ATTN JMS: Warner Bros

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Dec 9 06:38:28 EST 1996

Subject: ATTN JMS: Warner Bros
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
s  1: Dec  9, 1996: dje at (David Edelsohn)
*  2: Dec  9, 1996: jmsatb5 at


From: dje at (David Edelsohn)
Lines: 29

	Hi, Joe.  Sorry to bother you about Warner Bros and the future of B5
again, but I am confused about Warner Bros's motivation.  If they have a show
which has increasing ratings (while ST sinks), great demographics, pre-sold
repeat syndication to Turner, ..., why would they not want to support
another year of episodes completing the intended five-year arc instead of
rushing the story?  More episodes means another year of ad revenues and more
episodes for the syndication deal.

	If the demise of PTEN making B5 independent, first-run syndication
and the limitations on available nights with expanding WB and UPN junior
networks is the problem, why does not Warner Bros transfer B5 to the WB
network?  Heck, WB needs a show with good ratings.  I have read your
previous comments explaining that the WB network is a separate entity, but
various series have switched networks among ABC, CBS, and NBC, so why not
Warner Bros first-run syndication to WB?  They may be separate entities but
they are in the same corporation -- somewhere in the bureaucracy.

Thanks, David

	P.S. Are we ever going to find out what message the Vorlon ship
carrying the new ambassador displayed to Sheridan while he was on his space
walk?  Neither the new ambassador nor the ship knew that Sheridan was
carrying a piece of Kosh I, so what would Vorlon script mean to a human?
Was this "personal" DNA programming?
David Edelsohn                                      T.J. Watson Research Center
dje at                                  P.O. Box 218
+1 914 945 4364 (TL 862)                            Yorktown Heights, NY 10598


From: jmsatb5 at
Lines: 41

The potential problem is many-headed, like a hydra.  The short
version...the entity that created PTEN was a consortium of independent
stations and WB.  That entity basically no longer exists, and now WB is
funding B5 in its entirety.  When a corporation disappears, the wise thing
to do is to dissolve all the assets and cash it all in, NOT keep spending
money on it.  

It's a weird situation in that the *copyright* is owned by WB, but in many
ways, the *show* is owned by PTEN, so WB can't just go around reassigning
rights within its own organization.  And WB Network, as a network, must
define its own image...we know, from in-house discussions, that they would
not take on B5 because they want to create their own shows, not inherit
them second-hand.

See, with most companies, the goal for each division is real simple: make
money for the parent company.  But WB is a series of little kingdoms which
are DESIGNED TO COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER, *not* to cooperate, on the theory
(when this was put into place as executive policy) that this would lead to
more aggressive divisions.  

WB is happy with the show...the problem, and we're (and they're) still in
the process of gauging how much of a problem this that we're
caught in this kind of corporate spiderweb, and the spider is gone.  All
that remains is this series of entanglements, contracts, rights provisions
and the like.  

You also have to remember that while B5 has been making money for WB from
day one (a requirement of all WB shows these days), you don't start making
any real money on a show until AFTER you've finished producing you
aren't spending anything, just reaping the financial benefits of long-term

So we're just in this maze for now, trying to figure out if that glint in
the distance is daylight, or a Minotaur with an Uzi.


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