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Old January 9 2013, 09:43 AM   #16
The Mirrorball Man
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

If I were in charge, I would cancel it. The premise wasn't very interesting, the potential for a Babylon 5 spinoff wasn't there, the cast was not particularly good and the whole thing would have needed a budget that it simply couldn't afford. I can't think of any way to make it work.
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Old January 9 2013, 09:57 AM   #17
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Apocalypse Box vs Technomage.

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Old January 9 2013, 01:54 PM   #18
Jan
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
I'm new to the who B5 rights BS, but what I don't get is why hint that season 4 is the last, only to continue on with a season 5 and a spinoff, then just screw with the spinoff? Did the network get a new boss?
Entirely new network, actually. B5 was originally on the PTEN (Prime Time Entertainment) Network, a consortium of independant TV stations. By the end of season three, the structure had begun to crumble and there were just barely enough stations signed on to finance a fourth season.

It wasn't just a hint that season four would be last, that's what JMS and Doug Netter were flat-out told by WB. Then TNT came along wanting to get the rerun rights and ended up giving us the fifth season as well as the TV movies (apparently Doug Netter's quite the salesman). As it was an already successful property, they left the producers alone and even contracted for the spin-off.

Sometime near the beginning of filming the first few episodes of 'Crusade', TNT got the results of a study that showed that the B5 property wasn't increasing their viewership. When B5 came on, the regular TNT viewers went elsewhere and the B5 fans came on. When B5 went off, the B5 viewers left and the TNT folks came in. Since advertising revenue rates are determined by numbers, TNT decided they wanted out and they proceeded to make demands that made it impossible to make the show they supposedly wanted...so they shut it down.

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Old January 9 2013, 07:50 PM   #19
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

^ Which, BTW, is exactly what happened with Joss Whedon's Firefly.
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Old January 10 2013, 01:02 AM   #20
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

A one line suggestion that breaks the OP's rules:
TNT agrees to let JMS run it his way, so long as he hires an experienced script editor who understands the material: Larry DiTellio would be one choice, an SF-inclined veteran of NYPD Blue or similar would be another.
But there has to be a script editor/line producer who's in a position to say "Joe, this is rubbish, rewrite it. or we don't make it."
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Old January 10 2013, 02:02 AM   #21
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Harlan Ellison was supposed to be full-time story editor on Crusade, but he was a victim of the shrinking budget.
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Old January 10 2013, 02:15 AM   #22
Jan
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

diankra wrote: View Post
Larry DiTellio would be one choice, an SF-inclined veteran of NYPD Blue or similar would be another.
But there has to be a script editor/line producer who's in a position to say "Joe, this is rubbish, rewrite it. or we don't make it."
NOooooo!!! NOT Larry DiTillio! Remember him? Architect of such gems as 'TKO', 'Eyes' and 'GROPOS'? At least you need somebody someplace close to JMS' level and it ain't DiTillio.

Peter David might work. Harlan definitely. Neil Gaiman, since we're dreaming anyway.

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Old January 10 2013, 02:27 AM   #23
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Larry DiTillio might be an awful writer, but it is hard to tell from his work on Babylon 5, in which he was forced to tell episodic tales on a mostly serialized television series.
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Old January 10 2013, 02:35 AM   #24
Jan
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Since he was part of the team from day one, you'd still think he could have done better than Gerrold or Fontana. Couldn't tell it by me.

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Old January 10 2013, 02:54 AM   #25
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

To be fair to DiTillio, his writing background appears to be almost entierly based in the realms of Saturday morning cartoons. Sure, JMS started there too, but that appears to be all that DiTillio aside from B5 and a few episodes of Murder She Wrote.

IIRC he also has a background in writing sourcebooks for pen & paper RPGs and his real talent is in nuts and bolts world building and if you look closely, that's reflected in his B5 scripts. While the plots and dialogue leaves a lot to be desired, there's a lot of detailed background information to be found. Indeed, I'm pretty sure it was DiTillio that wrote up the bible on most of the background aliens like the Drazi, Grome, pak'ma'ra, Hyach, Yolu etc.

...also, I've always had a soft spot for GROPOS. If the guy that played Keffer actually had some acting chops, I think it would have been a whole lot better.
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Old January 10 2013, 04:11 AM   #26
Jan
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Reverend wrote: View Post
IIRC he also has a background in writing sourcebooks for pen & paper RPGs and his real talent is in nuts and bolts world building and if you look closely, that's reflected in his B5 scripts. While the plots and dialogue leaves a lot to be desired, there's a lot of detailed background information to be found. Indeed, I'm pretty sure it was DiTillio that wrote up the bible on most of the background aliens like the Drazi, Grome, pak'ma'ra, Hyach, Yolu etc.
Yes, he did. And I agree, there was a lot of world building in his scripts and that made the B5 univers richer than it might have been otherwise.

...also, I've always had a soft spot for GROPOS. If the guy that played Keffer actually had some acting chops, I think it would have been a whole lot better.
From what I gather, an *awful* lot of 'Keffer's' scenes ended up on the computer equivalent of the cutting room floor.

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Old January 10 2013, 04:38 AM   #27
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Jan wrote: View Post
diankra wrote: View Post
Larry DiTellio would be one choice, an SF-inclined veteran of NYPD Blue or similar would be another.
But there has to be a script editor/line producer who's in a position to say "Joe, this is rubbish, rewrite it. or we don't make it."
NOooooo!!! NOT Larry DiTillio! Remember him? Architect of such gems as 'TKO', 'Eyes' and 'GROPOS'? At least you need somebody someplace close to JMS' level and it ain't DiTillio.
Hate to disagree with you, but I have to defend DiTillio here. Not only did he give us "Born to the Purple" but he also gave us the incredible "DeathWalker." Sure, he's no JMS. But then, neither is JMS ... "eeeeee-kaaaa-raaaaa" anyone?

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, Babylon 5.
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Old January 10 2013, 05:49 AM   #28
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

Didn' it switch networks at the end of S4?
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Old January 10 2013, 09:10 AM   #29
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

I'm probably in the minority but I actually preferred the TNT episodes. The only JMS ep I liked was Racing the Night.

I think if I were to change stuff, I would have started the arc sooner. By the 13th episode of Babylon 5 (production wise) we already had Mind War and Chrysalis. Crusade had a handful of hints but nothing major (I guess that we're aware of) and To the Ends of the Earth was due to 'kickstart the arc' the very next episode before cancellation anyway...

I would keep the cast as was but lose Lochley. I would have shown more episodes with other ships helping (it seemed like they were the only ship out there at times) and maybe one episode set on Earth on the other side of the fence.

And maybe adapt my own fanfic about the Excalibur drifting powerless into Vorlon space...
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Old January 10 2013, 03:20 PM   #30
Jan
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Re: Crusade - You are the producer

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Didn' it switch networks at the end of S4?
Post 18 in this thread explains what happened.

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