The CW is on its way to the stars.
For a revival of Babylon 5, the younger-skewing broadcaster is joining up with original series creator J. Michael Straczynski.
Straczynski will create the script for a new prospective version of the former syndicated drama from Warner Bros. TV, which has been described as a "from-the-ground-up reboot" of the original. The new version follows John Sheridan (originally played by Bruce Boxleitner), an Earthforce officer with a mysterious past who is assigned to Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space that serves as a port of call for travelers, smugglers, corporate explorers, and alien diplomats during a time of uneasy peace and constant war threat.
His presence sets in motion events beyond his wildest dreams, as an exploring Earth business inadvertently sparks a confrontation with a civilisation a million years ahead of us, putting Sheridan and the rest of the B5 crew in the firing line as humanity's last, best hope for survival.
Warner Bros. TV is producing the possible series. Straczynski's Studio JMS will executive produce. Babylon 5: The Gathering was initially made by Warner Bros. as a one-off film that broadcast on the company's former Prime Time Entertainment Network in 1993. Warners picked it up to series when it debuted to great ratings.
The drama starred Michael O'Hare, Bruce Boxleitner, Clausia Christian, Jerry Doyle, and Mira Furlan and ran for five seasons and 110 episodes. After PTEN's failure in 1997, the drama was relocated to TNT for its fifth season. The series spawned a spinoff, TNT's Crusade, as well as seven feature-length films, as Straczynski recounted the years from 2245 to 2281, when the Babylon 5 station was deactivated. Warner Bros. made money off the brand, which includes a series of novels, short stories, and comic books, among other things.
Straczynski won a Hugo Award, a Saturn Award, the Space Frontier Foundation Award, and the Ray Bradbury Award, among other awards. With the TNT series Crusade, seven consecutive feature-length films, and a series of novels, novelizations, short stories, and comics from DC, Straczynski continued to write stories in the Babylon 5 universe after the original series ended.
Straczynski most recently developed, authored, and served as the showrunner for Netflix's Sense8 (alongside the Wachowskis). Changeling, Underworld: Awakening, World War Z, and Thor are among his credits. Together WE Will Go, the new novel by the TV, film, and comic book writer, was just released. A3 Artists Agency and Gendler-Kelly represent him.
If Babylon 5 is greenlit, it will be another crucial brand revival for The CW and Warner Bros. at a time when well-known IP is becoming increasingly vital as networks and streaming services try to break through a crowded landscape. As traditional ratings — and ad income — decline as people migrate to streaming, creating franchises has become increasingly important.