Editor's Page


OCTOBER: WHAT A MONTH!
SECOND SEASON HO!
ENCYCLOPEDIA XENAICA
XENA FAQ
THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP GROW AT AN AMAZING PACE
NEW XENA EZINE PREMIERING SOON!
EPISODE GUIDE COMETH!
FAVORITE EPISODES, ANY ONE?
UPDATE ON IAXS




OCTOBER: WHAT A MONTH!

October began on a tragic note with Lucy Lawless injuring herself on October 8, 1996 during a taping of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but ended on an all-time high with both Ms. Lawless' triumphant return to the Tonight Show on October 30, 1996, and the show XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (XWP) attaining the top syndicated hour spot for GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (#28).

Ms. Lawless' injury immediately cast a dark cloud of uncertainty about the show. It was a classic worst case scenario where the name actor of a show could no longer go on. However, the Fates smiled upon XWP. Ms. Lawless recovered enough to allow the show to continue. The creative team behind XWP had to shuffle and burn the midnight oil to accommodate the production around Ms. Lawless' injury, but they survived the calamity with the show intact.

I had the unfortunate/fortunate opportunity to have been present at both the original taping (where the injury occurred) and then at the subsequent taping where Ms. Lawless **danced, no less** on stage, smiled many times, told her fans to stop worrying, and offered enthusiastic anecdotes about her recent vacation. It was a very emotional month and will remain with me, and no doubt others, for a long time. Seeing Ms. Lawless whole again, as it were, went a long way in allaying my concerns both for her health and for the health of the show.



SECOND SEASON HO!

The second season of XWP is well upon us. Most of us have seen at least the first seven of the legendary "ten episodes in the can" which were reportedly filmed before Ms. Lawless' injury. XWP took the laurel last season as the top new syndicated drama for the 1995-96 season. What is perchance in store for this second season? We have some indications already.


If You Think the Nielsen Ratings Mean Anything

This week it was released that XWP had trounced HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS (HTLJ) and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE (ST:DS9) during the first half of the November sweeps!!!

GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (#28), 1st release (10/21/96) [the Nielsen's review a two week period for the syndicated ratings, so GIRLS just eked into November], ranked as the highest action hour with a 5.5 rating. This was the second time XWP had hit the 1st spot in 1996; the first time for the 2nd season; and the first time for a first run episode.

The first time XWP hit the number one action hour spot was mid-December 1995 with a rerun of CRADLE OF HOPE (#4), when everyone else was in reruns as well. XWP hit the number place again in early August 1996 with a rerun of HOOVES AND HARLOTS (#10). Again, XWP was competing against other re-runs.

It is only FIVE episodes into the season and XWP has taken the number one spot against first runs! Not only is this telling of XWP's growing popularity, but it is also happening during the first week of the critical November sweeps.

For those who keep track of such things, at the end of the last season I predicted that XWP would take a top honor during a first run episode early in the season. My next prediction is that as the season warms up and gets up to speed, XWP will be turning in 6.x rating regularly (The top rating XWP has ever earned was a 6.1 for the first showing of BEWARE OF GREEKS BEARING GIFTS (#12) in mid-January 1996. It is also to date the only rating the XWP has earned in the 6's). You just wait and see! Mark my words!!!



If You Think the Internet Means Anything

The on-line mailing groups are receiving more and more members; the NetForum gets rushes of over 300 new messages a day; alt.tv.xena grows daily; IAXS has doubled its membership since the new season started, and the subscription base to XENA MEDIA REVIEW (XMR) (my other ezine) has quadrupled!



If You Think the Mass Media Means Anything

Over two hundred newspapers carried the story of Ms. Lawless' injury and most continued coverage through her progress and recovery. The articles, on a whole, are becoming more analytical; more frequent (there are about 20-30 articles which mention XWP per week in the major papers); and more respectful.



If You Think Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

It is difficult to turn on a TV without seeing some reference to XWP. There have been over ten shows, many of them network shows, who have mentioned or referred to XWP in one way or another.



If You Think the Buzz in the Streets Mean Anything

There are Xena nights in bars; there was a blitz of Xena costumes on Halloween; and Xena has started appearing with some regularity at Renaissance Festivals and SCA re-enactments.





XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS is clearly still in its ascendancy. It is too early, however, from a viewer's perspective to evaluate the effects of Ms. Lawless' injuries upon the show. With such a strong mandate from its fans and peers, though, it will be interesting to see how the creative team behind XWP rises to the challenges created by the injury. No doubt the injury will force the production staff to rely more upon their instinct and gut reactions than ever before, and they were pretty close to that situation as it were during the regular pre-injury days -- see my article, this issue, "Mysteries Surrounding the Creation of the Syndicated Television Show XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS", for more information about this). (Yes, I know it is tacky putting in a plug for my own material, but I did not want to make this editorial longer than it needed to be).



ENCYCLOPEDIA XENAICA

WHOOSH! is pleased to announce the addition to its pages the ENCYCLOPEDIA XENAICA (EX). EX will be a continuing feature of the on-line WHOOSH! Part concordance, part fan guide, and part encyclopedia, EX will become a regular part of your enjoyment of constant re-watching of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS episodes. Have a question about a character, town, background myth, something you read on a mailing list, a bizarre term, or wish to know more about a topic? Then turn to the EX. EX will be updated and expanded as time warrants and will be maintained and administered by Rita Schnepp, aka Athena or Rita Reckless (schnepp@pepperdine.edu). If you have any questions, just pester Rita.



XENA FAQ

The former keeper of the preciousXena FAQ, Kicker, has allowed IAXS to adopt the maintenance and upkeep of the FAQ. The Keepers of the Sacred FAQ will be Cynthia Ward Cooper (cyn@netcom.com) and Debbie Cassetta (dcassett@duke.poly.edu). They are still in the process of adapting the FAQ for WHOOSH. It too will be a continuing feature of the on-line edition. Our aim is to make the FAQ the best darn summary of Xena information currently available. If you have any questions, please pester Cynthia or Debbie.



THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP GROW AT AN AMAZING PACE

Members of IAXS will receive quarterly versions of the Episode Guide, the Encyclopedia Xenaica, and the Xena FAQ (not to mention the monthly e-mail edition of WHOOSH!) for private home use. ONLY MEMBERS can get these benefits.



NEW XENA EZINE PREMIERING SOON!

A new ezine celebrating the wonderful world of Xena is scheduled to be released soon! It is called CENTAURS DON'T EAT HAY (CDEH). CDEH will be a monthly netzine that will include original and previously posted humorous material based on XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. (Sounds like a winner already.) It is anticipated that CDEH will eventually have a "Letters to Xena" feature, a "promote your Xena site here" column, parodies and skits, and Xena bloopers. All submitted work will be given full credit to the author (if known), as well as an additional plug to their web site. Contests may also be a consideration for future issues.

The first issue is scheduled to be released November 20, 1996! Mark those calendars! To subscribe to this ezine, send a request to errorlog@concentric.com.



EPISODE GUIDE COMETH!

We are sooooo close to having the on-line WHOOSH! Episode Guide complete and whole that even mentioning it is quickly becoming irrelevant. Along with Tricia Murphy and me, Anita Firebaugh has agreed to help us out with episode synopses and some commentary. We have the technology to get the synopsis up on the day of its release. How's THAT for service?

We have synopses, TV Guide descriptions, ratings info, and cast and credits through INTIMATE STRANGER (#31). We will hasten to get something up within 24 hours of the release date of any new episode. WARNING. The episode guide is situated in SPOILER CITY. Everything is usually open for commentary and discussion. If you don't want to know...DON'T LOOK.

I still have some commentary to get caught up upon, but who reads it for that? I appreciate everyone's patience. As soon as I am done with the first season commentaries, the First Season Episode Guide will be ready for home delivery to the membership.



FAVORITE EPISODES, ANY ONE?

To liven up the credits page we decided to throw on some pictures (ever wonder what a rabid hardcore nutball looks like, Lucy???!!!???), and to have our staff and contributors tell us about their favorite episodes and lines. I thought, Hey! It will be fun and an easy enough thing. WRONG. I had to wade through several heart-wrenching, soul-searching essays on why this person or that could not bring themselves to choose a favorite episode. One even said that it would be easier just to list the ones they did not like! Then they made the startling discovery midst the letter that they really did not dislike any of the shows. I negotiated as best I could and got some of them to actually commit on both a show (or shows!) and a line or two. Sheesh. Being an editor can have its more bizarre moments.



UPDATE ON IAXS

IAXS has a membership of over 100! Now all we need are the essays and articles to start flowing in. I can honestly assure you that if things continue as they are, WHOOSH! will be able to deliver on its promise of having a 12 issue year.

I hope you enjoy the cosmetic and design changes of the on-line WHOOSH #3. Betsy Book and Tom Simpson have worked above and beyond the call of duty to create new logos and icons galore.

Finally, thank you for reading and supporting Whoosh!




Kym Masera Taborn
Editor-in-Chief, WHOOSH!
Chairman of the Board,
International Association of Xena Studies


November 16, 1996



NOTE TO IAXS MEMBERS: The e-mail edition of Whoosh #3 will be available in a week or so.


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