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  • JMS and V

    I made the mistake of mentioning that Babylon 5 is the greatest tv show in the galaxy, in a V forum and got told by a very upset V fan that JMS, the creator of Baboon (yes, she called our beloved show, Baboon), was hired to write a new series for V, had a story treamtment finished and then abandoned it when B5 got picked up. Therefore JMS is a horrible, evil person for dissing V for B5.

    I think V is a nifty show, but B5 is too good for me to change my mind about it's greatness.

    I'm assuming this person knew what they were talking about. I had never heard of any connection of JMS to V before.

    But it's funny since it's V that led me to B5.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
    I'm assuming this person knew what they were talking about.
    Oh...I wouldn't assume that at all. JMS didn't write a 'story treatment', he wrote a full script for a four-hour mini-series (not a TV series) called V: the Next Chapter. As JMS wrote in this post:

    Originally posted by JMS
    Just a minor correction: I was never involved with the production or writing of the original V series or miniseries; I was hired by Warners to write a new (and as yet unproduced) 4-hour miniseries to revive the V series in syndication. The project was shelved when it was realized that
    it would be too expensive to try it for the syndicated market.

    jms
    You might want to school your contact in the realities of television making. Most of the time a hired writer (as opposed to a show-runner/Executive Producer like JMS was for B5) has *no* influence on whether a project gets made.

    And if you want o make your contact really upset, you can mention that JMS sold copies of said miniseries script back in 2005 during his famous 'garage sale'. It's about 200 pages long and JMS only had as many copies printed as there were buyers in the dutch auction. I've never seen any of them re-sold since then. In the sales copy JMS wrote:

    The series would have been set five years after the Visitors had achieved a complet take-over, and followed a resistance cell as a third force entered the storyline...outsiders who had their own reasons for opposing the Visitors. I was, to some extent, using the paradigm of Vietnam or Korea as a metaphor.

    I worked on this script for well over a year. In the end, even though WB loved the script, they decided that -- in that pre-CGI period -- the series would be too expensive to produce for the syndicated marketplace.
    Yes, of course I have it! It was the one thing that I could afford in that sale.

    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 06-07-2014, 03:46 AM.
    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Jan!

      I passed along the info in a polite manner because I don't really know how to handle conflict generally. I usually like to run away and hide when I don't know what to say next.

      I was reading some of your IMDb posts earlier and admired how you reacted to the stupid troll in the thread.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wish I could have seen the look on that person's face when they read what you wrote.

        Speaking of V, did the 2009 series get better after season one? It just amazes me how companies want to make money off of properties they already own by remaking them and then they completely blow a wealth of potential with poor planning and decision making. This is why I worry about any kind of reboot of B5. It frightens me how it could be screwed up.

        Could WB do a reboot without JMS? (I mean don't tell them this, but they are sitting on a gold mine in terms of this market and what all these other reboots try to do. They have an entire multi-season plot laid out with a beginning, middle, and end. It could easily be worked so that it is similar to the original, but different and almost as good. It could easily be tweaked to go more than 5 seasons and have multiple spinoffs. Their only debate should be, do we want to start at 3mil an episode or 5mil.) Do tell them that if they can do it without JMS it would be a huge mistake to try. I really don't know anything, but I can't imagine they aren't going to stumble on the gold mine eventually. Could JMS be such a thorn in their side that they have marked B5 as something to avoid? And I don't recall reading this anywhere, but I imagine his thoughts on a reboot fall in the categories of not without 'X' amount of budget and a whole lot of guarantees. I know we talk about this stuff all the time, but with this new Stargate movie franchise being announced it just seems almost inevitable that WB would eventually have to get to the conclusion of doing something with this property, unless it is just untouchable because of JMS.

        BTW this raises another question I have, does anyone know what kind of royalty deal is out there for our favorite stars? I know it has been discussed at some point, but I don't recall. What I mean is if #FREEBABYLON5 is successful at getting the re-runs back on television or at least on some streaming sites, will they get royalty checks? It just got me thinking about it when I thought about a reboot. I can't imagine a well done reboot not being HIGHLY successful with today's market and I wonder if they would get any of the pot. I think they or their families deserve a slice even if it is just royalties from the original, which itself would become a hit in reruns with a successful reboot and properly created Blu-Ray and DVD releases.

        BTW Delenn was this a Babylon 5 Thread on the V forum or did you just mention it? I love the original V myself, but it doesn't hold a candle to B5. Even the original V had a lot of wasted potential and bad decision making, but it is still pretty good.
        Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Delenn_of_Mir View Post
          Thanks Jan!

          I passed along the info in a polite manner because I don't really know how to handle conflict generally. I usually like to run away and hide when I don't know what to say next.

          I was reading some of your IMDb posts earlier and admired how you reacted to the stupid troll in the thread.
          Thanks. I'll never understand trolls but it's usually simple enough to smother them with actual facts. No sense arguing with matters of taste.

          Originally posted by Looney View Post
          Could WB do a reboot without JMS? (I mean don't tell them this, but they are sitting on a gold mine in terms of this market and what all these other reboots try to do. They have an entire multi-season plot laid out with a beginning, middle, and end. It could easily be worked so that it is similar to the original, but different and almost as good. It could easily be tweaked to go more than 5 seasons and have multiple spinoffs. Their only debate should be, do we want to start at 3mil an episode or 5mil.) Do tell them that if they can do it without JMS it would be a huge mistake to try. I really don't know anything, but I can't imagine they aren't going to stumble on the gold mine eventually. Could JMS be such a thorn in their side that they have marked B5 as something to avoid? And I don't recall reading this anywhere, but I imagine his thoughts on a reboot fall in the categories of not without 'X' amount of budget and a whole lot of guarantees. I know we talk about this stuff all the time, but with this new Stargate movie franchise being announced it just seems almost inevitable that WB would eventually have to get to the conclusion of doing something with this property, unless it is just untouchable because of JMS.
          Okay, there's a lot in that paragraph but let me try.

          Could WB reboot B5 without JMS? JMS has said many time that, by contract, he has to be involved in any new B5. What does that mean? Unknown. It could mean as little as them paying him a creator's/consulting fee all the way up to him having full veto control or something in between.

          Could JMS be such a thorn in their side...etc.? How so? He obviously wasn't 2-3 years ago when he had an actual contract for a reboot but the proposed venue didn't materialize. I don't see why anything should have changed. If anything, his reputation in the industry has been enhanced.

          And yes, he's made it quite clear that if he's to do any more B5 it will have a sufficient budget and he'll have creative control. As he said he had for the above project.

          BTW this raises another question I have, does anyone know what kind of royalty deal is out there for our favorite stars? I know it has been discussed at some point, but I don't recall. What I mean is if #FREEBABYLON5 is successful at getting the re-runs back on television or at least on some streaming sites, will they get royalty checks? It just got me thinking about it when I thought about a reboot. I can't imagine a well done reboot not being HIGHLY successful with today's market and I wonder if they would get any of the pot. I think they or their families deserve a slice even if it is just royalties from the original, which itself would become a hit in reruns with a successful reboot and properly created Blu-Ray and DVD releases.
          I don't have any details but it's all part of their SAG contracts. As I recall, they get less for season five than for the first four (due to TNT being categorized differently) but each rerun would generate some residuals. Would they get anything from a reboot? I really don't know, but I tend to doubt it.

          Jan
          "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

          Comment


          • #6
            A few comments:

            Straczynski wrote several different versions of the aforementioned V script while Warner Bros. meandered through possible formats. I think there was a two-hour movie of the week version in addition to the four-hour mini-series variant. I'm pretty sure it was the same basic story, just structured differently.

            Warner Bros. would contractually have to offer Straczynski first refusal on any Babylon 5 project. If he wasn't available for whatever reason, they could then hire a new writer to head the project and Straczynski would be credited as "Executive Consultant," receiving royalties for having created the series much as Glen A. Larson did on the 2003 incarnation of Battlestar Galactica.

            If Babylon 5 were to go back into syndication, the actors would receive residuals, but they diminish with each broadcast. At this point, they've dwindled to the point where the cost to print the check is likely more than the amount of money promised on its face.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks, Jason!

              Do you know if there's a difference in schedules for foreign vs domestic showings? Because, we can pretty much count the US reruns with fingers left over whereas the overseas reruns haven't been plentiful but at least they've existed.

              Jan
              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, there's definitely a different schedule for foreign broadcasts, but I have no idea how it relates to the domestic residuals.

                Not that it applies to Babylon 5, but I know that in the 1960s, BBC programs had to be bought by Australia before they could be purchased by other countries because only Australia had the audience base big enough to justify the residuals burden for the first international broadcast. Once the ABC had aired, say, a Doctor Who episode, New Zealand or Hong Kong or Nigeria could afford to license the show for an airing in their respective regions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan View Post

                  Could JMS be such a thorn in their side...etc.? How so?
                  I just meant could he have become a thorn in their side do to something I don't know about, so they don't want to deal with him. I just worded it weird. And I didn't think the actors would get anything from a reboot other than the possibility of the original series starting to show in reruns more. That is sad that their royalty percentage has dropped so much.
                  Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Looney View Post
                    I wish I could have seen the look on that person's face when they read what you wrote.

                    Speaking of V, did the 2009 series get better after season one? It just amazes me how companies want to make money off of properties they already own by remaking them and then they completely blow a wealth of potential with poor planning and decision making. This is why I worry about any kind of reboot of B5. It frightens me how it could be screwed up.

                    Could WB do a reboot without JMS? (I mean don't tell them this, but they are sitting on a gold mine in terms of this market and what all these other reboots try to do. They have an entire multi-season plot laid out with a beginning, middle, and end. It could easily be worked so that it is similar to the original, but different and almost as good. It could easily be tweaked to go more than 5 seasons and have multiple spinoffs. Their only debate should be, do we want to start at 3mil an episode or 5mil.) Do tell them that if they can do it without JMS it would be a huge mistake to try. I really don't know anything, but I can't imagine they aren't going to stumble on the gold mine eventually. Could JMS be such a thorn in their side that they have marked B5 as something to avoid? And I don't recall reading this anywhere, but I imagine his thoughts on a reboot fall in the categories of not without 'X' amount of budget and a whole lot of guarantees. I know we talk about this stuff all the time, but with this new Stargate movie franchise being announced it just seems almost inevitable that WB would eventually have to get to the conclusion of doing something with this property, unless it is just untouchable because of JMS.

                    BTW this raises another question I have, does anyone know what kind of royalty deal is out there for our favorite stars? I know it has been discussed at some point, but I don't recall. What I mean is if #FREEBABYLON5 is successful at getting the re-runs back on television or at least on some streaming sites, will they get royalty checks? It just got me thinking about it when I thought about a reboot. I can't imagine a well done reboot not being HIGHLY successful with today's market and I wonder if they would get any of the pot. I think they or their families deserve a slice even if it is just royalties from the original, which itself would become a hit in reruns with a successful reboot and properly created Blu-Ray and DVD releases.

                    BTW Delenn was this a Babylon 5 Thread on the V forum or did you just mention it? I love the original V myself, but it doesn't hold a candle to B5. Even the original V had a lot of wasted potential and bad decision making, but it is still pretty good.


                    This was a discussion in a private yahoo group, and we ended friends.

                    I had never heard of V until new V aired. I had just gotten through the 4400 and on their board on imdb somebody mentioned Joel Gretsch's new show, so I decided to check it out.

                    I was going through a weird place in my life somewhere between suicide and transformation and so I kind of latched on to the Anna character for some reason and totally fell in love with her. I become obsessed with new V for that reason, not really for the story itself.

                    I owe a huge debt of gratitude to V though because of it, during it's first season one hiatus I had 4 months of desperation to fill so I looked for a long running show to buy and watch and happened to choose B5 because I remembered Bruce from Scarecrow and Mrs. king.

                    i fell in love with B slowly in stages, I think it's prolly the only show I love that is genuinely good on it's own merits because usually I go for characters and the show itself could be sh*t.

                    I did go back and rewatch classic V and it was very sweet and humorous and heartwarming and certain parts of it reminded me of B5 and nightwatch. Old V definitely had more character, that's for sure.

                    New V was flashy and tried way too hard to impress people with it's special effects and how much plot they could cram into one eppy. Some of the stuff they did was neat and I definitely got into some of the ideas it expressed. The show almost seemed to be going for an Atheistic viewpoint.

                    In one eppy they had Anna confront the catholic church and she used her blue energy to make a statue cry. It was basically a threat, support me or I'll steal your devoted followers.

                    There were other things too, but they'd be spoilers, I think. So the show had some interesting themes to explore but the story was all over the place, the showrunners kept changing, and most of the human resistance characters were unsympathetic and boring.

                    The V characters were the most intriguing, but we weren't supposed to be rooting for them. Though the way the show ended, without resolution makes you wonder.

                    I think toward the end of season 2 it was getting stronger, in some ways, and season 3 would likely have been the best, if it had happened.

                    Just my subjective opinions, of course.

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