A miniseries (or mini-series) is a television show that tells a story in a predetermined, limited number of episodes. The term "serial" and/or "series" is used in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth nations, though its meaning does not necessarily equate to "miniseries" in its usage.
A miniseries is distinguished from an ongoing television series; the latter does not usually have a predetermined number of episodes and may continue for several years. Before the term was coined in the US in the early 1970s, the ongoing episodic form was always called a "serial", just as a novel appearing in episodes in successive editions of magazines or newspapers is called a serial. In Britain, miniseries are often still referred to as serials and/or series.
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