I figured out what the problem is with the Videos.app and it’s pain in the arse bullshit with not displaying tv shows by their programme name, then series number.
It’s a two-part problem that’s not entirely obvious. The first part is the way Videos.app sorts. The second part is the fact that Videos.app doesn’t always get new metadata when it “refreshes”.
For those people who have set the Artist, Album, Album Artist, Sort Programme, Sort Artist, and various other metadata that seems redundant, it is redundant, and is entirely unnecessary unless you wish to set non-obvious sorting arrangements, e.g. a show like A Bit of Fry and Laurie has it’s first letter removed by iTunes by default for sorting, but you can put the A back in using the Sort Programme field.
The only metadata fields that your iPad needs to display tv shows in correct order is Programme, Series, Episode No., Episode ID, and Track Number. I haven’t checked but I’d wager that even Name (for the individual episode name) is not needed by Videos.app, it’s just nice to know what episode we’re watching.
It took me a while to figure this out because I thought that each time I closed Videos.app and iTunes they would exchange fresh new data when I tried to watch a show on my iPad, it took long enough to load sometimes, but this is apparently not the case and old data hanging about caused a major fuck up with the displaying of shows iTunes was sharing.
So, after you’ve put the important metadata on your TV shows, and assigned a unique ID to each show with the script Increment Number Tags from Doug’s Applescripts (I use [programname][###] for the format),
Shut off Home Sharing on your iPad/iPhone/iPod AND iTunes.
When you turn Home Sharing back on they should properly refresh and your TV shows should be all nicely arranged again.