Sci Fi Channel Poll

 Posted on 9/16/1999 by J. Michael Straczynski <> to CIS

{original post had no questions}

The only thing wrong with your argument is that it doesn't have
anything to do with why and what TNT did, which stems from incompetence
and testosterone, not logic or business.

Re: the B5 reruns...yes, the ratings dropped, because they would
run 5 in a row, then rerun the same five right afterward, rather than
giving it a good run, so you're showing eps that just aired a few weeks
earlier, and which everyone's seen. And on top of that, you have your
on-air ads announce "all new episodes," when they're those very same
reruns, and you can onlyh pull that crap so many times before people
give up...and on top of THAT they began moving it all over the schedule
to the point where even *I* didn't know when it was on at various

The series had done well enough in the ratings, and had grown,
across four seasons. When did it run into problems? When it hit TNT.
The primary reason that it was initially going to end with S4 was
because PTEN was gone, the WB network didn't want competition in the
marketplace, and the distribution mechanism was effectively gone.
That's why TNT *bought* a fifth season, because it had been doing well.
And it's done extremely well, up to and including S5, everywhere else
on the planet *except* TNT. That kind of points to the reality that
the problem was in how TNT handled it.

As for Crusade...because we wouldn't make it the show TNT wanted
-- Baywatch meets Wrestling in Space -- they wrote it off and did
everything they could to make damned sure it wouldn't succeed, because
if it DID succeed, it would prove that we were right and they were
wrong, and they absolutely would not allow that to happen. And since
they never coughed up much in the way of production money -- leaving
nearly all of that to WB to pick up -- they had nothing to lose in
doing so.