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The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive

 

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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS:IGN (Filmforce) Interview
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/10/2000 12:02:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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Reposting since this got bounced back....

>So, TNT Atlanta wanted to get rid of Crusade because we B5 fans weren't
>watching their other shows, huh? Instead of sabotaging Crusade, they
>could've said "It's not working out, so we'll give up the rights & let
>you take B5 & Crusade somewhere else". Instead, they drive you & the
>fans nuts with their behavior!

The problem was that apparently, as reported to them by a year-long survey
they'd commissioned, TNT viewers didn't much care for SF. When B5 came along,
the hardcore TNT viewers would tune out, and the B5 viewers would come in. But
the average B5 viewer wasn't much interested in what TNT had to offer
otherwise, so they tuned out at the end and the TNT viewers came back. So no,
it wasn't adding to their viewers by making folks stick around after B5 was
over. I don't see that as being our real responsibility, we're too busy making
our own show to look at what comes after we're gone.

>You said that whenever you can't write what you want to write, you get
>out. You were the only one who had to suffer when you quit
>newspaper-jobs, but now that you have people working under you, is it
>harder to make the decision to get out? I would think it would be.

It does become progressively harder. What's not generally known is that at one
point, I walked off Crusade. It was when the worst of the notes came in, and I
told Doug, and I told WB...I'm gone. I can't do what they're asking me to do,
it's wrong, find somebody who will.

They prevailed on me to come back, and the main tool for this was "What about
the crew and the cast? If you walk, what happens to them?" Reluctantly, after
several days, I came back...and this led to the big notes meeting with TNT
where I told them I couldn't/wouldn't do what they were asking on moral,
ethical and creative grounds.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS:IGN (Filmforce) Interview
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/11/2000 7:26:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

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>That's something I've always wondered about; why didn't you try to
>pitch Crusade to one of the networks? One would think you'd had enough
>clout by them to have them at least consider it.
>

Wouldn't work. It's a status thing. Shows tumble down from network to
syndication or cable, they don't swim upstream from syndie/cable to network.
Just not done.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS:IGN (Filmforce) Interview
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/12/2000 9:31:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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>You mean like the Star Trek franchise, going from syndicated TNG to
>network DS9 and Voyager? OK, granted that they had a 30 year running
>start, but it shows that it can - and has - happened. Nonetheless, I
>can see where the resistance would be considerable.

You're comparing apples and oranges. It isn't a case of selling ST to an
existing network, they piggybacked the *creation* of a new network on a program
which was solid in syndication. Different creatures.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS:IGN (Filmforce) Interview
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/12/2000 9:33:00 AM  

Message 4 in thread 

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>The one where they had to look up a word in the dictionary, yes?
>So, when does WB get the relevant rights to Crusade back from TNT?
>
>

WB has always *owned* Crusade; the rights to broadcast went back to WB after
TNT finished airing the eps in first run, I believe.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS:IGN (Filmforce) Interview
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/13/2000 1:16:00 PM  

Message 5 in thread 

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>Instead of going up stream why not make a lateral move and go back into first
>run syndication. WB seemed supportive of the show so why not go back to where
>B5 started out?

Because the syndication market today is not the syndication market that existed
6+ years ago...UPN and Fox and Tribune have snapped up nearly all of the
available stations, and it's extremely hard to get a berth in what's left
without giving up financial aspects that WB won't give up on any of its shows.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS:IGN (Filmforce) Interview
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/14/2000 7:45:00 AM  

Message 6 in thread 

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>I don't understand something. If WB owns the rights to Crusade, why don't
>they sale them to SCI FI channel and earn money with the episodes instead
>of them just letting them set around?
>
>

WB can't just say, Hey, you, buy these. A company has to come to them. Now, I
have reason to believe that if B5 does well, SFC might very well come back and
buy the rerun rights to Crusade after the first of the year. Beyond that,
we'll see.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: ATTN JMS:IGN (Filmforce) Interview
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 9/22/2000 6:49:00 AM  

Message 7 in thread 

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BTW, for those interested, there's an online real audio interview with me at
Givemetalk.com:

http://www.givemetalk.com/asp/actuallisten.asp?UserID=4268&ShowID=3780&Ser
iesID=1931&CategoryID=30&TA=1


jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
B5 Official Fan Club at:
http://www.thestation.com
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

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