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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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 Message
    From: Jms at B5
 Subject: Re:The Last, Worst Hope for
      To: AOL  
    Date: 12/15/1995 7:18:00 PM  

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(3 messages)


{how can people be interested in a show that's getting cancelled all over?}

Kydreamer: what you have to remember is that the syndication marketplace
is undergoing *huge* changes right now, and has been for the last year. In
most markets, you're lucky if you've got even one or two independent stations
(non-CBS, NBC or ABC). Between the growth of Fox, and UPN, those stations
are now almost all locked down, and are required by contract to give
preference to programming made by their affiliated networks. Now you've got
2 hours a day that are available for prime-time programs, 8-10, that's it
(most indies usually show news from 10-11). That's a grand total of 14 hours
a week, and there are currently about 250 syndicated shows all competing for
those 14 available hours.

Usually, we rate between 30 and 50 overall, which is very good in that
crowd of 250, so in most cases holding onto the station isn't hard. But in
some markets, where the squeeze is on, and there's only one station
available, if UPN or FOX pushes hard enough...the show goes. This has,
however, happened in only about a handful of places out of something like 198
total stations, so we're still pretty solid. The problem comes when 15
people in one area all post messages that their station has dropped B5, and
what people tend to see is that there are 15 messages about this, so it must
be a big problem. (And in at least two, possibly three of those cases
another station, sometimes a *better* station, has leapt in to pick up B5's
contract.)

We've had a number of preliminary conversations with the folks at WB to
determine how best to adjust to this in the fourth season, which at this time
is looking very encouraging. Several notions have been suggested by them to
help counter or work with the changing syndication marketplace. Some of them
are quite interesting, though it's too early to comment much more than that.



jms

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