See Also: JMS's comments on how the story will work regardless of renewal
It appears that Warner Bros. may not make an announcement concerning B5's renewal status until July. The cast's contracts obligate Warner Bros. to tell the actors whether or not they'll be working for another year by a certain date. Originally, the date was June 15. However, JMS recently had this to say:
The info was wrong. The new date is July 15th. WB asked for and got an extension from the cast.
A followup asked if this was an unusual thing to do:
Well, it's the first time they've done it.
Another asked why they did it:
Because Warners is working on several options to keep the show on the air in the absence of PTEN, and a crowded syndication market, they've asked for, and received, a 30 day extension on the drop dead day from the cast. So now they have until July 15th to make it work.
Is there any hope for renewal?
If there were not hope, WB wouldn't have asked for the extension.
Stations have already begun filling their fall schedules with the assumption of no fifth season. Won't that prevent B5 from showing up on enough stations to make it economically viable?
No, it isn't really a problem...the worst that could happen is that the show might have to go on in January rather than November, but that's only a small gap. The stations haven't locked down their January schedules yet, and there's always fallout from what goes out in November, so there are still many possibilities.
What will they do with the extra month?
It's a means of making time for them to work out the limitations of the PTEN contract, and the new syndicated market, which has been going through massive changes in the last year or two; basically the market has collapsed or been driven out (depending on the market you're in) by all the new networks and program glut. Virtually every syndicated show has dropped from last year to this year; the only ones that have improved over last year are B5 (7%) and Xena (18%). Just about everything else has dropped bigtime.
It's worth noting that July 15 is only a deadline and the announcement could come at any time before then. Presumably Warner Bros. would have asked for more time than they thought they were likely to need, just to be on the safe side. Of course, that's just speculation and isn't based on any inside knowledge.
When there are more details, you'll see them on the Lurker's Guide home page.