...with a follow-up to COAXIAL'S EARLIER POST announcing the official cancellation of the Babylon 5 spin-off Crusade.
Series creator and Executive Producer J. Michael Straczynski has issued an official statement on the subject, which also answers some questions about the thirteen episodes which have already been filmed (some already completed).
Here is his statement:
The reason we've been waiting so long for news is that the SciFi Channel has been crunching numbers for weeks, trying to make the deal work with WB, and doing their level best. The programming folks there loved the show (and special thanks has to go to Programming Head Tom Vitale at SFC who worked hardest to make this work).
The problem is simply this: the money to fund a series is a BIG chunk of change. SFC had already allocated its budget for the year as of January 1st, and there simply wasn't enough left in this year's budget to pull it off. Also, the emphasis now is on spending money on shows where one owns a piece of it, and Crusade is owned entirely by WB.
At the end of they day, they just couldn't make the dollars work, though they tried their damndest, and are only to be thanked.
I'm told that if the ratings are good on the 13 which TNT will still air, all the eps made so far will be shown, there may be a second season, but we'll see.
Meanwhile, I'm taking the day off. There have been seven offers for overall deals and multiple network pilot deals with both networks per se and studios on my desk for about a year now, ever since B5 ended, which I've been putting off to do Crusade. Now I'll pick one of those deals and make it. So the next thing from me you see will almost certainly be on one of the major networks. I'm going back into the deep water again....
Meanwhile, my thanks to all those who emailed and wrote and called and supported. It's a good show, as will be seen when the shows are aired, and I'd rather lose a show I believed in than keep one I didn't believe in.
** my previous report announcing the cast of Crusade has been released from their contracts is NOT entirely correct.
The actors & crew of Crusade are now free to go on to do whatever they feel like doing. Should the series be re-activated during the duration of their contract, the cast is obligated to return to the series by a contract which binds them until (approximately) mid-summer.
** Crusade episodes are no longer being produced - the thirteen episodes which have already been filmed will be completed (FX, score, etc.) and then aired on TNT.
** JMS implies the vague possibility of "a second season" of Crusade being produced should the ratings of the existing thirteen episodes be good enough to warrant doing so (even though his first season was supposed to be 22 episodes long, and only thirteen will be completed and aired). ((Glen Note: In all honesty, I wouldn't hold out much hope at all for this eventuality coming to pass.))
So there you have it folks. It's about as sucky as sucky can get, but that's the way it is...