The CW, always a reliable home for fan-favorite genre shows, was apparently working on a reboot of cult classic sci-fi series Babylon 5 recently—with the key word there being “was,” because it is no longer working on it. But, it may someday continue working on it in the future!
Apologies for that space-rollercoaster, but that is what’s happening here. As reported by Deadline, Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski said on his Patreon recently that The CW’s work on a pilot for a “from-the-ground-up reboot” of the ‘90s series has stalled. However, while he notes that “99.999% of the time, that’s the end of the road for the project,” CW CEO Mark Pedowitz is apparently so happy with the pilot’s “damned fine script” that he’s going to hold onto the project and bump it to next year to potentially be redeveloped.
Straczynski also claims that Pedowitz and the network are waiting until “the dust settles” on the potential sale of The CW, which could definitely shake up everything at the network (which has really enjoyed the licensing freedom afforded by its joint ownership of Warner Bros. and Viacom/Paramount).
The original series is about the eponymous space station and the intergalactic drama and intrigue that unfolds both inside and outside its confines, with complex ongoing story arcs unfolding over multiple episodes and seasons. The new show sounds like it would be pretty similar, with Deadline saying it would focus on John Sheridan, “an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background” played by Bruce Boxleitner in the original series.
All in all, Straczynski says this delay doesn’t mean much, just that “yesterday, Babylon 5 was in active development at The CW and Warner Bros. for fall 2022. Today, Babylon 5 is in active development at The CW and Warner Bros. for fall 2023.”