"Without TNG to pave the way, we probably never would have had B5
Actually...not true. In fact, TNG has *hindered*, not helped, the
rise of new SF series.
Here's the biggest reason (and to be fair, this can't really be held
as TNG's fault, it's just the Way of the World). The TV industry has had
the belief, since the beginning, that the SF audience can only sustain one
SF series, and that that is Star Trek. (Or two ST series.) The single
biggest battle we fought from day one in trying to sell B5 was studio
execs who said, "Look, there's already a science fiction show out there,
the market can't handle more than one."
There's also the assumption on the part of many execs that there IS
no market for SF series at all...there's a market for Star Trek, period.
And look at the reality of it...in 7 years since TNG went on the air, how
many successful first-run science fiction series have come out? They
have all fallen by the wayside, the few that went out...and they ARE few,
extremely few. If ST "paved the way," why did it take 7 years to do so?
And Paramount (a separate discussion from ST) has not exactly been
helpful in terms of other SF series which it felt provided possible
competition. They've done a *lot* to try and hinder things. Paramount's
view of SF is, "Well, *WE* own space."
It took me literally seven years to get a B5 series on the air. I
know many, MANY writer/producers who've tried to get other SF series on
the air in syndication, and after years of failure against the ST
juggernaut, finally gave up. So you'll excuse me just a tad if I take
the idea of ST "paving the way" for anything *cum granus salus*.