What is the Hypernym for Movies, Film and TV Shows? One Word to Rule Them All? | Fanboys Anonymous

Why is it that we can refer to baseball, basketball, football, etc as "sports" and other types of hypernyms, but there's not one word that we can use that collectively means "television shows and movies"?

Every single suggestion I've ever heard doesn't actually apply.

Media = Too broad. Newspapers are media. Weather broadcasts are media. Twitter is media.

Cinema = That implies just movies/films and not television, as it revolves around going to a theater. But this might be the best thing, as we might just shift away from thinking there's a difference between seeing a movie in a theater and watching it at home, as well as watching a TV show at home or at a theater. The more we have films making their debuts at home on streaming services, the more "cinema" will be accepted, I think—especially if the lines blur more between a television series and a multi-part movie.

Film = Things are digital nowadays. Plus, that implies more so just movies and not TV. Also, you can film things that aren't movies or television shows.

Shows = A broadway play is a show, isn't it? Plus, nobody says "shows" and means "movies".

Motion Pictures = Everyone will just think that means movies. Also, the recordings you make of your kid's recital are motion pictures, but not movies or television shows.

Programs = What do you call a pamphlet that they give you at an event? What do you call when you set something up to record or to perform an action? You program your TV tor DVR a show. No real distinctive tie to movies, either.

Screen = That's just what you view these things on. Also, what type of screen? My cell phone is a screen and I can be on a phone call. That's not this. Neither are video games on your TV screen or monitor. Video games aren't part of this word we're going for at all.

Entertainment = What do you call all the other forms of entertainment, like music?

We need to create a word that means strictly "films, movies or whatever you call motion pictures that are of the cinematic nature along those lines, as well as television shows, made for TV movies, etc."

If it weren't for video games, I would say we should just merge screen and entertainment together to be screentertainment (but that's also a mouthful) because you ultimately do have to watch either of these things on some sort of screen.

In my mind, "movies" is more general than "films" and "television" is becoming outdated, too, as more and more people are watching TV shows on their phones or computers instead of specifically on their television sets. Thus, we need a word that means "a motion picture that is created for the purpose of storytelling as entertainment, with a writer and a story, that you experience by watching on some sort of screen, but isn't a video game."

Cinema should be the root of it. Ultimately, these are plays that are put on a screen instead of a live performance. But But maybe there should be an acronym, kind of like TV, DVD, etc.

These aren't the catchiest terms, but all I can think of right now are the following suggestions:

  • Cinemedia / Cinemadia = Cinema Media
    • ie, "Superhero movies and television shows are my favorite types of cinemedia."
  • VEC = Visual Entertainment Cinema
    • ie, "What times of VECs do you like to watch?"
  • MoPEM / MoPEC = Motion Picture Entertainment Media / Cinema
    • ie, "I'm really into MOPEM. I usually watch a couple MOPEMs each day."

Could someone else think of something better? Sure. But it's been decades and we still don't have a word for this, so someone has to step in and suggest it.

I want to know your ideas. What word should we invent to be a catch-all for movies and television shows? Drop your comments below!


Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer and podcast host of Fanboys Anonymous as well as all other A Mango Tree branches including Smark Out Moment. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, fiction writer and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.