Babylon 5 Reboot Confirmed to Still be in the Works
The CW's revival of Babylon 5 is still in active development, according to CEO Mark Pedowitz. The pilot, created by veteran comics and TV writer J. Michael Straczynski, was announced in September 2021, but was not among the pilots picked up by The CW in February. That put it out of contention for the 2022-2023 TV season, but both Straczynski and now Pedowitz have stressed that doesn't mean that the project is gone. During a call ahead of today's upfront presentation for advertisers, Pedowitz told reporters that he thinks it's a perfect fit for the network.
The Babylon 5 reboot is described as a "from-the-ground-up reboot" and will focus on a character from the original, John Sheridan, an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background assigned to the Babylon 5 space station, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space. Sheridan's arrival triggers a destiny beyond anything he could have imagined when an exploratory Earth company accidentally triggers a conflict with a civilization a million years ahead of us.
"It is very much in active development, I personally spoke with Straczynski back when we picked up the pilot," Pedowitz said. "I'm a huge fan of Babylon 5, on a personal basis, I've seen every episode of the series. I've known Joe for a long, long time. I'd love to bring back that story in some shape or form, I think it's perfect for the CW."
The original Babylon 5 first debuted in 1993 as a television movie that was meant to boost the now-defunct Prime Time Entertainment Network (PTEN). Following the movie, the series was ordered into production and premiered on January 26, 1994. The series ultimately ran for five seasons and 110 episodes, moving from PTEN to TNT following PTEN shutting down in 1997. The series also spawned numerous TV movies and spinoffs as well as tie-in novels and comics. The original series starred Michael O'Hare, Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, Jerry Doyle, and Mira Furlan.
Pilots coming to The CW this year included Walker: Independence, which is a prequel to its hit series Walker and stars Arrow's Katherine McNamara; and The Winchesters, which is a prequel to Supernatural and features Jensen Ackles, reprising his role as Dean Winchester but only as a series narrator, not as an on-camera presence. Both of those shows will debut in the fall, with Gotham Knights pushed to midseason.