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I am – Hercules!!


Upon the Sci-Fi Channel’s announcement of its new “Babylon 5” movie/pilot, the Mt. Olympus mailbox was flooded with this widely circulated post from “B5” creator J. Michael Straczynski himself offering more details of the telefilm, and hinting at another soon-to-launch Straczynski series:

Well, that's at least ONE weight off my chest....

To those who've heard the news already, and those just now finding out...the SciFi Channel today announced that we have a new Babylon 5 TV movie going into production that will also serve as a pilot for a likely new series.

The movie (and the series) is under the heading of BABYLON 5: THE LEGEND OF THE RANGERS. The specific title for the 2-hour movie's story is "To Live and Die in Starlight."

There isn't much I can tell you about the story because we're kinda keeping the details under wraps as much as possible for the time being. What little I can say....

It's set in the B5 universe just under 3 years after the events of "Objects at Rest." At this point there's one major character from the B5 universe in the script (a fan favorite). Where B5 was a heavy drama with some adventure/action elements, this one is a little more skewed toward adventure with underlying drama (which is about what you'd expect from the Anla-Shok).

We've been sitting on this information for a while now...such that we're already well into pre-production. We'll be shooting this movie around mid-May, well in advance of any potential actors’ strike (the script is done and so far everybody likes it a LOT).

We've already got designs coming in on a new ship, and a new *kind* of ship...and we're going to be getting more into Minbari aesthetics, technologies and philosophy.

It's got some great characters, and it's a lot of fun.

I have other news to announce on other fronts...have since the end of the year, in fact...but I'm still sitting on the details awaiting another press release from another studio. What I *can* say is that I have a firm GO order to executive produce a new series (nominally SF) that will go into production after the potential SAG strike. When that's finally over, if the strike indeed happens, we pull the trigger and go into principal photography and it's an order for a full season's worth of episodes.

I can't give you any details right now on the subject, title, studio or network. That will have to await the studio's don't even ask.

As far as doing both projects at the same time is's actually quite common, as testified to by folks like John Wells and Aaron Sorkin and David Kelley and others. So there won't be any conflict.

More later.


By the way, if you “B5” fans haven’t yet picked up the Straczynski-penned “Rising Stars” graphic novel, hop to already! It is beyond superb, one of the best superhero sagas ever stumbled across in any medium!


The Sci-Fi Channel announced Tuesday a number of other intriguing projects, including:

“Taken,” a 20-hour miniseries about people abducted by aliens. The good news: it’s a Steven Spielberg production. The bad news: it’s written by Leslie Bohem, the dude who wrote features “Nowhere to Run,” “Daylight” and “Dante’s Peak.” Ew!

“Firestarter: The Next Chapter,” a four-hour miniseries about a government-produced pyrokinetic that picks up 20 years after both the movie and the Stephen King novel on which it’s based.

“Saint Sinner,” a Clive Barker-spawned telepic about two beautiful female demons who wreak havoc upon Los Angeles. Hey, why does that sound so familiar? I’m going to ask Julie Benz and Juliet Landau and get back to you!


Despite speculation that the Star Trek frachise might move to a bigger network (like maybe UPN’s Viacom-owned sister network CBS), it now appears that UPN expects to command “Enterprise.”

At a Monday presentation to media buyers, UPN CEO Dean Valentine said the net is "deep in negotiations with [Paramount] and expects to have something to say about it shortly." Valentine revealed no details on the series, but did call it “extraordinary” and likely to “blow people away” – not words one uses for a series one expects to air on another network.


There are at least two pilots in the works written by former Star Trek golden boys:

1) The WB’s “Dragonriders of Pern,” based on the sci-fi novels by Anne McCaffrey, is penned by Ron Moore (“Star Trek: First Contact,” “Roswell”).

2) UPN’s “The Dead Zone,” based on the Stephen King novel, is being adapted by TNG wonder Michael Piller.


Some smartass talkbacker recently remarked that Herc likes any show with a pretty girl in it. To this he politely queries, which show exactly DOESN’T have a pretty girl in it? (For the record, “Melrose Place” had enough lust-worthy honies for five series, but ten minutes of its witless dialogue would invariably send Herculean eyes wandering toward the remote.)

On the pretty girl front, I have two new notes:

1) “Survivor II’s” recently ejected personal trainer Alicia Calaway, now that she’s had access to a bar of Zest, is – wow! - EASILY as hot as Elisabeth, Amber OR Colleen! She makes ME want to lift heavy things!

2) On page 103 of the current (April 12) edition of Rolling Stone, there’s a photograph of “Saturday Night Live” head writer Tina Fey pleasant enough to make subscribers want to buy her a Cadillac. Time for smilemasters, indeed!

I am – Hercules!!

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