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Old August 29th 13, 18:58   #11
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

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Reality check:

1) Time Warner is the largest, most successful media company in the history of the world. They didn't get that way by throwing good money after bad. In fact, they got that way by mass-producing very cheap, high-quality entertainment, and trusting their people to do their jobs so long as they brought stuff in on time and on budget.
I don't live in the US so not sure how HBO works but they seem to make good quality shows and reduce the cost by making only 10 episode seasons. Game of Thrones probably uses as much SFX as a new series of B5 would.
HBO and Showtime get their money by charging subscribers a monthly fee. Some of that money goes into making shows. Sometimes they simply get a studio to make a show for them w/out paying, and the studio hopes it'll make the money back in syndcation and/or DVD. Sometimes the pay cable channels make the shows outright. Usually it's a combination of these.

Seasons can and do go a lot longer. Stargate SG1 did standard 22-episode seasons the five years it ran on Showtime. Some go far less.

The new player in town is Netflix, which is creating new shows and streaming them. Nobody knows if this will make money yet, and it's a big gamble as they've invested a hell of a lot of cash in it. The big examples are the long-awaited 4th season of "Arrested Development" (Which is a huge disappointment) and "House of Cards" (Which is pretty frackin' awesome!) Assuming one can actually make money doing this, this could usher in a new golden age of TV. The whole "If" is a big one, though. Unproven new business model.
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Old August 30th 13, 19:25   #12
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

HBO's series budgets vary. The reason I saw for Deadwood being canceled was that each episode cost $5 million, which was more than HBO was willing to continue funding. That figure was largely due to location shooting in the California mountains, and a small army of extras who were kept on the payroll so you'd see the same faces walking around the town from one episode to the next. I'm not sure anyone noticed this attention to detail, I didn't. Great series, though. JMS said Babylon 5 episodes cost a little less than $1 million each, not sure what that number would be in today's dollars.

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Old August 31st 13, 21:26   #13
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

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HBO's series budgets vary. The reason I saw for Deadwood being canceled was that each episode cost $5 million, which was more than HBO was willing to continue funding. That figure was largely due to location shooting in the California mountains, and a small army of extras who were kept on the payroll so you'd see the same faces walking around the town from one episode to the next. I'm not sure anyone noticed this attention to detail, I didn't. Great series, though. JMS said Babylon 5 episodes cost a little less than $1 million each, not sure what that number would be in today's dollars.
It'd be about a million five now.

Stargate was a really cheap show to shoot for Showtime. I think like a million per for five years, 110 episodes. I was under the impression that SG1 generally cost about a million per, SGA generally cost about 2 million per, and SGU was about 3 million per, but I've recently come to realize I'm off on that by a considerable margin.

"Kings" and "Terra Nova" both ran about $4 million/per, and both were dead in 13 weeks. "House of Cards" likewise runs about $4 million/per, and did 13 weeks, but they had a 2-year deal up front. The new Galactica ran - I think - about a million five per.

There've been more expensive shows, but it generally seems the SF Genre can't bring in enough viewers to justify budgets in the $3-4 million range. Not counting "Lost," of course, which stayed firmly in the SF closet until the 5th season.
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Old September 8th 13, 04:33   #14
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

I wish JMS had made an anthology series with say 5 episode mini arcs that dealt with various stories in the universe instead of Crusade. They could have brought back B5 actors for short runs.
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Old September 21st 13, 16:57   #15
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

As much as I would love additional B5 universe stories, I'm afraid that ship has sailed. We have to enjoy what we have, much like The West Wing, House and other fan favorites.
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Old September 22nd 13, 03:36   #16
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

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As much as I would love additional B5 universe stories, I'm afraid that ship has sailed. We have to enjoy what we have, much like The West Wing, House and other fan favorites.

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Old September 22nd 13, 05:46   #17
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

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I feel that there is too much distrust between JMS and the studio for any more B5 to ever get made. But you never know....
You mean more B5 made by JMS. Eventually WB will tap that property again. Right now they know they won't have fan support without JMS.

I'm curious what the distribution/production method was going to be for the B5 reboot. Was it going to be a Netflix series? All I remember hearing was that it was going to be shortened seasons and an alternative distribution method.
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Old September 22nd 13, 05:51   #18
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

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I don't live in the US so not sure how HBO works but they seem to make good quality shows and reduce the cost by making only 10 episode seasons. Game of Thrones probably uses as much SFX as a new series of B5 would.
Game of Thrones has a lot less SFX than B5 would need. But GoT has much higher location costs to deal with.

Game of Thrones is a bit of an aberration as it has strong interpersonal relationships and amazing dialogue for genre programming. B5 is plot top heavy and would need serious rework in order to capture the fanbase and acclaim of say nu BSG which was never even really a big hit.
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Old September 22nd 13, 16:30   #19
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

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You mean more B5 made by JMS. Eventually WB will tap that property again. Right now they know they won't have fan support without JMS.
Interesting point. While Paramount owned Trek and not Roddenberry, Roddenberry continually threatened to sink Trek by campaigning against it on many occasions, and trashing it with the fans. Exactly how disastrous this would have been is unclear, but Paramount didn't want to chance it, so they just played nice. They put him in carge of TNG, and quickly realized they'd made a HUGE mistake, as the man simply wasn't a good showrunner anymore. This resulted in massive pissing contests behind the scenes (Wonder why Crusher left? Wonder why she returned?) and ultimately resulted in Roddenberry being removed from the show in all but name. They promoted him out of their way and gave him a job that consisted of little more than cashing a check.

Even still, the guy was threatening to trash Trek if people didn't bow and scrape before him. Valeris in "The Undiscovered Country?" That was written as Saavik. Roddenberry forced them to change it.

The question is: would TNG et al have been hits if Roddenberry campaigned against 'em? I'm going to say 'yes.' The time and place were right. Would revived B5 be a hit w/out Joe? I'm less clear on that. Roddenberry took a lot of credit for Trek's success, but it was very much a team effort. JMS gave a lot of credit for B5' success, but it was very much "The Joe Show."
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Old September 22nd 13, 16:59   #20
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Re: Babylon 5: Ten Lost Tales that Sholud Be Found

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I'm curious what the distribution/production method was going to be for the B5 reboot. Was it going to be a Netflix series? All I remember hearing was that it was going to be shortened seasons and an alternative distribution method.
I hadn't heard any of that, but Netflix favors 13 ep seasons.

Also worth noting that "Reboot" here probably doesn't mean "A reboot of the entire B5 universe." Probably just "Everything after B5.
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