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Old 09-02-2013, 04:55 AM
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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
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:01 AM
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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
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2013, 06:21 AM
Sinclair's Fan Sinclair's Fan is offline
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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!
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2013, 06:24 AM
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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.

Last edited by Babel-17; 09-02-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2013, 06:37 AM
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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
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:52 AM
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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?!
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:07 AM
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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
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:17 AM
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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.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2013, 08:43 AM
dmezynski dmezynski is offline
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I'm in for any campaign to get more B5!
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
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 View Post
"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 View Post
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 View Post
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...
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looney View Post
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 View Post
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
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2013, 11:18 AM
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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.

Last edited by Looney; 09-02-2013 at 11:22 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2013, 11:24 AM
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I don't understand this hash tag malarkey but I'm willing to give it a go.

#FreeBabylon5 show Babylon 5!
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeD80 View Post
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!
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2013, 11:45 AM
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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
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