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No Show. Why not books?


I'm sure it is comparatively obvious to everyone here by now that Crusade will only grace our screens by disheveled retrospects of the original run. But surely the series was conceived as something larger than what it was and justifiably deserves to be told, even in an abridged, rather than truncated form.

A great way to acheive this would be to revive the series on the printed page. I, for one, enjoyed the ensuing trilogy of trilogies based on the first series immensely - even with their far between release dates. I've noticed the lack of them on the shelves of bookstores, so I'm assuming they've sold decently. So why not continue with an episodic telling of the unfinished second series?

And with a series based on Crusade, it would not be necessary to have a complete introduction to the story (Galen is a prominent character in the Technomage trilogy and Gideon is also featured). Not only that, but cameos from original B5 characters could be done without having to negotiate with the actors! It could also be a way to incorporate the characters we barely caught a glimpse of in the Rangers series as well.

I know that DelRey have begun to reissue some of the old Dell Books (I'm hoping they do not do so with ALL of them) and have no plans for anything new concerned with B5. I just thought that if the interest were there, it should be a consideration.
As long as JMS thought there was a chance of telling the Crusade story on television in one form or another, he was dead-set against doing it any other way. (And up until Sci-Fi turned down a Rangers series, he still had such a hope. If Crusade itself didn't come back as a companion series to Rangers, he planned to deal with some of the Crusade plot threads in Rangers.)

He has also said that he conceived Crusade as a television series, and that if he'd wanted it to be a book (or series of books) he would have written it that way. (One difference between completing Crusade in prose and the B5 trilogies is that the Del Rey books dealt mostly with side events and backstory, not with material directly germane to the main B5 story - how the station became a gathering place for the Younger Races, the base from which they ended the Shadow Wars, and the birthplace of an Interstellar Alliance that would last a million years.)

Beginning in 2000 he started sounding a little more open to the idea of dealing with the story in book form. The problem is that A) he has to make a decision that that's what he wants to do B) he has to find a publisher and said publisher has to sign a licensing deal with Warner Bros. (Crusade is a different show, and would not be covered by the existing contracts) and C) JMS would have to find time to write at least the outline for the books, and then supervise the editing. He's a pretty busy guy, in case you haven't noticed.

So a series of Crusade novels is possible in the future, but I wouldn't expect it anytime soon.

BTW, Del Rey does plan to reprint all of the Dell novels.


One reason why the novelizations of movies are usually pretty bad is that writing a script and writing a novel are very, very different. Exposition is handled very differently. So is character development, and, yes, even plotting. (Some may argue with me on this point, but I'll take ya on if necessary /forums/images/icons/wink.gif ).

If you concieve of something for television, to put on a television screen, to unfold on TELEVISION, it wouldn't be easy to transfer it to novelese.

And sometimes you wouldn't want to.
Well, I just read the unproduced Crusade scripts, and I thought they were amazing. I'm not sure why JMS and Avery, don't just publish those together--they're already written. I'm also kinda upset that To The Ends of The Earth wasn't made as one of the first 12 episodes--it could have really brought in new viewers, and had a great mythology arc thing going.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
it could have really brought in new viewers, and had a great mythology arc thing going.


Which would have made no difference whatsoever. If "To the Ends of the Earth" had been shot as episode 14 and aired in the summer of 1999 along with the rest, the show would still have been dead as of January 1999. The ratings were never the problem with Crusade.


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Wasn't Crusade cancelled by TNT before the first episode aired?


Yes, exactly. The show was cancelled in January of 1999, and didn't air until that summer (July.) Hence my point that even if the unproduced scripts had been filmed and had attracted new viewers, this wouldn't have change anything.


Exactly. And I still do not blame TNT for not wanting Crusade. I will continue to blame them for making it impossible for another network to make a go of it.

If you don't want it, sell it at a reasonable rate. But to hold onto it for the sole purpose of killing it off. /forums/images/icons/mad.gif

I broke my personal boycott of TNT just once: for that crappy rendition of Avalon, or whatever it was. I'm not saying the story was crappy, maybe it was and maybe it was just the rendition TNT gave it.

But I've never found a reason to watch TNT since.

I just can't believe a network would go out of its way to kill a show just because they decided their target audience wasn't going to be the group likely to watch that show.

Give it up, yes. But kill it? /forums/images/icons/mad.gif /forums/images/icons/mad.gif

I just don't get networks.
Joe, if Crusade got critical acclaim and higher ratings, I'm sure TNT would have thought about bringing it back. You think if USA had cancelled Dead Zone before it aired and then it came out of the box with a 6.0 million rating, they wouldn't want to shoot more eps? You've got to be kidding me. It show buisness money means everything--Will Smith and crew claimed just a year ago they'd never make a MIB 2--but now voila! we have a MIB 2! and why's that? because people in show buisness are greedy---they realized they'd still make a profit if everyone got back-end deals, and they made a movie. If TNT saw a ratings spike and huge interest, nothing could stop them from getting Crusade back--it's all in the money. Even creative issues with JMS--if he got enough money he'd do it.

Emfeeli, I think the point being made was that it would have taken astronomical ratings (enough to make TNT change their entire programming strategy).

They literally did kill Crusade before a single second of it aired. What the hell did THAT have to do with ratings? /forums/images/icons/confused.gif

And if they didn't want it, why didn't they sell it quickly at a reasonable rate? /forums/images/icons/mad.gif /forums/images/icons/mad.gif /forums/images/icons/mad.gif

Why? Because TNT means Total Network Trash.

Sorry, but I had to but in my 2 cents. I'd say this is all just my opinion, but only the latter part is.

TNT literally cancelled Crusade before it ever aired. And then effectively refused to sell it to another station.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I will never forgive them for refusing to let it go. If you don't want it, then let it go for gods sake. /forums/images/icons/rolleyes.gif
Hypatia is expressing my exact feelings on this, and since the thing with Crusade, there was only one thing i ever watched on TNT, which was WCW, and once that was gone, i no longer ever tuned into TNT for more than a second.
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<font color="yellow"> Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino: </font color>
The show was cancelled in January of 1999, and didn't air until that summer (July.)


Crusade aired on TNT from 06/09/1999 to 09/01/1999.

However if War Zone had not been requested, we would have gotten To The Ends of the Earth as the 13th episode, and there would be a more compelling reason to have re-started Crusade. There would probably be more fan demand, reflected in higher Crusade ratings on Sci-Fi. Now this probably would not have caused Sci-Fi to re-start Crusade, but at least we'd have one of JMS's last two Crusade scripts in TV form.

Instead, we have War Zone. /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif (used as a "I'm feeling queasy." symbol) /forums/images/icons/frown.gif /forums/images/icons/blush.gif
I think we can all agree that TNT sucks. It's just a fact. What's this about them not letting go of Crusade though? I don't think I've heard about that.

"What's this about them not letting go of Crusade though? I don't think I've heard about that."

IIRC, TNT set such a high price for the B5/Crusade rights that it just wasn't feasible for another network to buy it. I think the Science Fiction channel was interested in it back then.

IIRC, JMS had to wait until TNT's rights expired before he could try to sell (this now OLD and failed) show.
And then TNT relented and let it go what, about six months before their rights expired, right?
June, July, whatever. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

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And then TNT relented and let it go what, about six months before their rights expired, right?


Essentially correct. TNT's exclusive ran through January of 2001, Sci-Fi wanted to debut B5 in September of 2000. But Sci-Fi was prepared to wait and bring the show to their network in March 2001 if necessary, rather than pay the kind of exorbitant price TNT had demanded the last time. This left TNT no bargaining power, since Sci-Fi could afford to wait them out, so they made the deal for relatively little money, from what I've heard.

The financing was the real deal-killer with Sci-Fi, so no matter what kind of ratings Crusade pulled on TNT, and no matter which scripts were nor were not shot, the show simply wasn't going anywhere in 1999. Sci-Fi had already allocated its series budget for the 1999/2000 season by the time Crusade became "available" Even then heroic efforts were made to do the show, and if I recall correctly JMS has said that the real deal-killer was not the budget or the (admittedly high) price TNT asked for the existing Crusade episodes, but the price asked for the B5 re-runs (without which Sci-Fi would not take the spin-off.)


JoeD: "the real deal-killer was not the budget or the (admittedly high) price TNT asked for the existing Crusade episodes, but the price asked for the B5 re-runs (without which Sci-Fi would not take the spin-off.) "

I'll try to remember to be more specific in the future /forums/images/icons/wink.gif :

I will never forgive TNT. O.K, so they decided that 'Crusade' was not their cup of tea and they didn't want it. Fine. But then don't hang onto it just to be sure it doesn't have a chance in hell at another network. That d***** TNT would not sell their rights to 'Crusade' and the B5 reruns at a reasonable price.

Better? /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

Anyhow, I find myself not minding the fact that I refuse to watch TNT anyway. As I said, the one time I did break my personal boycott I was terribly disappointed anyway.

And at this point between myself and TNT, that is saying A LOT. /forums/images/icons/rolleyes.gif
Once or twice (in the past few months - probably more in the years before that) they've shown comercials for something on TNT (I think "Witchblade" in this case) during breaks during "Babylon 5" on SciFi. SciFi wants to show TNT comercials, fine - it's their channel. But I really don't think they should be allowed to show them during B5. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

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