How to Cite a TV Show in APA Format

To cite a television show for social science research, you will often need to use American Psychological Association, or APA, style, which can be found in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. You can cite a single episode of a television show or an entire television series.

Single Episode

To cite a single episode of a television show, include the episode writer’s name, the episode director’s name, the year of broadcast in parenthesis, the title of the episode, the show producer’s name, the series title in italics, the city of origin, and the name of the studio or distributor for the show.

For example, if you were citing an episode of Sherlock titled “The Empty Hearse,” your reference page citation would be:

Gatiss, M. (Writer), & Lovering, J. (Director). (2014). The Empty Hearse (Television series episode). In S. Vertue (Producer), Sherlock [in italics]. London: BBC Worldwide.

The in-text citation would include the last name of the writer, the last name of the director, and the year of broadcast: (Gatiss & Lovering, 2014).

Entire Series

To cite an entire television series, include the producer’s name, the year of the series’ first season in parenthesis, the title of the series in italics, the location of the broadcasting company, and the broadcasting company name. For example:

Vertue, S. (Producer). (2010). Sherlock [Television series]. London: BBC Worldwide. Make sure the series title is in italics.

The in-text citation would include the last name of the producer and the year of the series’ first season:

(Vertue, 2010).