The reasons for Babylon 5's "Crusade"

(Cronan Thompson)

From:         "Plain and Simple Cronan" <>
Subject:      Crusade: A Fiscal Repackaging of B5
Date:         11 May 1998 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID:   <6j7fvq$5s3$>
Organization: Wierd

Anyway...and I know some people are going to yell at me, but this really
is the truth...Crusade is basically a fiscal repackaging of Babylon 5. For
the following reasons:

     1) JMS, when he made the deals for B5, made them...for five years. He
has built in a bomb that makes the story impossible to continue onward in
its original format.

     2) A series only begins to make money for the studio when it goes into
full-syndication (meaning they stop making new episodes and just rake in the
cash).  This is particularly true when a show has been on the air for a long
time.  See, each year, programmed increases in salaries and other areas go
up and up and up.  By year five, you're paying a HELL of a lot more than you
paid for year one.

    So how are they saving money by doing a NEW series?

    3) Pay scales for production staff and cast are always lower for a new
series.  It's sort of the studio Going Rate. Saving money on the annual 10%
bump every year alone ought to make the WB very happy indeed.

     When you take all of that into consideration, and factor in the fact
that the series takes place in the same universe, with the same basic scenario,
same races, same Alliance, even some of the same characters, what you come
down to is essentially this: that B5 is a repackaging of the same thing,
under a different name, for basically economic reasons. There is no sudden
new vision behind it, it's just a less costly extension of the old show.

     Which is not to say it ain't gonna be a good show.  It might be a very
good show. If it is, that's terrific, the more good SF around, the better.
It's important for anyone reading this to make that distinction: this issue
is completely apart from quality, it's strictly economics.   This is the reason
there IS a Crusade.  Where they go from that point _good, bad, or indifferent_
is another discussion entirely.

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