Social Question

dabbler's avatar

What's the difference between "starring" and "featuring" ?

Asked by dabbler (18189points) May 14th, 2011

Saturday Night Live introduces a bunch of the cast as “starring” and some of them as “featuring”. Also Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life” the Crimson Permanent Assurance cast are listed that way too.
What’s that mean ?

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10 Answers

Vunessuh's avatar

I’ve always thought that some of the “featuring” cast members on SNL were going through some kind of trial period or prolonged audition before being chosen to become permanent cast members. Perhaps to see how they are received by the SNL audience, among other things. Although, I’m sure it mostly means that “featured” cast members are only on episodes every once in a while as opposed to every episode.

King_Pariah's avatar

Starring = Main Role(s)
Featuring = possibly an appearance that could be just a cameo.

Blueroses's avatar

@SABOTEUR is sorta correct. It’s all negotiated by the performer’s agents in ways to make their clients’ names stand out from the crowd. source
Heather Locklear was “special Guest Star” on Melrose Place in the billing even though she had a major role. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just politics.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Starring is top billing.
Featuring is second banana who is also important but cannot carry a project alone and does not get as big a paycheck, but you also want them to feel special so they will work with you again just in case they make a comeback or they end up becoming a big hit in some TV sitcom and you might need them in the future.

marinelife's avatar

It is a difference in billing. Starring cast members are acknowledged to be key members of the cast earning the top billing and money.

aprilsimnel's avatar

And then there’s “and”.

Game of Thrones is doing this with Peter Dinklage. All the other performers are listed, Sean Bean first because he’s the star and the one Americans recognize, then it’s actor, actor, actor… and Peter Dinklage. This is done when a smaller role with less screen time is being played by a more famous name than one would reckon to have in such a role.

Seelix's avatar

@aprilsimnel – I thought of “and” as well, and also of Game of Thrones. They start with Sean Bean and Mark Addy, then save Peter Dinklage ‘til the end. I think you’ve got it right – a well-known actor in a smaller role often gets the “and”, and it’s sometimes even ”and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister”.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

For me I think of it as starring means like… The actors and actresses appear in a show as a main character.
But if they are featured then it’s more like just being featured for a short amount of time/s… Cameos.

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