BAck in the day B5 was groundbreaking for a number of reasons - in the US that included the story arc idea. But another of the bigger more well know areas is the extensive use of CGI. If it wasn’t for that the thing would never have been made in the first place. (The whole 5 years trying to find a home because of trek is a bit of a red herring – it was FX costs that scared off the execs)
I've been recently reading JMS's numerous posts and as far as I've understood the story, Babylon 5 was a hard sell because at the time most of the high profile science fiction shows went way over budget. For instance V nearly destroyed Warner Bros. so they were understandably very cautious. Also the sad fact is that Trek did
pretty much monopolize the so called "space adventure" area of science fiction in television and no one thought that smaller shows could compete against Paramount's success. That's just business.
I would say that CGI actually helped to sell the show because using computers was a lot cheaper than making traditional models. To directly quote JMS: "On a cost-per-shot basis you can get a lot more bang for your buck with CGI than models."