Babylon 5 Reboot Gets New Update Amid Writers Strike

Reports of Babylon 5's death seem to, once again, have been at least somewhat exaggerated. Following the release of The CW's 2023-2024 schedule, the network confirmed that virtually every project started under prior management had been released to studios. That means, basically, that they won't be showing up on The CW, but might still be developed somewhere else if the producers want to give it a try. That left most fans assuming that the planned Babylon 5 reboot was in trouble, especially since the network seems to be focusing on inexpensive, unscripted programs rather than the expensive genre fare that had kept The CW afloat for years.

In a fan Q&A, though, TVLine suggested that the project remains in limbo, although all movement (good or bad) had petered out as a result of the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, which began in May. This repeats a mantra that has been on creator J. Michael Straczynski's lips for a while now: when there's definitive news, he'll know. And when he knows, he'll let the fans know.

"[Straczynski's] Babylon 5 reboot is one project that was still in limbo at The CW and is now, like many things in the biz, 'on hold' amid the WGA strike," TVLine reported. That might not feel like new information, but it's heartening for Babylon 5 fans when you consider that they also finally confirmed the long-presumed death of Powerpuff, the live-action adaptation of Powerpuff Girls that had gone back to script after a pilot failed to impress executives.

Last month, the SAG-AFTRA national board unanimously agreed to send an authorization vote to members with the recommendation that members vote to authorize a strike should one be necessary during the upcoming labor negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Earlier this month, the members voted, with 97.91 percent of SAG-AFTRA members in favor of a strike authorization ahead of negotiations of the TV/theatrical contracts with nearly 65,000 members casting ballots for a voting percentage of 47.69 percent of eligible voters. The union represents roughly 160,000 people, including film and television actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, singers, voice actors, internet influencers, and other media professionals.

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.

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.