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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Well, here's the situation....
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 12/3/1992 10:06:00 AM  

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Well, here's the situation....

My timing has always been off, and the story of Babylon 5 has been one of
struggle against odds from the very first chapter. WhereEVER did I get the
notion that this would change?

A little history for those looking on...last year, when we brought B5 to
the stations involved in the Consortium, and to Warners, everyone was hot and
ready, having just formed this new consortium, to get things moving. They
were all ready to commission a B5 series right off the bat, until one or two
people near the top said, in essence, "Look, this sounds totally unproduceable
for television, something on this scale can't be done for TV, maybe there
should be a pilot made *first*, just to show that it can be done. Then we'll
go with the series if it can come in on budget and on schedule." There was
some disagreement, but eventually that came to be what was done.

So now, it's a year later. As well as B5, the new network commissioned
two series, Kung Fu and Time Trax, and a Wild West Miniseries. Over the last
few days, everyone was re-convened in the hopes of moving ahead now on B5 and
one other project. Just one problem: human psychology.,

If you add up the amount spent on series, B5, miniseries, publicity,
other expenses, you're up to the $25 million range and counting. That's a lot
of dough and thus far none of it has been aired. And to come to them now and
ask for more...well, it wasn't the time. They've bought shows, and they want
to know _ correctly, one must come to understand _ that those shows will
WORK, that the money spent so far has been a wise investment.

Consequently, everything is now ratings (like it ever wasn't, when it
comes to TV?). We're so close to airdate now _ two months _ that the
general concensus was, "Let's see how it does in the ratings." Then we will
get the go.

It's frustrating, but Warners has made it clear that they continue to
stand behind the show, that this really has nothing to do with B5 at all
because no other shows were picked up during the meeting, which was part of
the desire, it's simply a matter of people having spent a lot of money wanting
to know that they invested wisely.

That's showbiz.

Which means that now, once again, all of you play an important role in
this saga. The word has to continue to go out, that's a given...but perhaps
even more important, if you like what you see when B5 airs, it's absolutely
vital to write or fax both your local TV station and Warners to let them know.
It's the stations who have the voice on this, and the one voice they hear
clearest is yours, as the viewer. (Or use the GEnie system to fax stuff,
which may be quicker and easier.) Not now, after the airing.
If you *don't* like what you see...then don't. What matters is doing it only
if it's right.

More on this as it develops.

jms

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