First let me state, again, I don't care about the who stole from who thing, DS9 and B5 are my two all time favorite shows, s, this is merely a curiosity, because it is an incredible coincidence
Sheridan took his Sunday Drive to Meet Lorien (Aired in November 1998, but, was ready to be aird a year earlier at the end of S4, until TNT saved the show for a S5)
Sisko took a Sunday Dive to hang out with his mother (Aire May 1999)
Did JMS pitch enough about the futur story plans to hint at the ending to his arc? I know his original idea was much different as to the end game for Babylon 5
This is not an attempt to stir up anything, or provide proof of anything, it's just a curiosity, since Sisko ws pretty much set up for his end of Arc with the pilot, and it was pretty similar to the end of Sheridan's arc.
How much was in JMS's pitch/package to Paramount? Did he include every single trap door and branching storyline? The series was originally about Sinclair,
. Instead, they just moved that up and crafted a totally new ending for Sheridan IIRC. Did he have backup characters for everyone mapped out, or just for the commander? The only time Paramount got B5 material would've been 1992 on back. They would not have secretly been getting material at later times. The Sheridan ending was a stretch for Paramount to have and plan all that time. Then again, maybe DS9's writers were inspired by having watched the B5 series finale in Nov 1998.
Nerys Myk wrote:
I think Hopstaken's timeline is a little off. Babylon 5 was already in its first season when the Chris-Craft stations decided to pull out of PTEN and form the core of UPN.
Also I dont recall DS9 being affiliated with PTEN, it was a syndicated show that was shown on independent stations ( some of whom did join WB and UPN) I don't see a mention of Paramount in Wiki
about PTEN just Warner Bros and Chris-Craft. Paramount and Warner did join forces to form the CW, but that was a few years later. And Star Trek Voyager was the show that launched UPN. Maybe the post's author is conflating several events?
Yes. PTEN was formed from an alliance of 2 of the partners that went on to make UPN & WB (Warner-Bros teamed up with Tribune to help form WB, Chris-Craft with Paramount to form UPN). After PTEN formed, they both decided to form a full-fledged network of their own. IIRC, the repeal of some law in 1993 made it much more favorable for Paramount & WB to get involved directly in making a network as opposed to this special quasi-syndication format that was PTEN. PTEN was hobbled by a few issues, not the least of which was both partners having their eyes elsewhere. They were committed to PETN thru the 94-95 season, but once each of the networks came along in Jan 1995, PTEN was abandoned, being a glorified syndication package schedulable for any time and no new shows were developed. We can tell this because when Time Trax ended, to keep a 3rd show, Pointman was created. After 1995, each show lasted as long as their ratings would take them, which was thru the ends of 1995, 1996, and late 1997 respectively.
DS9 was straight syndication, so it was often on stations with PTEN shows, because PTEN only had 4 hours a week of programming at its max. If you saw Voyager on that station it was likely one of the Chris-Craft ones. Chris-Craft itself had put up a lot of money for season one; in season two the stations themselves had to make up that difference when the company backed UPN instead. A lot of other independent stations were added at that time. Since UPN and WB didn't have full week schedules at the time either it was possible to see all the UPN/PTEN/WB shows mixed on the same channel.
It seems like a lot of people have a cloudy view of syndication.
Most PTEN stations were independent, but some were Fox. They fell below the national clearance threshold so had to sell the shows to Fox stations for airing anytime (since Fox had a full schedule by 1993) to bring the percentage up or else they'd be a half-national network like Pax/Ion.
From there, some PTEN stations became WB affiliates, some because UPN affiliates.
JMS himself considered B5 to be functionally in syndication and the ratings publications regarded PTEN (Babylon 5, Time Trax, Kung Fu: TLC) as syndicated, not grouping its shows in looking at the networks duking it out (i.e. Big Three + Fox).
DS9 (and TNG, among many other shows) were in first-run syndication. The majority of stations that bought TNG & DS9 (early on) were independent stations. Independent stations sought out first-run content because it gave them something potentially hot to get viewers regularly tuning into. Syndication was good for them. First-run sitcoms did well in the '80s, first-run cartoons did well in the '80s & '90s.
Except for an affiliate switch that was going on that claimed some CBS, NBC stations, WB & UPN were built from independent stations, Fox followed by WB & UPN leaving very few independent stations left in the country when once there were many.
Let me bold this:
There's no association with DS9 or Babylon 5 with UPN or WB!
For many, DS9 aired on a UPN affiliate. In my area, DS9 aired on a WB affiliate and a different station from the one that had TNG. And B5, despite being produced by Warner Bros, aired on a UPN affiliate in my area.
As noted by others, it took years for WB & UPN to fill up the schedule for 5 nights a week. UPN only launched with Mondays and Tuesdays, expanding to Wednesdays in 1996. WB started with Wednesdays, then claimed Sunday, and eventually took on more of the week. Until the late '90s, Thursday and Friday were still free on UPN & WB affiliates for syndicated series like DS9, Hercules, Xena, Earth: Final Conflict, and PTEN remnants like B5 and Kung Fu: TLC.
I was a Star Trek fan at the time. Regularly watched TNG & Voyager, watched DS9 in Season 1, but its boringness drove me away, only tuning in intermittantly for Season 3, getting back into it regularly for Season 4. B5 was mildly interesting and I do remember seeing some episodes, but I didn't get into it til 1996. I regularly watched DS9, B5, and Voyager eagerly over 1996-98 and watched the remaining series to their ends. I went straight from Voyager to B5 many nights (they aired back to back when B5 was on TNT and Voyager returned to its 8PM CT/9PM ET timeslot). Yeah yeah, I must be a sci-fi heretic or something, but I saw no problem with being fans of each of these series. I agree with the earlier sentiments it's great we got 2 excellent sci-fi series out of it and what, 286 episodes and some tv movies? What's to complain about?