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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: OtherSyde came out with a B5 reference...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 1/6/1996 11:42:00 AM  

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OtherSyde came out with a B5 reference in 1990; B5 was announced as a Go
project, with a description of what it was about, in the trades in November
1991; the DS9 premise was conceived over the following winter, and announced
around January/February 1992. I know the season very well in terms of the
time of year because it was 2 days before Christmas when I got a call from
someone long associated with ST who said, "Joe, are you sitting down? I just
thought you ought to know, it looks like they're going to use a space station
as the regular base for their new Star Trek series." I then called someone
else I know associated with ST and asked if they'd heard this, and got it
verified. The premise was just then being put together, and wasn't formally
given the go-ahead until later in January.)

As it happens, when DS9 was formally announced, it came within inches of
killing B5 in the early stages of pilot pre-production. Warner Bros. was
already very iffy about the syndication marketplace to sustain mor than one
space-oriented SF series; they kept telling us that there isn't really an SF
market, there's an ST market, and if it ain't that, it won't work. What
helped them go along with it was we were based on a space station. When DS9
was announced, and suddenly it wasn't just two SF shows in a marketplace they
thought couldn't sustain more than one, it was two SPACE STATION shows, one of
which had the ST name, and they were sure we were gonna get creamed. To this
day, I suspect that if we hadn't already signed all the contracts, and spent a
lot of the money assigned for prep, with all the announcements in the press,
some folks at WB probably would've pushed hard to stop the B5 project, and
might've even succeeded. That we made it through that is a testimony to a
very few angels at WB and PTEN -- Evan Thompson, Dick Robertson and Gregg
Maday -- who stuck by us at the beginning.

jms

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