Re: ATTN JMS: Warner Bros

 Posted on 12/9/1996 by to

The potential problem is many-headed, like a hydra. The short
version...the entity that created PTEN was a consortium of independent
stations and WB. That entity basically no longer exists, and now WB is
funding B5 in its entirety. When a corporation disappears, the wise thing
to do is to dissolve all the assets and cash it all in, NOT keep spending
money on it.

It's a weird situation in that the *copyright* is owned by WB, but in many
ways, the *show* is owned by PTEN, so WB can't just go around reassigning
rights within its own organization. And WB Network, as a network, must
define its own image...we know, from in-house discussions, that they would
not take on B5 because they want to create their own shows, not inherit
them second-hand.

See, with most companies, the goal for each division is real simple: make
money for the parent company. But WB is a series of little kingdoms which
are DESIGNED TO COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER, *not* to cooperate, on the theory
(when this was put into place as executive policy) that this would lead to
more aggressive divisions.

WB is happy with the show...the problem, and we're (and they're) still in
the process of gauging how much of a problem this that we're
caught in this kind of corporate spiderweb, and the spider is gone. All
that remains is this series of entanglements, contracts, rights provisions
and the like.

You also have to remember that while B5 has been making money for WB from
day one (a requirement of all WB shows these days), you don't start making
any real money on a show until AFTER you've finished producing you
aren't spending anything, just reaping the financial benefits of long-term

So we're just in this maze for now, trying to figure out if that glint in
the distance is daylight, or a Minotaur with an Uzi.