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Old February 11th 22, 21:01   #108
Psi Cop
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,049
Re: B5 Reboot?? Is it true??!!?!

From JMS' Patreon page, with permission:
J. Michael Straczynski
Feel free to quote this anyplace the “oh, the show is dead” nonsense sprouts up.

Whenever there’s news in the TV/film business – good, bad or indifferent – there are always those who, for their own pleasure, throw dust in the faces of fans in the hope of eliciting tears. The history of B5 is rife with them. Every season they would cite sources who said the show was definitely not going to be renewed, only to be proven wrong, which never stopped them from doing the same exact thing the next season, and the next, to try and upset people.

These stories are then repeated through ignorance, arrogance, spitefulness, foolishness, clickbaitery, or the desire to appear tuned-in to an industry which they were never a part of in the first place, or to which they are no longer relevant. (Or any combination thereof.) So let me put the lie to this latest one in terms that are clear, verifiable, and unambiguous.

1) Every year, dozens and dozens of network pilots are picked up for production, or turned down. Telling those on either side of that equation where they’ve landed is not considered a big deal, it’s part of the everyday process of making TV. If the B5 pilot were dead, the network would not hesitate to say so because they’d have no reason to do so. They gain nothing by obscuring the truth. But the president of the CW network called personally (followed by a second call from his top executives) to say that they loved the script, that it was most emphatically not dead, and that they were going to roll the script into their development slate for 2023. And in the days since those calls there have been more discussions with the network and studio about how best to ensure B5’s future.

2) In the nearly 35 years that I’ve been online, and the nearly 30 years of B5 history, I have never once prevaricated or soft-pedaled the facts related to any aspect of Babylon 5. The one and only time I withheld information was in regard to Michael O’Hare’s struggle with mental illness because it wasn’t my story to tell at that time, and while he was still with us it was none of anybody else’s goddamn business. In every other instance, I have been blunt and honest and straightforward with the fans through good times and bad. Don’t take my word for it, ask those who’ve been around for those 30 years. There is nothing to be gained by saying the show’s still in development if it isn’t, and much to lose, since doing so would agitate both the network and the studio and I would hear from legal affairs within an hour of making such a statement.

3) When in doubt, always go with enlightened self-interest. In the event the pilot were not to be picked up, my contract gives me the legal right to immediately turn around and shop the pilot script elsewhere. If the CW had simply said we’re not doing it, end of conversation, I would be shouting from the metaphorical rooftops and knocking on every literal door to take it elsewhere, and the fans would know about it because their help in making that effort visible would be essential to the process. (And there are several networks who are very much aware of B5 and the fan base and how well it’s done on HBO Max who would be extremely interested in that prospect.) Saying that I and the pilot are sticking with the CW precludes the script from being taken elsewhere, so you can be damned sure I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

It’s unfortunate that after all these years I still have to come online to do this sort of thing, but I suppose that, too, is just a part of the process.

"You know, I used to think that life was terribly unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair? If all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." ~~Marcus Cole
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