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The July 5, 1997 issue of TV Guide features B5 on its cover. (The article contains major spoilers for future episodes; tread with caution.)

This is an ideal opportunity for fans to show their support. Like any other for-profit publication, TV Guide's coverage is based in part on what they think will sell more magazines. If they put "Baywatch" on the cover and sell twice as many copies as usual, they'll tend to do more "Baywatch" stories thereafter.

We can use that simple bit of economics to increase B5's coverage in the future. As TV Guide is the most popular entertainment magazine in the US, any increase in B5 coverage will likely prompt more people to try the show out, and that boost in ratings will improve the chances of additional TNT movie orders, of the proposed spinoff series, and maybe even a B5 theatrical movie. Encouraging more TV Guide coverage is probably the best-leveraged thing fans can do right now to help keep the show going.

To that end, I'd like to propose that every B5 fan go out and buy two copies of the magazine when it's released. Spread the word; if you have friends who watch the show but aren't on the net, ask them to do the same. If nothing else, a B5 cover story in a major national publication is a good collector's item, given how spotty B5's press coverage has historically been.

Every science-fiction show in danger in the last five years has spawned a big letter-writing campaign. By now, it seems to me, the networks and studios must be pretty used to it: produce an SF show, get a bunch of fan letters, like clockwork. But to my knowledge, no fan campaign has yet had the audacity to put its money where its mouth is. A TV Guide-buying campaign, if it's successful, might even get some press coverage in its own right.

Let's give it a try and see what kind of waves we can make!

Update: The preview in the June 28 issue confirms that there'll be B5 coverage. It says, "There's big news about the sci-fi series Babylon 5, and TV Guide goes on the set of TNT's upcoming B5 movie to get info straight from the show's stars and producers."

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Last update: July 1, 1997