In the month or so since we last checked in with how things were going with J. Michael Straczynski‘s “from-the-ground-up” Babylon 5 reboot, things have gotten a lot less optimistic for current as well as in-development projects over at The CW. The network’s new owner, Nexstar, has made it clear that they’re looking to shift to cheaper programming to reduce the network’s spending and that much of what’s in play won’t be in play by the time the smoke settles on the 2023-2024 season (with show’s like DC’s Stargirl having recently been canceled). Not surprisingly, the waiting game for a decision has led to some rumors and speculation beginning to run rampant on social media. So much so, in fact, that Straczynski took to Twitter to share the most recent update that’s come his way: “there’s truly no decision because the decision-makers haven’t decided.”
“We’re all impatient for B5 news, and there are tons of rumors from bloggers and posters and even some cast, but there’s truly no decision because the decision-makers haven’t decided. When that decision does get made, it will come to me first, not to any of those folks, and when it does, I’ll get it out as soon as possible or, at minimum, let you know that something has been decided. Through 30+ years of rumors and online nonsense, I’ve always dealt straight with the B5 fan community. Waiting is hard, but wait we must until *something* is decided,” Straczynski wrote over the course of two tweets overnight. Here’s a look:
A Brief History of JMS’s Babylon 5 Revival Project
JMS first revealed that the pilot had not been picked up but that Pedowitz spoke with him to confirm that the pilot was still in active development back in February of this year. JMS began his update by referencing the biggest news surrounding The CW over the past few weeks and how it would play a factor in “how many pilots, and what sort, could be picked up during this transition.” That transition? The rumored sale of the network by Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global (previously ViacomCBS) to Nexstar. As JMS wrote, “pre-existing deals” and prior “commitments” would then play heavily into the decision-making.
Straczynski’s series proposal focuses on John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner in the original series), an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background who is assigned to Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space, a port of call for travelers, smugglers, corporate explorers, and alien diplomats at a time of uneasy peace and the constant threat of war. His arrival triggers a destiny beyond anything he could have imagined, as an exploratory Earth company accidentally triggers a conflict with a civilization a million years ahead of us, putting Sheridan and the rest of the B5 crew in the line of fire as the last, best hope for the survival of the human race.