In an announcement today, on a Babylon 5 newsgroup, series executive producer and creator J. Michael Straczynski announced that Sci-Fi Channel has picked up the 1999 Babylon 5 sequel series Crusade for broadcast on the network later this summer. 'This will be the first time the series has been broadcast since its brief, original run on TNT,' said Straczynski.
In addition, he also made several other announcements and comments that are generating excitement among B5 fans. Straczynski said that he will be writing a one-shot B5 graphic novel for Wildstorm Comics (an imprint of DC Comics). Plus the series will be released on DVD beginning in July. The first releases will be the series' pilot film 'The Gathering' and a movie of the week, 'In the Beginning' with the series released thereafter.
'I've been going over the artwork and related issues for WB
Home Video, and though at this time there's no supplementary material involved, at least as far as I know, it should be pretty cool,' he said. 'Don't know yet which aspect ratio they'll be using, but my guess would be widescreen, now that WB is correcting the earlier versions.'
More exciting news is still to come, in about a weeks' time, said Straczynski. Although he was not authorized to reveal the exact nature of the deals and transactions at this time, his hints are very strong that Babylon 5 or Crusade will return to the airwaves again soon in new films or series.
'There's some substantial TV-related news sitting out there waiting for me to talk about it as soon as I'm given the go-ahead to do so,' said Straczynski. 'Suffice to say that one very large deal has now been set and closed, another is in heavy negotiations (with money now on the table from those involved), and a surprise third project is also coming up fast and furious.'
In previous confirmations, from last month, we learned that Sci-Fi Channel and Straczynski were in advanced discussions about more Babylon 5 projects. 'There are conversations ongoing between Sci-Fi Channel, Warner Brothers, myself and Doug Netter about some new projects. I'm not at liberty at this point to be much more specific than that. Could be a movie in the B5 universe. Could be a series set in the B5 universe. Could be a combination of those, plus a little something else. Suffice to say that SFC wants to become the new home for B5 in all its parts and pieces, and there are several possible ways to accomplish this currently under discussion.'
He went on to say that 'we have verified the availability and interest of those who helped make B5 a success among the crew, and everyone we have spoken to is excited and ready to get going. Same crew, same quality, same dedication. Beyond that, I can't comment ... except to say that if we get the go-ahead on what I think may be coming, it could be a very exciting opportunity to do another kind of story that no one's ever done before in SF-TV, just as no one had ever done anything quite like B5 before.'