Attn JMS: Ted Turner, WB and what if God was one of us.

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Fri Apr 11 06:06:36 EDT 1997

From: brian.handel at
Date: 10 Apr 1997 02:09:18 -0400
Lines: 38

     Saw an article in the Wall Street Journal on Ted Turner's 
     impact on Warner Brothers. He was having a hard time 
     understanding why WB was giving its products to to the major 
     networks. also he didn't seem so enamoured with WB's own 
     network. You have mentioned that slots for syndicated series 
     are tight and high in demand. PTEN was brought about because 
     independent tv stations needed programming. UPN and WB are 
     brought into existence(basically because Fox showed it could 
     take on the 3 major networks), therefore negating the need 
     for PTEN(?). PTEN to the best of my knowledge only had two 
     shows, B5 and Kung-Fu. My question to you is looking back 
     from this point would you have(I know hindsight thinks it is 
     20-20) committed yourself to an agreement that precluded 
     cable from doing first run viewing of your show? Doesn;t 
     cable in some sense, especially Ted Turner's cable outlets 
     TBS and TNT,  provide more opportunities for new shows. B5 
     Movies are being made for Turner network. USA has the La 
     Femme Nikita series. You have demonstrated that shows could 
     with awesome effects could be made under budget(not to 
     mention being one of the best television series ever made). 
     I am sure in the 5 plus years of trying to get B5 made in 
     the first place that PTEN was the best choice that you had. 
     I can't help but feel that the market has changed, different 
     venues for new shows are now available and that somebody 
     will want more shows like B5 to be produced. There is a lot 
     of bad tv on the air but the good stuff has been really 
     good. the Simpsons still do great if not better stuff then 
     when first in existence and Homicide is good stuff and the 
     Larry Sanders show is one of the best shows ever made in the 
     history of TV(Rip Torn is awesome). btw any thoughts on 
     where you think tv is going. saw your blurb in Tv guide on 
     religion. I think your show treats religion with 
     intelligence and respect. I know I am rambling but after 
     seeing the WSJ article on Ted Turner and all the posts on 
     B5's renewal status and PTEN, I wanted to get your take on 
     the current state of television. thanks and take care! 

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 10 Apr 1997 13:54:17 -0400
Lines: 15

Yes, the PTEN agreement excluded doing our show for first-run on
cable...but it was the only offer anybody made to us.  We took it, because
after five years of trying to find someone who'd trust us to do the show,
you don't walk away from the table once you have what you wanted.  Who
knew if it'd take *another* five years to get that far?  In year 1, it
wasn't the venues, it was the notion that a show like this could be *made
at all* let alone successfully.


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