Futuristic series journeys to new home
NEW YORK — The Sci Fi Channel has ponied up about $12 million to buy the exclusive rerun rights to Warner Bros. Cable’s “Babylon 5.”Warner Bros. and Sci Fi declined to discuss financial details, but industry sources say Sci Fi will pay $97,500 an hour for 120 hours, covering 112 series episodes and four two-hour “Babylon 5” movies. License term runs from September, when the series kicks off on Sci Fi nightly at 7, through December 2003. Series, set on a space station in the year 2258, has taken an unusual distribution journey, starting in firstrun TV syndication, where it ran 1993-97. TNT bought the reruns for stripping during the 1997-98 season, commissioned the four two-parters and decided to keep the series in production for an additional season as a boost to its sister company Warner Bros. Cable. Awarded an Emmy for visual effects in 1993, “Babylon 5” was created by J. Michael Straczynski, who was also co-exec producer with Douglas Netter. Cast includes Bruce Boxleitner, Michael O’Hare, Richard Biggs, Andrea Thompson, Jeff Conaway, Bill Mumy, Jerry Doyle, Tracy Scoggins and Claudia Christian.