Well, the B5
videos didn't sell very well over here (largely thanks to Warner Bros. premature hints about a DVD release), so there was never much chance of them releasing Crusade
. And the cookbook would have depended on getting a U.S. publisher involved.
generally did better in the U.K. and other countries during its original run because it was on a single network in a regular timeslot.
Here it was sold station-by-station and frequently moved. (I missed big chunks of the first two seasons because my local PTEN station kept playing three-card-monte with the show.) That meant that more people were aware of it and watching it, which in turn meant a bigger market for tie-ins. On this side of the Pond the novels weren't selling real well (OK, most of them were awful, but that's not what publishers see, they just look at the bottom line. After all, won't SF fans buy anything
with a spaceship on the cover?
So the merchandise has generally done better elsewhere. Awareness of the show went way up during the early days on TNT, and Warner Bros. was actually becoming interested in promoting it. Then the Crusade
debacle happened, the show was effectively taken off the air (running at 6 or 7 AM on Saturdays) and licensees (like Dell books) stopped renewing their contracts. Nobody else was going to jump on the bandwagon when the official magazine and fan club were going out of business. Warner Bros. quietly shelved plans for a B5
feature film and everybody waited for the TNT exclusive on the reruns to expire.
Now the show is back on in the early evening, a new TV movie and possible series are in the works, the DVDs are coming and the new novels are out there. (I have no idea how they've done compared to the Dell books, but since they're on the third of three trilogies I'm guessing they've sold well enough that Del Rey didn't try to cancel the project.
I'd say that we should start seeing lots more B5
stuff in the States in the next year or so, maybe even the cookbook. (Folks can always write to Del Rey and suggest it. I'm sure there's an affiliated imprint that would handle something like that.) Warner Bros. is letting the current merchandising agreements (negotiated when the original series was at a low ebb) lapse as they expire, precisely so that they can look for new
opportunities to cash in on the B5
universe once the new series is in the works.
If you want to put a bug in Del Rey's ear, the address is below. (I've written requesting that they publish an anthology of B5
short fiction and republish the Dell novels To Dream in the City of Sorrows
and The Shadow Within
. Maybe I'll drop them a line about the cookbook once I look up all the particulars.)
Del Rey Books
NY, NY 10036
Pat Tallman Division