Last fall, The CW put into development a reboot of J. Michael Straczynski’s extremely beloved Babylon 5, the series about a space station that serves as galactic neutral ground in the wake of a terrible war. Television development is a weird and moody thing, and a concept’s transformation into a series—even one that seems as much of a home run as this—is never a sure thing.
Yesterday, The CW (which is up for sale itself) announced its fall 2022 pilot lineup, and Babylon 5 was nowhere to be found. (A Supernatural prequel series and DC’s Gotham Knights did make the cut.)
Understandably, fans were concerned. But Straczynski took to Patreon to reassure everyone: The series isn’t dead. It’s just taking a little longer, is all.
“Anyone who knows the history of Babylon 5 knows that the path of this show has never been easy, and rarely proceeds in a straight line,” Straczynski wrote. “Apparently, that has not changed.”
Usually, he explained, when a pilot script isn’t picked up for production, that’s the end of the project. But Straczynski spoke with The CW’s president, Mark Pedowitz, who called the pilot “a damned fine script.” In an unusual twist, Pedowitz said the network is “rolling the project and the pilot script into next year,” meaning the show is still in active development. It’s just not coming this fall.
Would it have been wonderful if we’d gotten the green light today? Absolutely. Of course. But it seems we will have to wait a little longer. What matters is that the project is still very much alive, and when the time is appropriate, that window will give B5 fans the opportunity to express their passionate support for the series to the new owners of the CW.
Most of Straczynski’s posts are locked to supporters only, but this one is public; you can read the rest of his thoughts here.