JMSNews
The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive

 

JMSNews provides an archive of messages posted
by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

  Home      Community Forums      Contest      Links      FAQ      About JMS     

RSS Feed  

 Search all Messages

   Sort by: 

This field searches the text of all messages in the archive.

 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Attn JMS: Crusade on Sci-Fi - Question
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 4/11/2000 1:58:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

View this message only
 



>I disagree. JMS has said that it is way too early to get into
>the Crusade issue now. The time to ask SciFi to back Crusade
>(IMHO, of course) is AFTER the B5 reruns become successful on
>SciFi (assuming they do) and make SciFi lots of money.

I get the sense from some folks at SFC that they wanted to make the B5 deal its
own thing, without diluting it, and that they might well come back next year to
pick up the Crusade reruns as another kind of event to spike the B5 reruns a
bit.

Note: I'm not saying that's what's going to happen, only my sense of what will
*probably* happen, given some recent conversations.

Everything in TV has its time; shows are acquired at specific points and in
specific ways. That's why, for instance, the project Chris Carter and I had in
development has to wait until July/August before I can take it out again;
development season runs from about that time through October, then the door's
shut.

To that point, as an aside, since people have emailed and asked what is
involved in development in terms of my side of things....

In the case of the project I was doing with Chris, you don't simply jump over a
broom on the floor and say "Okay, we're now in development." (Taxi fans will
get that one.) Contracts are signed and deals made BEFORE you get into
development and before you pitch it to anyone.

Why?

Because let's say you DON'T sign a deal in advance. You take the project to a
network. They want it. The writer can then hold up the studio for exorbitant
monies because he knows the network wants the show. Studios will NEVER put
themselves in that vulnerable a position. (On the flip side, a writer wants to
make sure his or her position on the show is guaranteed in advance.)

So in the case of THE WORLD ON FIRE, once I'd pitched it to Frank and Chris,
and they liked it, before any development work could commence we had to strike
a deal between me, Ten Thirteen Productions, and Fox Studios. Negotiations
took about 2 or 3 weeks, if I recall.

In that deal, signed around July/August last year, Fox agreed that I would exec
produce the series if it were picked up. Chris and Frank would also be EPs.

Even though the show didn't get picked up because of the Harsh Realm situation,
what's significant is that a) the negotiation and deal, which is now a matter
of record at Fox, put my salary quote at nearly double what it had been at B5
(this is important because all new deals are based on your last deal), and b)
it proved what I'd believed: that having run B5 for five years, keeping it on
budget, on schedule, and making it hugely profitable for WB, was a hell of a
lot more important to the studios than the Crusade situation. Shows get
dropped all the time, sometimes in contentious circumstances.

What mattered to Fox and Ten Thirteen (and all this is a matter of record, I
couldn't say this stuff if it weren't true or Fox would nail my ass to the
wall) was what was done with B5. I don't think they were even *aware* of
Crusade, to be honest.

So when the next development season comes around in July/August, we'll see what
happens. In general I'd prefer to run my own show than come in on someone
else's show (show runners for new and returning series get hired May/June).
I've had some nice offers, including a project with Joe Dante that I'm very
strongly considering, but in general I'm holding out for something *cool*,
whether it's my own show or someone else's.


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: Crusade on Sci-Fi - Question
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 4/12/2000 6:40:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

View this message only
 



>So, it would seem that now *would* be a good time for the fans to let the
>Sci-Fi Channel that they are happy that Sc-Fi picked up the Babylon 5
>reruns, and that we also want Crusade.
>

I'm suggesting that they probably don't need much in the way of encouragement
in terms of picking up the 13 Crusades. So I'd go light on this.


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: Crusade on Sci-Fi - Question
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 4/12/2000 6:41:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

View this message only
 



>This leaves the question - would you be forced to once again take a serious
>pay
>cut, if you wanted do more Crusade?

Cart, horse. Horse, cart.

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: Crusade on Sci-Fi - Question
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 4/12/2000 8:06:00 AM  

Message 4 in thread 

View this message only
 



>So, it would seem that now *would* be a good time for the fans to let the
>Sci-Fi Channel that they are happy that Sc-Fi picked up the Babylon 5
>reruns, and that we also want Crusade.

One thing I forgot to mention in my prior post was that thus far SFC has been
just terrific and very excited about bringing on B5. They've stayed in touch
with me pretty much every since the announcement, and we're working out what
can be done to promote the show, how to best feature it, that sort of thing.

There have been a couple of ideas expressed that are VERY cool, but it's still
way too early to talk about them. I'll be meeting with Craig Engler from the
SFC web site and Sci Fi Wire in about 2 weeks to continue the discussions about
what can be done on that side as well.

It's nice to have a situation of respectful give and take rather than having
dictates handed down.

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: Crusade on Sci-Fi - Question
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 4/14/2000 8:16:00 AM  

Message 5 in thread 

View this message only
 



>Joe, this spikes a question in my mind ... Speaking strictly hypothetically,
>if
>SFC were to come to you and ask you to pitch a new series set in the B5
>universe --
>not an extension of "B5", not a revival of "Crusade", but a new show -- would
>you be
>interested?

It would all depend on the circumstances.

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: Crusade on Sci-Fi - Question
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 4/14/2000 8:21:00 AM  

Message 6 in thread 

View this message only
 



>Isn't your statement below pretty much the same thing that was said when
>TNT picked up B5?

Yes, because then we were dealing with TNT Los Angeles. TNT Atlanta didn't get
into the situation until after episode 5 was shot.

>Do the people you're working
>with at SFC have to report to other management who could make it the
>same sort of two headed monster TNT was?

No, as far as I know, it's one business, not a two-headed operation.

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)

Site © 2015 Midnight Design Productions  -  Message content © 2015 by Synthetic Worlds  -  Privacy Statement