Are episode names supposed to be in the credits?

I’ve been watching Futurama and the TV listing gives the episode name.
I can find the name on the fan sites.
But I have failed to spot it in the credits.
Shouldn’t it be there? Part of the copyright requirement or something.
Or is it an informal designation?

No, there’s really no requirement for the episode title to appear in the credits.

When the episode title is actually shown, it’s rarely, if ever, in the credits. There’s usually a title card at the beginning of the episode, after the OP. Sometimes over the opening scene, sometimes on a static title card before the action starts.

Futurama has never displayed title cards, but shows that do have them typically show them either directly after the main titles (for example, various Star Treks) or immediately preceding a cold-open (for example, The West Wing).

Most TV series do not show the episode titles onscreen. But the episode titles are distributed to the various television guides, and to services that supply online program guides (e.g., TiVo). The episode titles also appear on the copyright registrations, but it can be months or years before those registrations appear online.

I work for a subtitling company that titles episodics and features for major studios; it is my job to handle the non-English translations of titles of the projects we work on.

There is no legal requirement for episode titles to appear in the beginning or end credits. There does not appear to be any pattern along studio lines. Sometimes they are the first thing you see (like ER); most of the time, they appear within 10 minutes of the show (like West Wing). Sometimes they do not appear at all (think Friends).

The only requirements regarding titles I am aware of pertain to foreign countries-- for example, for some languages, we are required by law to subtitle title translations.

I seem to recall The X-Files had the episode title in the end credits.

Somehow I thought that would be covered by the same rules that cover all the other credits, so that the right people would get the right residuals for a specific episode.

You usually will find a unique episode number in the end credits for every TV show. For example, the next time you watch Futurama, on the last credit screen, you’ll see something like XACVYY, where X is the season number and YY is the episode number. For example, 3ACV09 is episode nine of the third season, The Cyber House Rules. ACV is the arbitrary code for Futurama. I dunno how those are picked. But The X-Files got the super-awesome code, “X.”

I have no idea how these are picked, either. The Simpsons had 7Gxx for the first season, which was intentionally chosen to reference Sector 7G of the power plant, where Homer is stationed. Then came 7F, 8F, 9F, 1F, etc. There was no 6F- the production numbers were switched over to AABF, BABF, etc. I believe they are up to JABF (skipping “I” because it might be confused for “1”).

Actually, the numbers represent the production order, not the airdate order- 3ACV09 was the eleventh aired episode of the third season. Not only that, there are usually holdovers from the previous production year that air at the beginning of the season (Futurama’s third season had three- 2ACV18 “The Honking,” 2ACV17 “War is the H-Word,” and 2ACV19 “The Cryonic Woman,” in airdate order.

Huh? I wonder why they would go with coded production numbers instead of titles. Sure makes things harder to refer to. Hey Bob, can you recheck Calculon’s wife’s name in episode 2ACV19?

In one of the commentaries on the Simpsons season one DVD Matt Groening mentions that Fox told them what format to use. I’d assume the arbitrary code for a particular series is just that: meaningless other than to differetiate it from any other code from a Fox produced show. Someone could probably dig up codes from various different series’ and see if there was a discernable pattern.

They don’t “go with” one instead of the other. An episode has both a title (whether it actually appears at the beginning of the show or not) and a production code number. For the book keepers, the code is an easy uniform format to keep things straight. They don’t care the name of a particular character or even what the show’s about.

The folks who actually work on the show can refer to them by codes, but presumably would generally use the titles. However, for their purposes the title doesn’t need to actually be visible to the audience.