Import Movie Database (TMDb) Data to Google Sheets

In this guide, we’ll walk through how to pull movie and tv data from the community-driven site known as The Movie Database (TMDb) directly into Google Sheets, using the API Connector add-on for Sheets. We’ll first get an API key from TMDb, and then set up a request to pull in movie data to your spreadsheet.

CONTENTS

PART 1: GET YOUR TMDb API KEY

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up for an account at https://www.themoviedb.org/account/signup
  2. While logged in, navigate to your account settings page and then click “API”. Alternately, you can click this link to go there directly: https://www.themoviedb.org/settings/api
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  3. Generate a new API key by clicking the link in the “Request a new API key” section:
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  4. You’ll be prompted to select the appropriate type of API key for your project:
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  5. Read and accept the terms of use.
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  6. You will be asked to describe how you will use the API data you retrieve. While we aren’t exactly making an app, fill out all required fields as best as possible and click submit.
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  7. A new screen will appear showing your API keys. Congrats, you now have access to the TMDb API! Note that you can use either the API Key (v3 auth) or API Read Access Token (v4 auth) key for making requests to the API. However, since the v4 authentication method is newer and can be used across both API versions, this tutorial will use the v4 auth key.
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PART 2: CREATE YOUR TMDb API REQUEST URL

We’ll first follow the TMDb API documentation to get a ranked list of the top rated movies on TMDb.

  • API root: https://api.themoviedb.org
  • Endpoint: /3/movie/top_rated

Putting it all together, we get the full API Request URL:

https://api.themoviedb.org/3/movie/top_rated

PART 3: PULL TMDb API DATA INTO SHEETS

We can now enter all our values into API Connector and start importing TMDb data into Google Sheets.

  1. Open up Google Sheets and click Add-ons > API Connector > Create New API Request.
  2. In the Create Request interface, enter the Request URL we just created
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  3. Under Headers, enter two sets of key-value pairs like this:
    AuthorizationBearer YOUR_API_READ_ACCESS_TOKEN
    Content-Typeapplication/json;charset=utf-8

    Replace YOUR_API_READ_ACCESS_TOKEN with the read access token you got above in part 1, step 7.
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  4. Create a new tab and click ‘Set current’ to use that tab as your data destination.
  5. Name your request and click Run. A moment later you’ll see a list of top rated movies populate your Google Sheets.tmdb-img9

PART 4: MORE EXAMPLE API URLS

You can check the documentation for the full list of available API requests,  but if you just want to jump in, you can play around with the URLs you enter in the API URL path field. Try the following (one at a time):
https://api.themoviedb.org/3/discover/movie?sort_by=popularity.desc
https://api.themoviedb.org/3/discover/movie?primary_release_year=2020&sort_by=vote_average.desc
https://api.themoviedb.org/3/discover/tv?with_genres=18
https://api.themoviedb.org/3/genre/movie/list
https://api.themoviedb.org/3/trending/all/week
https://api.themoviedb.org/3/search/keyword?query=parasite

PART 5: HANDLE PAGINATION

The TMDb API limits the number of records returned in each request. By default, only the first page of records will be returned unless you use the ‘page’ parameter, and each page contains 20 records. To access more than 20 records, edit the “page” parameter to your URL path, like this:

page 1: https://api.themoviedb.org/3/movie/top_rated?page=1
page 2: https://api.themoviedb.org/3/movie/top_rated?page=2

With API Connector, you can either set these up as separate requests or loop through them automatically with pagination (paid feature) for added efficiency, like this:
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