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Jan 09-02-2013 04:55 AM

Free Babylon 5!
 
Interesting group of posts over on Twitter a little while ago. This was sparked after several people pointed out that Babylon 5 got a prominent mention on 'Breaking Bad' last night.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
Babylon 5 mentioned in tonight's Breaking Bad. Between this and Big Bang Theory we have apparently become the nerd version of Jeopardy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
Honestly, if fans want the original Babylon 5 back on the air as more than an obscure reference, then y'all need to get organized and loud.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
Honestly, if fans want the original Babylon 5 back on the air as more than an obscure reference, then y'all need to get organized and loud.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
"@______ Was that a rallying cry by any remote chance?" Who, me?

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
Some days I think the "Free Mars!" campaign should now be "Free Babylon 5!"

In response, somebody asked if it were trapped?

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
@leedargue As a matter of fact, yes.

A UK fan mentioned that it's still on TV and popular there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
@philyburkhill And it's one of the few SF shows of that period that's NOT on in the US and hasn't been for nearly ten years.

Another fan asked if DVDsales reduce rerun demand.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
@_______ Not in this case, at this late remove.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMichael Straczynski
Ain't never gonna be sufficient heat for any new B5 as long as the original sits on a shelf gathering dust instead of viewers. #FreeBabylon5

(Yes, folks, JMS created a hashtag!)

So...lets discuss this. But I don't want it to be a discussion of what we'd like to see if there's ever new B5, let's keep it to how - and where - we should campaign for B5 reruns.

Where:
- SyFy channel is the obvious one.
- Science channel is less obvious but given that B5 has more real science than Firefly, this might be a good fit.
- What about other channels higher up the cable listing? Veronica Mars is in reruns on the Soap channel. What might be a fit, however stretched, for B5?

How:

- I'm thinking that we need to tell WB that we want them to feature it on Netfix or other streaming sites AND approach channels to ask to buy it in reruns.
- We all know a bunch of sites where B5 is still discussed and loved. We can all post about a campaign there.
- We can start a FB page. And a gathering place on Google+
- At some point we'll want to go to the press perhaps. But that may a ways in the future.

Thoughts? Ideas?

Jan

Jan 09-02-2013 06:01 AM

By the way, I hear we've got issues if you want to register and join the conversation. I've let DougO know so hopefully we'll be back up soon! Meanwhile, post your thoughts over on the Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/JMSNe...66660736714346

...and I'll bring them over here.

#FreeBabylon5

Jan

Sinclair's Fan 09-02-2013 06:21 AM

Holy Cow, this is the first reasonably big news from JMS on the subject of B5 that we've had for awhile!

Okay so..., I'm not really sure how the facility for repeats works in America. Is JMS saying that if the show becomes popular in repeats, then some entirely new B5 product might get the go-ahead? :):):)

Hopefully!
:D:D:D

Babel-17 09-02-2013 06:24 AM

Hulu is another possibility. They aren't an independent entity but they have money and are really in need of viewers.

"For three hours straight all he talked about was something called Babylon 5"

lol, I was going to post about that. :)

Sometimes Breaking Bad does webisodes. Maybe we should tell them that there would be demand for hearing some of that three hour conversation.

Jan 09-02-2013 06:37 AM

Think of the history of Star Trek. It was cancelled *twice* because of poor ratings. Then, after going into reruns it found its audience and became a huge franchise.

We don't necessarily want a huge franchise but I don't think we want Babylon 5 to just be relegated to bad punchlines, either.

But I see this as having a few fronts if it's to be successful.

First front: Warner Bros. Let them know that we want to see it on TV and streaming

Second Front: TV and Streaming - let them know that we want them to feature Babylon 5

Third Front: Make it an *ongoing* campaign. Yeah, they might notice a big bunch of emails and posts and hashtags in the short term but we need to keep letting them know.

Jan

Looney 09-02-2013 06:52 AM

Am I the only one who thinks we should do the opposite of all this. What I think we need to figure out is how to convince WB that the show is so forgotten and even hated that they'll give in and sell their rights to JMS cheap. Come on people! 70% of everything going on in this country (The States) right now is a scam and we can't figure out how to trick a Hollywood Studio into releasing our beloved from captivity?! :confused: ;)

frulad 09-02-2013 07:07 AM

I'm wondering if Netflix streaming, Hulu or even a video on-demand solution might not be a better option than approaching a cable channel. It seems that more people are switching to streaming formats to watch complete series as it allows them to watch on their own schedule without having to fiddle about programming their DVR, they don't have to wait until the reruns cycle back around to season 1, episode 1 and they can binge watch* instead of relying on a steady drip of one episode per day.

Of course, there would have to be some sort of awareness campaign that the series was available via streaming.

An additional upside is that Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are all looking at developing their own content. If B5 does well with them they might be interested in creating more.


*Which would definitely be in the show's favor

Ubik 09-02-2013 07:17 AM

I'm all for it.

Seeing as Netflix have bankrolled Sense8, if it is a success, viewers are going to want to see other things JMS has been involved with. It seems like a no brainer for them to put all five seasons of B5 live for streaming when they launch Sense8.

This would be the most logical course of action. We could lobby Netflix, as they already have a relationship with JMS.

dmezynski 09-02-2013 08:43 AM

I'm in for any campaign to get more B5!

JoeD80 09-02-2013 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 107977)
Interesting group of posts over on Twitter a little while ago. This was sparked after several people pointed out that Babylon 5 got a prominent mention on 'Breaking Bad' last night.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Babel-17 (Post 107980)
"For three hours straight all he talked about was something called Babylon 5"

lol, I was going to post about that. :)

I mentioned this over on the guest star sightings thread, since Bryan Cranston was on B5!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Babel-17 (Post 107980)
Hulu is another possibility. They aren't an independent entity but they have money and are really in need of viewers.

It used to be on Hulu and WB took it away to use on their competing "thewb.tv" streaming service instead.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ubik (Post 107985)
Seeing as Netflix have bankrolled Sense8, if it is a success, viewers are going to want to see other things JMS has been involved with. It seems like a no brainer for them to put all five seasons of B5 live for streaming when they launch Sense8.

This would be the most logical course of action. We could lobby Netflix, as they already have a relationship with JMS.

It's my understanding that one of the reasons Netflix financed Sense8 was because Babylon 5 was one of their most popular streaming shows when they used to have it. I'm guessing WB put a stop to that streaming service as well...

Jan 09-02-2013 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Looney (Post 107982)
Am I the only one who thinks we should do the opposite of all this. What I think we need to figure out is how to convince WB that the show is so forgotten and even hated that they'll give in and sell their rights to JMS cheap.

I think we need to concentrate on what JMS has suggested and let him deal with negotiating with WB. He's got a degree in psychology, after all. ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by frulad (Post 107983)
I'm wondering if Netflix streaming, Hulu or even a video on-demand solution might not be a better option than approaching a cable channel.

I'm for going to all venues. Nothing wrong with reruns on cable and streaming available. After all, when Trek first went into syndication, it was on two or three regional channels that I could get (back in the dark ages before cable).

Quote:

An additional upside is that Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are all looking at developing their own content. If B5 does well with them they might be interested in creating more.

*Which would definitely be in the show's favor
Absolutely! The whole idea is to generate interest from fans and networks and everybody.

The thing is, B5 fans have never been organized. It's time to see if we can't get a lot of us marching in the same direction and *doing* something to get what we want.

Jan

Looney 09-02-2013 11:18 AM

I'll say it again. I don't think this is the way to go. Showing interest just tightens their grip on it. There has to be a way make them think it is so worthless that they just turn it all over to JMS. Of course that is still highly unlikely. We have all read how the original DVD sales were great, despite the fact that they messed up making them, and WB still didn't put any money into the franchise. So how is getting episodes released through an online outlet going to benefit the real goal, which should be JMS getting total control?

My guess is that if it were released through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or whatever and a huge amount of interest was generated, which I highly doubt would happen, the best we could hope for is them offering JMS no budget to do another project or some sort of BSG style reboot that I don't think I am interested in seeing.

I hate to be negative about it and maybe it would be good for us all to get our hopes up. It is true that there is a community out there, but the question is how do you get their attention in a unique way? The letter writing campaigns haven't really worked well before, so who has a new idea? And anything like KickStarter or things of that nature is NOT the way to go. It sounds great, but as it has been said before you are just giving people who already have more money than they know what to do with more money.

And BTW, I am sure it will make its way onto one of those streaming sites soon enough. It is inevitable. Warner Brothers may even put it on their Archive Collection streaming channel. They keep trying to get me to sign up for it. Their are tons of old movies and I think shows, but it is $9.99 a month, which is more than those other mainstream sites. So if they do that, it will not be good for the show because that site has a limited viewing audience.

valens_shadow 09-02-2013 11:24 AM

I don't understand this hash tag malarkey but I'm willing to give it a go.

#FreeBabylon5 show Babylon 5!

Babel-17 09-02-2013 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeD80 (Post 107988)
I mentioned this over on the guest star sightings thread, since Bryan Cranston was on B5!


It used to be on Hulu and WB took it away to use on their competing "thewb.tv" streaming service instead.


It's my understanding that one of the reasons Netflix financed Sense8 was because Babylon 5 was one of their most popular streaming shows when they used to have it. I'm guessing WB put a stop to that streaming service as well...

Very informative, thank you!

Jan 09-02-2013 11:45 AM

Anybody who doesn't care for this method is free to do what they like. I'll point out though, that JMS has mentioned a few times now that he's in casual negotiations with WB to get at least the TV rights. Given that, I'd always figured it would be best to stay low and not let WB know how badly we want new B5.

But this is new and something JMS has never suggested before. I'm going to assume that he knows what he's talking about and do my best to help with the
Quote:

y'all need to get organized and loud.
campaign.

Kickstarter is no use to us here because we don't need money for anything. But social media and perhaps a judiciously chosen petition site, and maybe getting the actors involved in spreading the word...and maybe other ideas just might work.

Let's keep this to ideas to make it work. It's not our problem to worry about what might be offered to JMS - all we need to concentrate on is getting B5 back on TV and/or streaming in order to help attract more fans.

'Cause I had the same reaction to the Breaking Bad reference as it seems JMS did. We've been reduced to a punchline, and I don't like that.

Jan

Looney 09-02-2013 12:31 PM

Oh that is not the first time we've been reduced to a punchline. I don't recall specific examples, but Babylon 5 has been used as the punchline for a few shows and movies I've seen in the past.

Jan 09-02-2013 12:38 PM

Well, as a certain Captain we're all fond of has been known to say, "Enough is enough." :) Face it, we'll never be able to compete with Trek, or even Firefly fans for numbers. But we're a passionate bunch.

Jan

Jan 09-02-2013 01:32 PM

I've created a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FreeBabylon5

#FreeBabylon5!

:)

Jan

frulad 09-02-2013 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeD80 (Post 107988)
It used to be on Hulu and WB took it away to use on their competing "thewb.tv" streaming service instead.

Does the thewb.tv have an app for Roku devices or something similar for TVs or does it strictly stream to computers?

KoshN 09-02-2013 01:46 PM

So, shouldn't we indicate support by using the #FreeBabylon5 hashtag and tweeting like HELL???

I'm not a frequent Twitter user and don't really understand it (e.g. who sees what I post, or how hashtags work), but I (‏@MacBreck) just put up two tweets:


#FreeBabylon5

and

#FreeBabylon5 We NEED Crusade continued and completed, and the story of THE TELEPATH WAR to be TOLD!!!

KoshN 09-02-2013 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 107998)
I've created a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FreeBabylon5

#FreeBabylon5!

:)

Jan

I just saw this thread and cross-pollinated it into b5tv.com .

Sinclair's Fan 09-02-2013 02:32 PM

"Enough is enough!"
Yes, I'm afraid B5 and it's fans have been slagged-off since day one. I remember back in the wayback-when, one particular magazine constantly referred to us "constipated B5 fans"..., WTF does that even mean?! Unimportant, nevermind.

To reiterate my earlier question, if a campaign were succesfull, would JMS give us some new product? The reason I ask is; after WB screwed him over on the budget for The Lost Tales, JMS said he wouldn't bring B5 back unless it was as a huge, multi-million dollar blockbuster feature film....

:D

KoshN 09-02-2013 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sinclair's Fan (Post 108003)
"Enough is enough!"
Yes, I'm afraid B5 and it's fans have been slagged-off since day one. I remember back in the wayback-when, one particular magazine constantly referred to us "constipated B5 fans"..., WTF does that even mean?! Unimportant, nevermind.

To reiterate my earlier question, if a campaign were succesfull, would JMS give us some new product? The reason I ask is; after WB screwed him over on the budget for The Lost Tales, JMS said he wouldn't bring B5 back unless it was as a huge, multi-million dollar blockbuster feature film....

:D

What can it hurt to try? Use the #FreeBabylon5 hashtag on twitter and ask for continuation/reboot of BABYLON 5: CRUSADE (a continuation with largely the same actors, OR a retelling of what we got with a new or partially new cast, OR even a complete reboot of the story the way JMS wanted to do it before the Drakh plague was forced upon him, with a new or partially new cast.), AND telling of THE TELEPATH WAR.

Sinclair's Fan 09-02-2013 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 108004)
What can it hurt to try? Use the #FreeBabylon5 hashtag on twitter.

I'll pass these details on to my friends for ya. I'm not on twitter..., or any of those 'social' networking sites, for that matter..., but I know others who are.

:)

JoeD80 09-02-2013 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 107993)
'Cause I had the same reaction to the Breaking Bad reference as it seems JMS did. We've been reduced to a punchline, and I don't like that.

Well the same characters referenced were talking about original series Star Trek in the previous episode (and mentioned Voyager). I thought that it was a nice shout-out - being mentioned at all is more acknowledgment than WB has given the show lately...

Quote:

Originally Posted by frulad (Post 107999)
Does the thewb.tv have an app for Roku devices or something similar for TVs or does it strictly stream to computers?

Dunno. I never liked their service that much, and they like to rotate episodes in and out rather than always keeping them available. (Sorry it was thewb.com)

Jan 09-02-2013 03:10 PM

I agree, tweeting up a storm is a good idea. But I caution everybody not to get scattered in our mission. FIRST we need to get WB to bring the existing product out of mothballs. THEN we need to ask for new stuff - mainly through JMS.

Quote:

...after WB screwed him over on the budget for The Lost Tales, JMS said he wouldn't bring B5 back unless it was as a huge, multi-million dollar blockbuster feature film....
That's been changed to include TV. But a sufficient budget and total creative control are still requirements.

Jan

KoshN 09-02-2013 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 108008)
I agree, tweeting up a storm is a good idea. But I caution everybody not to get scattered in our mission. FIRST we need to get WB to bring the existing product out of mothballs. THEN we need to ask for new stuff - mainly through JMS.



That's been changed to include TV. But a sufficient budget and total creative control are still requirements.

Jan

HOW CAN Warner Brothers "bring the existing product out of mothballs" other than to air it on The CW or (spit! :p ) TNT, the only networks in which they have influence? What are they supposed to do, shop it (old B5 reruns) around for interest? Cut the price of the rerun license? The latter is probably something that would send Warner Brothers suits and accountants into alternating fits of laughter or hysteria/panic or cause heart attacks.

Jan 09-02-2013 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KoshN (Post 108009)
HOW CAN Warner Brothers "bring the existing product out of mothballs" other than to air it on The CW or (spit! :p ) TNT, the only networks in which they have influence? What are they supposed to do, shop it (old B5 reruns) around for interest? Cut the price of the rerun license? The latter is probably something that would send Warner Brothers suits and accountants into alternating fits of laughter or hysteria/panic or cause heart attacks.

Mac, that's the whole point of this campaign. To get channels interested in airing Babylon 5. Why not the Science Channel? They aired Firefly to good ratings. Or the SyFy (or however they're spelling it this week) channel where it did air before.

This needs to be focused on getting the show back to being available to be discovered.

So...from now on, please post your *ideas* for contacting the networks and streaming services and WB. We know you're bitter about the past but you either need to set that aside of just don't get involved at all.

Jan

KoshN 09-02-2013 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 108010)
Mac, that's the whole point of this campaign. To get channels interested in airing Babylon 5. Why not the Science Channel? They aired Firefly to good ratings. Or the SyFy (or however they're spelling it this week) channel where it did air before.

This needs to be focused on getting the show back to being available to be discovered.

So...from now on, please post your *ideas* for contacting the networks and streaming services and WB. We know you're bitter about the past but you either need to set that aside of just don't get involved at all.

Jan

I think we should be asking for more than JUST reruns. We should also focus on resolving the CRUSADE and TELEPATH WAR dangling threads.

Jan 09-02-2013 04:02 PM

Duplicating a post on the FB page. Can folks go out and find the official FB pages and Twitter feeds and post them here? That way we can spread them around and people can ask them to consider re-running Babylon 5.

Thanks!!

Jan

Ubik 09-02-2013 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 107993)

'Cause I had the same reaction to the Breaking Bad reference as it seems JMS did. We've been reduced to a punchline, and I don't like that.

Really? I think it's GOOD that B5 still has enough weight behind it to be considered a relevant pop culture reference. Breaking Bad referencing the show is great.

I'm all for getting B5 back into the mainstream though. I'd focus attention on streaming services like Netflix, Lovefilm. Broadcast TV is becoming less and less relevant (at least in my eyes). I don't even own a TV anymore.

Jan 09-02-2013 04:05 PM

Post any contacts or sites you make contact with here, okay? Thanks!

Jan

babylonlurker 09-02-2013 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 108010)
Mac, that's the whole point of this campaign. To get channels interested in airing Babylon 5. Why not the Science Channel? They aired Firefly to good ratings. . . .

Jan

Hasn't Science Channel recently had a rerun of Fringe, too. That's a rerun of a 5 year arc , and it has happened, so why not B5, indeed.

Jan 09-02-2013 04:12 PM

New post from JMS about the campaign:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
To the online backinh and forthing...some hard facts. Because Babylon 5 isn't on the air in the US anywhere, it's impossible for the show to add new viewers except one at a time, friend to friend, or if you've heard about it enough to want to shell out the money for the DVDs. Casual viewers can't stumble across it while channel surfing. (As we all know, after Trek was canceled for poor ratings, it found its audience in syndication.) So in answer to the photo below, either WB has to be convinced to release the show somewhere, or a network like Syfy or Chiller or another along those lines has to be prompted to pick it up. If not, quite honestly, and without any way to add new viewers, the show will eventually slide into obscurity. This ain't something I can do, or even directly participate in. It's up to the fans now.

Jan

Triple F 09-02-2013 04:18 PM

ThereÆs a danger something like this can turn into a scene form the Life Of Brian û the point will get lost in the committee meeting discussing minutia. Jan is correct, the details can be worked out by the people who actually make the decisions.

Setting up the Facebook page is a good idea. ItÆs a starting point where people can easily register their support with a single key click and (hopefully) everyone û including article writers - can actually *see* the level of interest, thus potentially increasing interest further.

The more time consuming emails and letter writing (something that remains more or less invisible to most fans) can be carried out by the more committed to the idea.

The B5 fans base is huge. But itÆs largely moved on or became cynical at the thought of new content over all these years. So making it easy to do, is the best way to get this particular snowball moving. Making a point that jms has done a complete 180 on his previous comments about fan campaigns might be something worth highlighting** Because, whatever it was, thereÆs a reason why he did that.

Ubik 09-02-2013 04:20 PM

I messaged the io9 facebook page about the campaign, but it might be worth contacting a journalist / editor at their website about covering it. That said, I'm struggling to find a contact... but someone may know someone!

KoshN 09-02-2013 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jan (Post 108014)
Post any contacts or sites you make contact with here, okay? Thanks!

Jan

https://www.facebook.com/metvnetwork

KoshN 09-02-2013 04:24 PM

Wouldn't one of the best ways to increase the attention to this be putting the #FreeBabylon5 Twitter hashtag everywhere you can, e.g. in your email sigs., on your car, etc. ? CafePress bumperstickers?

Jan 09-02-2013 05:35 PM

Definitely want to put it on electronic media but as far as I know, so far Twitter and Facebook are the main ones that track hashtags. Possibly Google+ also? I don't know. I don't think bumper stickers would be helpful in this instance. Though it might make some folks curious once we get it back on the air!

Jan

Looney 09-02-2013 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frulad (Post 107999)
Does the thewb.tv have an app for Roku devices or something similar for TVs or does it strictly stream to computers?

I know the Warner Archive Collection streaming has a Roku App. WB Archive Instant. $9.99 per month. That is the only related app I can find on my Roku.


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