Babylon 5: The CW Boss Says Reboot "Very Much in Active Development"

Earlier this year, J. Michael Straczynski learned that his "from-the-ground-up" Babylon 5 reboot pilot didn't make the initial cut for Fall 2022 consideration but that The CW President Mark Pedowitz had reassured him that the project was being kept in development and wasn't dead. Earlier today at The CW's Upfronts, Pedowitz confirmed the project's status and how he believes it's "perfect for The CW" during a press call from earlier this morning. "It is very much in active development, I personally spoke with Straczynski back when we picked up the pilot. I'm a huge fan of 'Babylon 5', on a personal basis, I've seen every episode of the series. I've known Joe for a long, long time. I'd love to bring back that story in some shape or form, I think it's perfect for the CW," Pedowitz shared.

J. Michael Straczynski Gives Slight Tease For The Return Of Babylon 5
Image: Screencap

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.

After realizing that the Babylon 5 pilot had not been picked up, JMS shared the outreach that Pedowitz did to explain the pilot's status. "I received a call from Mark Pedowitz, President of The CW. (I should mention that Mark is a great guy and a long-time fan of B5. He worked for Warners when the show was first airing, and always made sure we got him copies of the episodes before they aired because he didn't want to wait to see what happened next.)," JMS revealed. "Calling the pilot 'a damned fine script,' he [Pedowitz] said he was taking the highly unusual step of rolling the project and the pilot script into next year, keeping B5 in active development while the dust settles on the sale of the CW."

So while JMS readily admitted that it would "have been wonderful if we'd gotten the green light" already, JMS made it clear that this was a pause in the process and not an end. "Yesterday, Babylon 5 was in active development at the CW and Warner Bros. for fall 2022," JMS wrote, breaking down his update to the basics. "Today, Babylon 5 is in active development at the CW and Warner Bros. for fall 2023. That is the only difference." As he sees it, the extra time "will give B5 fans the opportunity to express their passionate support for the series to the new owners of the CW."

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.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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