- Stargate SG-1's single 90-minute episode, "Threads," is cut down to 1 hour for syndication.
- The Tracey Ullman Show was shown on BBC2 without the animated segments - that's right, they cut out The Simpsons. No wonder it took so long to start on UK terrestrial television.
- There was a syndicated version of Knight Rider in which each episode was cut down to fit in a half hour time slot—which means that they mostly just kept the action scenes, and left out all the bits in between that explained why the action was supposedly necessary.
- There was a similar cut of BJ And The Bear.
- The American cable channel TNT not only edits for commercials, but changes the timing of commercial breaks. After the opening teaser and credits, there should be a commercial break. Instead, TNT runs the first act directly after the opening credits. This means they later hack into the middle of another scene to put in the ads that should have run at the beginning. It's jarring.
- The original Muppet Show had one skit per episode cut out for American broadcast; the DVD releases that have the trivia subtitles point this out ("This was the UK Spot for this episode"). Also, the pilot of The Muppet Show was most certainly NOT aired in America under the title "Sex & Violence".
- And then, there's the DVDs themselves, which contain a few episodes so badly cut down due to licensing issues, it may well be a self-imposed Macekre. Fortunately, seasons 2 and 3 came to DVD uncut.
- FOX sought to test the waters in the late 90s with a thirty minute re-edit of Ally Mc Beal for a quick cash-in for syndication at the height of the show's popularity. Effectively they purged the first two seasons of all courtroom related scenes/drama material in order to present it as a comedy show, which created episodes that had huge plot holes, such as the elimination of Lucy Lui's character's entire introduction episode and having her just randomly showing up in the cast without an introduction.
- The original opening titles and closing credits of Gomer Pyle, showing him continually failing to keep aligned with groups of marching soldiers changing direction, have not been seen since the series first ran on CBS in prime time (the replacement credits first appeared when the network itself aired daily reruns in the afternoon, where they also eliminated all "tag scenes" from the episodes, resulting in plots often left unresolved!).
- For many years, reruns of The Partridge Family had the audio of the opening titles of the first season, which had different, "introductory" theme song lyrics, replaced with audio from the later seasons.
- Reruns of the Screen Gems series Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie had opening-titles audio that varied for different seasons "standarized" to audio from one particular season: in Jeannie's case, all color seasons had third-season audio (with its visuals that included Sidney Sheldon's creator-credit, which had been absent from the second season); both monochrome seasons of Bewitched had the audio of the first season. At times, both series have also had the monochrome version of their opening animation replaced with the color version shown monochrome; for Jeannie, this happened in early years of reruns (also using the color-episodes theme music); for Bewitched, this has been done for reruns in the recent years. The DVDs for Jeannie's second season even have the original opening-title visuals for the "Girl Who Never Had a Birthday" episodes (lacking Sidney Sheldon's creator credit) dubbed with third-season audio.
- You might think The BBC would be immune to this, being commercial-free. However, when they screened Carl Sagan's documentary Cosmos in 1980 every eppisode was cut from just under 60 minutes to just under 50, for no better reason than that 50 minutes was a standard BBC time slot for dramas and documentaries, and 60 minutes wasn't. Ironically, some years later The BBC switched from 50 minutes to 60, though it never repeated Cosmos in either format.
- Australia is odd about this: if a show is slightly censor-worthy (e.g. parts of Futurama) then it is edited (for instance, removing Leela hitting Zap or Bender stomping on a baby basket), but if it's particularly rude/violent (Die Hard), the networks just start it at about 10:00PM and leave it unedited.
- For a while, Italian network Italia 1 spliced episodes of various cartoons in two to make them last longer. It happened with seasons 5-10 of Pokémon and Season 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, for example.
- The syndicated version of South Park is rated TV-14. This is done by extensive bleeping of curse words, trimming scenes for offensive dialogue that can't be bleeped, and in scenes vital to the plot, replacing them with black screens with humorous short descriptions of the offensive scene (e.g., "Red Hot Catholic Love"'s Running Gag of people defecating from their mouths). Furthermore, due to Parker and Stone having final say over the "censored" cuts of their episodes, certain episodes (such as "It Hits the Fan") were withheld from the syndication package. Ironically though, certain other episodes with questionable content have been heavily featured in syndication, including:
- "Jared Has Aides" (banned from Comedy Central for mocking AIDS, as well as Butters getting physically abused by his parents for making a crank call)
- The seldom-broadcasted "Death" (banned by Comedy Central for the subplot about Stan's grandfather badgering Stan to assist him with suicide, as well as the gang talking about huffing gasoline, smoking crack, and watching porn)
- To add insult to injury, the episodes from Seasons 5-8, which were rendered in widescreen and broadcast as such during prime time on Comedy Central HD, are restricted to Pan and Scan versions regardless of the channel format. The original title sequences are also replaced with a single catch-all version that uses the Season 7 intro music.
- Syndicated episodes of The Simpsons are often butchered. Mostly these cuts are for time constraints, though there have been times where episodes were edited for content. In "Marge Gets a Job," references to Bart having Tourette's Syndrome [and Bart's subsequent barking and snarling of "Shove it, witch!" to Mrs. Krabappel] were redubbed with "Rabies." Show creator Matt Groening expressed disdain for this practice on the show's season one DVD set.
- The opening credits of most syndicated episodes are also cut down, usually deleting Lisa's sax solo and Bart's chalkboard punishment gag and skateboarding through town the cutting straight to the "couch gag" (in most syndicated episodes, the couch gag used is the one from season five's "Rosebud"note where the family rush to the couch, only to find an exact clone of them already on the couch).
- Inverted on the [adult swim] broadcast of Family Guy, which actually shows scenes that were too disgusting, long, or raunchy for FOX broadcasts (or unedited versions of the same scenes). On the other hand, the network syndicated versions (at least the ones that air between 5:00pm and 7:00pm on local affiliates) are FOX cut episodes that have episodes cut even further to remove content that was okay to air on FOX, but not on whatever local affiliate is airing the show.
- Garfield and Friends suffered quite a bit in most of its syndicated rerun history: The episodes were edited to have only one Garfield Quickie (although one episode got to keep its "Screaming With Binky" segment instead note , and the fake U.S. Acres one in Moo Cow Mutt was kept as well), some of the title cards for the U.S. Acres segments were cut out, and they only used the theme song from seasons 3-5 (and an end credits sequence taken from season 5). To further add insult to injury, only 73 episodes from the first five seasons were included in the syndication package. However, Boomerang, the most recent channel to run Garfield and Friends, presents the episodes as they are presented on the DVD sets.
- Certain scenes in DuckTales, such as a scene in the pilot where Dewey breaks apart a robot's power cord and scenes depicting gunplay (such as Scrooge attempting to shoot Fenton in the "Super DuckTales" serial), were cut when shown in cable syndication such as on Toon Disney. These scenes are thankfully restored on the DVD sets. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for DVDs of other Disney Afternoon shows that were edited in reruns (such as Tale Spin and Darkwing Duck).
- And up until recently for "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" the ending where Snoopy and Woodstock pull out and eat their own Thanksgiving feast was removed.
- Another Disney example, this time Tale Spin's pilot, "Plunder and Lightning", which was re-edited so (as standard Disney Afternoon block practice) it could be run as four half-hour episodes. In doing so, a significant amount of dialogue is lopped off. The most controversial cut (and considering their films reputation for heartwarming moments, most bizarre) is the excising of a scene where Rebecca sings a lullaby to Molly as Kit Cloudkicker watches.
- In the Arthur episode "Arthur's Almost Live Not Real Music Festival" in some airings sometimes an entire song is cut (Mr. Ratburn's song "Just a Little Homework").
- Daria's run on The N suffered from this, removing any and all scenes of cursing, sex references, or darkly humorous content — and episodes that couldn't be cut without turning the episode into a lopped, cropped, and chopped mess were simply left unaired (i.e., "My Night At Daria's," where everyone thinks Daria and Tom slept together after they both fell asleep while studying in Daria's room).
- Hanna-Barbera shows from 1971 and 1972 had a portion of episodes made but not screened during their first season runs (i.e.: in the Hair Bear Bunch episode "Closed Circuit TV," the Go Fish card game with the bears and Bananas the Gorilla being broken up by Peevly). They were added in during their second-season airings, but the scenes have not been shown in subsequent syndication and cable/satellite airings. Some scattered episodes have had scenes removed because, according to Warner Home Video, the scenes either no longer exist or their physical status is in question.
- In the syndicated runs of Liberty's Kids, the "Liberty News Network" (LNN) breaks were cut.
- The original The Flintstones did not use the famous song "Meet the Flintstones" as the opening theme for its first two seasons, but rather an instrumental called "Rise and Shine" (which melodically was very similar to "Overture", the theme song from The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show) and a very different opening and closing sequence. For decades the opening and closing credits for these first two seasons used a standard "Meet the Flintstones" opening and closing from a later season - even though this meant the closing credits were completely wrong. It wasn't until the 1990s that the original version of Seasons 1 and 2 with "Rise and Shine" and correct closing credits was placed into syndication.
- However, the syndicated versions still omit the sponsor announcements that occurred in the original broadcasts (especially the ones for a cigarette company).
- The New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes were originally created for an hour-long timeslot. When they entered syndication in the 80s, they were split into two parts. Subsequent cable airings and DVDs have restored the original hour-long format of the show.
- In addition, when the Scooby-Doo/Dynumutt Hour entered syndication, they were split into separate shows, and each got their own set of openings/closings instead of a single opening/closing for both shows in a package. Unlike with The New Scooby-Doo Movies, these edits still remain in cable airings, and even on the Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour DVD boxset. It's likely that the footage for the original openings/closings that were originally shown with the series as a package aren't in usable condition.
- When Veggie Tales aired on qubo, a lot of stuff got cut. Besides the new format of the series (it being set at Bob's house instead of in a kitchen), most if not all references to God in the first season were cut (And sometimes, the sentences with the religious references were shortened, like in "Dr. Jiggle and Mr. Slide", when Scooter says "You're special just the way God made ya!", it was just shortened to "You're special!") and some scenes, most of which weren't important, got cut in order to make room for commercials. One time, a whole major plot point got cut out of "Larry-Boy! And The Fib From Outer Space" got cut for this reason. The scene in question was when Larry-Boy is trying to look for the Fib, but he can't find it and tells Alfred he's coming home. A few minutes after the ad break this cut led into, we see Larry-Boy at his house playing Candy Land with Alfred. Viewers who saw this particular episode on qubo might have wondered how he got there in the first place, but they wouldn't know unless they brought the DVD. The animated Larry Boy series qubo aired for a while also had references to God cut as well (most notably "God wants us to be nice to people!" in the first episode). Despite this, 321Penguins remained mostly uncut, with the grandma's speeches about "the good book" and the ending scene where Jason and Michelle pray kept intact.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic faced several scene cuts when dubbed into Japanese, mostly towards the beginning and end, to make room for the new opening and closing themes. Most weren't too essential, but one wonders if any kids noticed how Spike mysteriously knew which book Twilight was looking for without her telling him first.
- Gargoyles. The controversial gun safety episode "Deadly Force", which dealt with Broadway accidentally shooting Elisa Maza, has been under heavy editing by Toon Disney in syndication. The scene in question shows a wounded main character lying in a pool of her own blood. The episode was initially dropped entirely from the show's run when syndicated in Toon Disney's Jetix line up. However, Toon Disney aired the rest of the myth-arc shows in order and Elisa went from being healthy to wearing a cast and on crutches. The episode did end up airing, but the part where Elisa is shown wounded was cropped so her blood couldn't be seen. Now that it exclusively airs at 4 AM, the point has become moot at best.
- ABC Family aired Mickey's Christmas Carol and Winnie The Pooh and Christmas Too as part of their 25 Days of Christmas for 2008, which was the first time both specials had come on TV in years. And what did Disney, the very company that made those specials and owns that channel, do: They cut out several bits of dialogue (and in the latter's case, two whole scenes).]] And for what? To make room for more commercials that no one even pays attention to!? It's even worse when you consider that the latter special doesn't even have an official DVD release (unless you count its inclusion as a flashback sequence in A Very Merry Pooh Year) to drive sales for!
- ABC Family did this to Christmas specials long before 2008. For example, several scenes were cut from Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town and The Year Without a Santa Claus when they aired in the early 2000s.
- For some reason until it was restored in 1997 a scene from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" had a scene removed from TV broadcasts where Linus flings a snowball with his blanket at a can.
- Rocko's Modern Life had a lot of scenes cut when Nickelodeon began airing reruns on their main channel due to content. Nicktoons TV aired some of the episodes uncut, but most of them were edited. The Shout! Factory DVD is a mixed bag of cut and uncut episodes. Joe Murray is now working on creating a DVD release of Rocko's Modern Life with all the cut scenes reinstated.
- When Nickelodeon aired Animaniacs, the title sequence was hacked up and had "Nickelaney" dubbed in. Also, one part of the tune was even pitched up a little to mask the key change. Fortunately, the Cartoon Network reruns and the reruns on The Hub have the opening the way it was when it was on FOX and the WB.
- One episode, "Broadcast Nusiance", was edited. One scene showed the Warners trying to blow up Slam Anderson (known as Dan Anchorman in U.S. airings). Unfortunately, due to a 5-year-old blowing up his home and being inspired by Beavis And Butthead, the scene was cut from U.S. airings, because censors feared a similar incident would happen if they left the scene in.
- Also, "Potty Emergency" had a scene cut out from the broadcast and DVD versions-the man watering the flowers in that episode was supposed to turn his hose towards the camera, but due to this being possible Getting Crap Past the Radar material, it was cut. This version was only shown at an animation convention in 1993, and nowhere else, so it's pretty hard to find.
- Special Agent Oso has recently been edited for syndication when airing in the United Kingdom. Why this is so is not known.
- On its 2009 annual re-airing, ABC made the decision to cut scenes from A Charlie Brown Christmas to make room for commercials advertising Prep And Landing, the "new holiday classic" airing afterwards. This did not go over well, but fortunately, the full version was shown the following week.
- It should be noted that, for most of its run on CBS, the special had to cut out the scene of the kids throwing snowballs at the can on the fence. It was eventually restored on a 1991 video release and on CBS's broadcasts in 1997, but one shot that never did get restored was Snoopy tossing Linus at a Coca-Cola billboard immediately following the title card.
- The older episodes of Futurama have fallen victim to this on Comedy Central, often editing episodes for time restraints.
- Disney Junior's reruns of 101 Dalmatians: The Series cut out certain lines of dialogue from the episodes, such as Cruella saying "I picked the wrong week to quit smoking" in "Home is Where the Bark Is".
- In the Peanuts special It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown misses the field goal kick twice due to Lucy's usual antics with pulling the ball away. In the original airing, Peppermint Patty blames Charlie Brown for messing up the plays; however, viewers protested her doing so because Lucy was to blame (obviously they didn't get the point of the Charlie Brown character). So, every subsequent airing and home entertainment release masks the "offending" lines by lowering the volume and scrambling them.
- The Rugrats episode Chuckie Loses His Glasses was about Angelica taking Chuckie's glasses, and in one scene, she got so nauseous from wearing them that she vomited. The vomiting scene was cut from most airings, either for time restraints, or because Nickelodeon doesn't like to show vomiting. However, it's preserved on The '90s Are All That airings.