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why were ivonava and sinclair written out?

did they want to leave the show or did JMS always plan to move these characters when he did? i had always heard that claudia christen left under bad terms but i never new for sure...
According to JMS, Sinclair's departure was story driven. It was felt burdening the character with a link to the Shadows in addition to the link with the Mimbari was a bit of a stretch, so the character left, but was able to return to complete his tory arc.

CC's departure is a more sticky situation. Apparently, talks between her agent and WB got completely buggered and resulted in her not being around for the final season. I would guess the whole thing got straightened out since she makes an appearance in the commentaries on the DVD's.

Anyone the knows the whole story, feel free to correct my sometimes wonky recall.
It was an unfortunate result of the mess that ensued when PTEN, the failed network that originally broadcast B5, went under after B5's fourth season. In the ruckus that was going while TNT picked it up for season 5, the scripts were being written, the actors signing on, there was some miscommunication between Christian's people and the show, with possible sneakiness by her manager/agent/whoever. So unlike Sinclair, Ivanova was only written off after the actress didn't come back.

O'Hare (Sinclair) wanted to leave the show for fear of being typecast and to return to theater work. JMS wanted to have Sheridan to at least share the burdens placed on Sinclair, ie, fighting the Shadows. The mutual solution is what we have left: Sinclair on Minbar and Sheridan on the station.
Additionally, if it hadn't been for O'Hare wanted to leave, Sinclair would've probably been around a bit longer, but as GKE said, he would've been replaced by Sheridan anyway, since JMS believed the arc was too heavy for a single character (Plus it made the whole 3 and 9 thing balance out better ;) )
Actually, in reading that thread, she says she wasn't responsible at all. From CC's post:

In conclusion:

I have never said I did not want to be a part of season 5. I would be happy to don Ivanova's uniform for episodes in season 5, the TNT movies of the week or the potential feature. My pride prohibits me from calling them. They know my number if they want me they can ask me. The ball has never been in my court people, I am just a pawn in this great chess game.
Found it! in a post from JMS in May 1998

there are also a number of other post in May concerning the issue on JMSNEWS.com

>About Claudia:

To those folks who have been ragging on me when I said that Claudia was
the one who quit the show, that she was NOT fired, and calling into
question my honesty and my forthrightness...I point you toward the
Summer issue of Sci Fi Invasion, containing an interview with Claudia
wherein she confirms, point blank, without equivocation, that she quit
the show.

I would hope these same individuals would now have the spine to
apologize, but I very much doubt it.
In a sense Claudia wanted more money. I was very disappointed in CC. I am reminded too of Halle Berry refusing to do another role in X-men unless she had a larger part and more money.
My understanding is, that it wasn't so much wanting more money, but, she wanted the same money, and a written guarantee of "X" number of episodes off for other projects. JMS couldn't commit to that in writing, as it would compromise deals with other actors, but, he was willing to write around it to give her that time off, which he had done several times in the past for other actors, so his previous actions showed good reason for her to trust his word, which either she or her agent wouldn't agree to.
In regards to CC wanting it in writing that she could X amount of time off, I wonder if it was her specifically wanting it or if it was a demand from whatever studio she wanted to film whatever movie it was that she wanted the time off for. Meaning: I wonder if that studio told her that she would only be cast in the part if she got it in writing that she could have the time off from Babylon 5.
That sounds familiar VL, so I believe you are right, that it came from whoever it was she wanted the time off for.

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