A special is a movie or one-time event that is associated with a show but does not fall within a season. An example of a special is the Downton Abbey Christmas Special. Specials can be either previews or clips. Only a Video Asset can be added to a special.

How Specials display on PBS.org

A Special is indicated by a label located on the Special. More Specials are available below.


You can view all assets associated with your Special from the Specials page by using the arrows and plus signs next to each object. And you can access all objects from the Specials page by clicking the object links, Please refer to the following video to see how:

(Click the  symbol in the bottom right corner of the video to enlarge)

How to create a special

FieldNotesRequired for create?
TitleTitle of the special. 60 character limit, including spaces.Yes
SlugAuto-generated unique identifier that cannot be changed after initial save.Yes (automatically generated from Title, and is editable only prior to initial save)
Short Description90 characters or less, including spaces. Used primarily when space is limited, such as on apps and small screens.Yes
Long Description400 characters or less, including spaces.Yes
PBS Content IDAuto-generated unique identifier.Yes (automatically generated; not editable)

Syncing specials is still in progress, so you may find that there are no matches in TVSS.

Unique Gracenote identifier that is matched to an associated ID in the TV Schedules Service (TVSS) API.

(1) TMS ID fields:

TMS ID FieldDescription
Matched TMS ID (Default selection)

Matched TMS ID automatically attempts to match a show or episode with its corresponding object in TVSS. If a match is successfully made, the Gracenote-generated TMS ID is populated and TVSS details (title, description) are provided for context.

If no match is found in TVSS, it’s due to one of the following reasons:

  • PBS has no corresponding object in TVSS.
  • The object exists in TVSS, but the metadata for the object in TVSS and in Media Manager is too different to produce a reliable match.

If no match is found in TVSS, this status is provided in the TMS ID and TVSS Details fields.

Custom TMS ID

If selected, user must enter a known, valid TMS ID that is generated by Gracenote. Manually-generated TMS IDs are not permitted.

A common use case for this setting is when an automatic match cannot be made with the Matched TMS ID setting, it allows a user to enter a valid TMS ID .

This selection overrides a Matched TMS ID.


No TMS ID prevents a TMS ID from being assigned (automatically or manually) to the object.

This selection overrides a Matched TMS ID.

(2) Existing TMS ID: The TMS ID that was manually entered and already existed in Media Manager. This only displays if there was an existing TMS ID in Media Manager.

(3) TVSS Details: Displays the show details that are pulled from TVSS when a successful match has been made between the TMS ID and TVSS.


Episode NOLASix-digit broadcast code that represents a show, season number, and episode number.No
Premiere DateOriginal on-air or online broadcast date.Yes (pre-filled with current date; is editable)
Encore DateOn-air rebroadcast date.Yes (pre-filled with current date; is editable)
CreatedThe date and time the special is created.N/A
UpdatedThe date and time the special was last updated.N/A

  • Click the Show that will include the special and click the Specials tab (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • Click Create Special (Figure 2).

Figure 2

  • In the Title textbox, type a title for your episode containing no more than 60 characters, including spaces. The slug auto-populates as you type the title (Figure 3.1).
  • In the Short Description textbox, type a short description containing no more than 90 characters, including spaces (Figure 3.2). This appears in search results when a user searches for your show.
  • In the Long Description textbox, type a long description containing no more than 400 characters, including spaces (Figure 3.3). This appears on your video asset page and should providers viewers with a little more information about your show.
  • When finished, click Save (Figure 3.4).

If you receive an error message (500) when saving your file, check the Title field to be sure your character count has not surpassed 60 characters. If you have copied and pasted your title from another source such as Microsoft Word, some special characters, such as apostrophes, quotes, and commas may count as multiple character spaces and put your title over 60 characters. Try manually typing your title into the Title textbox.

Figure 3

  • The Special has been saved and all fields from the previous screen are pre-filled. You can modify some of the fields, such as Short and Long Descriptions.
  • Fill out the Episode NOLA in Core Data tab (Figure 4.1). This is not required. The Episode NOLA is the six digit numeric code that identifies a specific episode within a program. 
  • The Premiere Date and Encore Date default to the date the Special was created. To modify the date, manually type the date into the textbox or click the calendar icon on the right side (Figure 4.2).
  • Click Save (Figure 4.3).

Figure 4

  • Click the Assets tab to add a video asset for your Special (Figure 5).

Figure 5

How to add assets

Learn how to create a video asset

How to add additional data

  • Click the Additional Data tab to provide additional information about your Special, such as:
    • Links to buy the DVD or purchase the special on iTunes, donate to a station, or link to the producer site responsible for the special.
    • The collection to which the special belongs.
    • The language in which the video is presented. 

Figure 1

  • In the Links section, click the Type dropdown menu and select the type of link you want to add to your special (Figure 2.1).
  • In the URL textbox, type the full URL to the page associated with the selection you made in the Type dropdown menu (Figure 2.2).
  • Click Add More to add additional rows (Figure 2.3).

Figure 2

  • To delete any of your selections, simply click the trashcan icon next to the selection you wish to delete (Figure 3). The selection is removed and cannot be recovered. If you deleted it by mistake, you must add it again.

Figure 3


  • To add your special to an existing collection, in the Collections section click the name of the collection to which it should be added (Figure 4.1).
  • The number of available collections is listed at the top of the selectbox on the left (Figure 4.2).
  • To search existing collections, type keywords in the Filter box (Figure 4.3). 

Figure 4


  • Click the Language dropdown menu and click the language that reflects the primary language in which your special is presented (Figure 5.1). The default language is English but can be changed to Spanish.
  • When finished with all of your Additional Data selections, click Save (Figure 5.2).

Figure 5

  • An alert appears notifying you that your changes have been saved (Figure 6).

Figure 6

How to delete a special

  • Click the title of the special you want to delete (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • In the lower left corner of the screen, click the red Delete Special button (Figure 2).

Figure 2

  • Click Yes, I'm sure (Figure 3.1).
  • If you change your mind and don't want to delete the special, click No, take me back (Figure 3.2).

Figure 3

  • The special has been removed from Media Manager (Figure 4).

Figure 4

How to view specials

You can view your list of Specials in three different ways:

Menu optionDescription
Last modifiedThe special that was most recently modified appears at the top of the list
A-ZSpecials appear alphabetically in ascending order
Z-ASpecials appear alphabetically in descending order
  • When viewing your show, click the Specials tab to view your list of specials (Figure 1.1).
  • Click the Sort dropdown menu on the right side of the page and click the option by which you want to view the list (Figure 1.2). The list changes dynamically each time you select a different option.

How to move or reassign your special

If you have added your special to the wrong show or you need to change your Special type, follow these instructions.

TMS ID Matching Logic for Specials/Episodes

The below diagram illustrates the logic used to attempt matching specials and episodes in TVSS and Media Manager. (Click diagram to enlarge.)