How to cite a TV show in MLA
To cite an episode of a TV show in MLA style, list the episode title, the name of the show (in italics), the names and roles of any relevant contributors, the season and episode numbers, main production or distribution company, and year.
In an in-text citation, cite the name of the episode in quotation marks. You can use a timestamp to highlight a specific moment in the episode.
|Format||“Episode Title.” TV Show Title, created by Creator first name Last name, season Number, episode Number, Production Company or Distribution Company, Year.|
|Works Cited entry||“Fly.” Breaking Bad, created by Vince Gilligan, season 3, episode 10, High Bridge Productions, 2010.|
|In-text citation||(“Fly” 22:34)|
Citing an entire TV series
If you’re not citing a specific episode but an entire TV series, the format is similar. Just start with the name of the series, and end with the range of years across which it aired.
|Format||TV Show Title. Created by Creator first name Last name, Production Company, Year–Year.|
|Works Cited entry||Game of Thrones. Created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, HBO Entertainment, 2011–2019.|
|In-text citation||(Game of Thrones)|
Citing different contributors
While TV shows are generally produced by a wide variety of contributors (actors, directors, writers, producers, etc.), MLA is flexible about which ones you list in your reference, and where you list them. The decision is yours, and depends what you’re focusing on in your citation.
If you focus on the contribution of a particular person, you can list them in the author position, clarifying their role after their name.
|Format||Contributor last name, First name, role. “Episode Title.” TV Show Title, season Number, episode Number, Production Company, Year.|
|Works Cited entry||Cranston, Bryan, performer. “Fly.” Breaking Bad, season 3, episode 10, High Bridge Productions, 2010.|
|In-text citation||(Cranston 22:34)|
You can also list as many contributors as are relevant after the show title, in addition to or instead of the one in the author position:
Only the contributor in the author position is listed in the in-text citation. If the Works Cited entry begins with the episode or series title, a shortened version of this is listed in the in-text citation instead.
Citing TV shows in a specific format
It’s generally fine to just list the details of the series or episode without specifics about the format you watched it in. However, if for any reason you think this information is relevant, you can adapt your reference to include it.
If you viewed the TV show on a streaming site like Netflix or Hulu, you can add the name of the site (in italics) and the URL where the series or episode can be found.
|Format||“Episode Title.” TV Show Title, created by Creator first name Last name, season Number, episode Number, Production Company or Distribution Company, Year. Site Name, URL.|
|Works Cited entry||“Middle Game.” The Queen’s Gambit, episode 4, Flitcraft, 2020. Netflix, https://www.netflix.com/watch/80234304.|
|In-text citation||(“Middle Game” 25:15)|
DVDs and other home media
If you viewed the show on home media (e.g. DVD, Blu-ray), adapt the reference to list the name shown on the packaging, list the year of release shown there, and include the disc number if there are multiple discs. If the title already states the season, you can omit this later in the reference.
The year when the episode originally aired can optionally be included after the episode title.
|Format||“Episode Title.” Original broadcast year. DVD Title, created by Creator first name Last name, season Number, episode Number, Production Company, Year, disc Number.|
|Works Cited entry||“Out of Town.” 2009. Mad Men: Season Three, created by Matthew Weiner, episode 1, Lionsgate Television, 2010, disc 1.|
|In-text citation||(“Out of Town” 15:44)|