NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS
By Laura Sue Dean
December 3, 1997
GABRIELLE 3: HELL SEASON
BORING RATINGS STUFF
LETTERS TO LAURA SUE
LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!
SOUND SOURCE INTERACTIVE will be giving out *Special Editions* of its HERCULES & XENA LEARNING ADVENTURE to more than half a million school children. The CD-Rom's are being used as an incentive to support specific school-sponsered fundraising programs. As the prize pupil of the Athens Academy of Performing Bards, the player ventures out into the countryside to collect stories of the legendary Hercules, son of Zeus, and Xena, Warrior Princess. These stories are earned by completing educational activities. Each completed activity yields a video clip and still picture that is then used to recreate the lost scrolls of Hercules and Xena.
LAURA SUE GETS VERKLEMPT when she thinks about all the generous and giving souls who are involved in the Xenaverse. So far this year the charitable donations made by Xenites totals over $24,000. These donations have come from fans and auctions. Now there are some new charitable ventures afoot.
THE BARD'S BOOK CLUB is "an organization to provide books to at-risk and underprivileged children and young adults on an ongoing basis." Check out their webpage.
AND SWORD & STAFF, which already raised over $3,800 for Daytop Village in their *Donations in Lieu of Flowers* drive during Lucy's broadway run, has announced another drive. In honor of Lucy and Rob's impending nuptuals, fans are being asked to make donations that will benefit the Pediatric Aids Foundation. For more information check out the Sword & Staff web page or mail checks or money orders made payable to PEDIATRIC AIDS FOUNDATION to:
Sword and Staff
P.O. Box 604991
Bay Terrace, NY 11360
CALLING ALL GABRIELLE FANS! Western Graphics Corporation has just printed a new poster in their XWP line -- titled "GABRIELLE". Problem is, they are only TESTING this poster, so it will only be available at *one store chain* per market across the country! In the interest of the quest for holy GABMERCHANDISE, LSD offers you the WSG Customer service phone number so you can flood their switchboards with telephone inquires as to WHERE THE FURK you can buy this poster in your area!
SIMPLY DIAL 1-541-686-2200, and ask about which store you can find the new "GABRIELLE" poster. Although it's called GABRIELLE, the poster is an unusual "horizontal" two-shot pose of Xena and Gabrielle (NO, not Xena and Gab in a HORIZONTAL POSE ... a horizontal-FORMAT poster!) of our gals from the waist up....with WET HAIR...and you know what THAT means... HOT TUB, anyone?) SO, Please call Western Graphics and find out where to get your LONG-AWAITED Gabrielle Poster (ALA beat them, but this has them together)
LSD SAW XENA THE OTHER DAY...unfortunately it was while she was in an alcohol-induced haze after a friend's Turkey Day bbq.... At least it was a FUN dream!
THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION is planning on going ahead with the Gabrielle Bookmarks for their Spring product release. They have also been made aware of certain web sites that are advertising the Sale of their Gabrielle and Xena ALA posters for $20!!! These posters can be ordered directly from the ALA for under $10 a piece. Laura Sue encourages everyone to support the ALA and put these price gougers outta business!
LUCY LAWLESS **AND** DANIELLE CORMACK HAVE BEEN SIGNED TO APPEAR AT THE SECOND ANNUAL BURBANK CON, January 17 and 18. Other guests for this 2 day extravaganza include Hudson Leick, Kevin Smith, Robert Trebor. Creation has promised that other guests have been invited and will be attending...but will not be announced until pesky things like contracts are signed. For tickets and further check with Creation Entertainment.
OTHER UPCOMING CONVENTIONS INCLUDE
Hudson Leick in Plano, Texas (01/03/98) Creation
Lucy Lawless in Burbank, CA (01/17-18/98) Creation
Karl Urban in St. Louis, Missouri (02/15/98) Creation
Unknown in NYC (02/21/98) Creation
Hudson Leick in Boston (03/22/98) Creation
IF YOU HAVE A FEST COMING UP, let Laura Sue know!
THE FAVORITE GAME OF XENITES right now is "Guess when MATERNAL INSTINCTS will air". Being knee-deep in rift land with nothing but reruns in sight, the natives are getting restless.
MINYA, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS ALISON WALL has reportedly reprised her role in a sequel to A DAY IN THE LIFE! Now, if they could only bring back the REAL Gabrielle....!
APPARENTLY, THERE HAS BEEN SOME TALK on the 'Net about racism and the hiring of Grant McFarland to play the part of Ming Tzu. Although his name may sound very Anglo, Grant is definitely Asian -- Malaysian to be precise. So any thoughts as to the XENA people being "racist" for casting a non-Asian in an Asian role is not pertinent since Grant IS Asian.
GABRIELLE 3: HELL SEASON
OF ALL THE HELLACIOUS AND CRAPPY THINGS GABRIELLE HAS BEEN THROUGH in the past couple months, this may have been the worst. Playing second fiddle to Joxer and Autolycus!
NOTHING NEW TO REPORT. Our girls would have to have been in the same scene together for more than 2 seconds for anything to happen. So welcome to RE-RUN hell boys and girls! It's gonna be a long haul until "Maternal Instincts".
BORING RATINGS STUFF
NO WINDOWS ALERT FOR SPEEDY! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! XWP is on the rebound...AND WHAT A REBOUND! The first three weeks of this season saw XWP plummet 18% from its promising premiere of a 6.1 rating. This past week THE DELIVERER (50/304) [featuring Caesar, Boudiccea, and an evil cult -- not to mention Gabrielle having an unpleasant close encounter with a fire god] delivered a healthy 6.0 rating placing 9th. This is 20% increase from the 5.0 rating for the previous THE DIRTY HALF DOZEN (49/303) [where Xena calls a class reunion to go up against an Ares sponsored warlord]. True, it is still below the season premiere, THE FURIES (47/301) [where Ares convinces the Furies to make Xena into one of the three stooges], but only by a mere 1.6%. And if this wasn't good news, the next week's GABRIELLE'S HOPE (51/305) [Gabrielle reproduces!] earned a 6.2 rating. Not a 20% leap, but a whopping 3% increase over the the previous episode and 1.8% over the premiere episode. And yes, all though out this roller coaster of ratings, XWP kept in the top ten of syndication first runs.
SPEEDY SAYS: ANYTHING IN THE 6's IS GOOD! Speedy refuses to commit any type of defenestration if the show keeps in the 6's. I was sweating it two weeks ago! That 5.0 was too close to comfort for THE DREADED 4's, but the feisty show picked up its battle accoutrements and hacked and sliced its way back to the top...well, sort of. The syndicated X-FILES weekly earned a 7.9 for the week of 10/20/97 and a 7.8 (a shocking 1.8% drop!) for the week of 10/27/97, making it the top weekly drama in the syndicated chart three weeks in a row! But make no doubt about it, XWP was Queen of the 2nd place, sharing it with no one!
COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS SEASONS, the third season XWP is doing okay from a pure ratings approach but not so well considering performance. Overall the show is finally showing what Speedy wants to see, even though she still has a way to go. The first season 4th week release was CRADLE OF HOPE (04/104) [where Xena and Gabrielle encounter Pandora and a baby in the bullrushes] which earned a 5.5 and took 2nd place of the hour dramas. That was a 22% increase from the premiere of SINS OF THE PAST (01/101) [where Xena and Gabrielle meet and Xena oozes with guilt and purpose, not to mention beating the pants off of Draco] and a whopping 25% increase from the show the week before, DREAMWORKER (03/103) [where Gabrielle is kidnapped by the dream god and Xena takes a stroll in a dreamscape].
THE SECOND SEASON'S 4TH EPISODE was the incredible GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (28/204) [Gabrielle is recruited by the Buckeye cult] which earned XWP its first number one hour drama position for that season with a 5.5. This was a 3.7% increase from the 3rd place premiere, ORPHAN OF WAR (25/201) [Gabrielle discovers that Xena gave up a son to adoption], and a 1.8% increase from the previously released episode, GIANT KILLER (27/203) [Xena runs into her old pal Goliath when X&G are strolling through the Canaan area].
FROM A SEASONAL AVERAGE APPROACH, the 3rd season is batting a 5.78, the 2nd season a 5.4, and the 1st a 4.74. From a placement perspective, 3rd season is 1.6, 2nd is 2.2, and 1st is 3.4 (from a syndicated placement perspective, the rankings go as follows: 3rd season is 7.5, 2nd season is 10.75, and 1st season is 16.75. Thus, from placement and actually ratings earned, XWP is doing A-O-K. But from a growth perspective, it still has to crawl out of its hole!
HERCULES rated a 5.6 at 10th place with WEB OF DESIRE (63/404) [where Herk meets Arachne] and a 6.1 with STRANGER IN A STRANGE WORLD (64/405) [Bizarre cross- over episode with Xena doing a bad Meg impression]. WEB had a 12% increase over the previous week for REGRETS, I'VE HAD A FEW (62/403) [a curious show which consisted of outtakes from YOUNG HERCULES, the alledged movie from the RP people to be released straight to video in 1998], and STRANGER was an 8.9% increase over WEB. No doubt the Xena factor helping. WEB was a 1.8% increase while STRANGER was a 10.9% increase over the season premiere, BEANSTALKS AND BAD EGGS (60/401) [where Autloycus and Hercules experience Jack and the beanstalk].
STRANGELY ENOUGH for the week of 10/20/97, the show that ranked 4th was WALKER: TEXAS RANGER. Appears that this show is pulling an X-FILES. Instead of a regular strip daily showing, WALKER is being syndicated as a weekly, thus qualifying it for the Syndicated Top Twenty. What a guy! WALKER made a very healthy debut of 5.3. However, he was out of the charts by the next week.
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE with BEHIND THE LINES (128/604) [where Odo gets back into his people again, in more ways than one!] ranked 16th with 5.1 and with FAVOR THE BOLD (129/605) [where the action packed "Take the Station" two-parter began]. BEHIND was a 5.5% decrease from the 6th season premiere A TIME TO STAND (125/601), and a 6.25% increase from the the previous episode SON AND DAUGHTERS (127/603). FAVOR was a 6.6 increase from TIME, and a 17.6% increase from the previous week's BEHIND. Perhaps STAR TREK is getting its wind back?
EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT with MIRACLE (03/103) was out of the top twenty the week of 10/20/97, but it nonetheless earned a 4.2. The next week it earned a 4.3. It looks like EARTH might be a contender. Its ratings are following a similar pattern to XWP's during her 1st season.
DON'T FORGET MY PERPETUAL CONTEST! Just send me what rating you think a specific episode will get before the numbers come out (no cheating now!!!), and if you are the first person to answer correctly, you will win a prize!!! How about THAT!!! So please send your guess to SPEEDY and put in the subject area "GUESS THE RATING". Be sure to include the name of the episode or release date and the rating YOU THINK it will get.
Someone sent in a guess of 6.1 for THE DELIVERER, and folks, it was 6.0. Talk about a near miss!
LETTERS TO LAURA SUE
THANK YOU!!! Your column is great. As soon as I finish reading the newest, I simply lust for the next!! Please continue forever. I was wondering, though, about the little bios at the end of most articles. Where's Yours??? Could you fill us( I say us because I'm sure EVERYONE wants to know) on your fav eps and lines?
Thanks(for the info and the column),
LAURA SUE RESPONDS:
Dear Liath --
You are most welcome! (for the info and the column) To quote a certain bottled spaghetti sauce's advertising slug line...."It's In There." You aren't looking in the right place. Just DOUBLE- CLICK on THE STAFF hyperlink in the WHOOSH masthead. I'm there
Dear Laura Sue,
I am new to this on line thing but as soon as I sign on today I new I had to find this WEB page. It's what I have been waiting for. I saw the write up in "entertainment weekly" cool. I have one question are the writers from XENA (my goddess) going to push the Xena Gaby thing ...wink...wink...?
Keep up the great work.
LAURA SUE RESPONDS:
I'm very sorry, but I'm not following you -- *WHAT* "Xena Gaby thing"????
I've been reading different articles, about the direction of how the third season is supposed to go, and i'm kind of confused about what's happening with Gabrielle's character. I'm starting to get the feeling that her character could be leaving the show. I was wondering if you could shed some light on the subject.
LAURA SUE RESPONDS:
As far as I know, there are no plans for Gabrielle leaving the show -- in fact, the producers have created an entirely NEW gabrielle for the third season! So, welcome to the new POD Gabrielle! (she's tan, she's rested and ready to go on until the real Gabrielle comes back!)
In your "News, Gossip, and Rumors #10" you mentioned that a Hercules/Xena Unofficial Companion book/guide and a Xena:WP Official Guide are available. Are they currently selling in bookstores? If not, could you tell me where I could get them? Thanks...KC
LAURA SUE RESPONDS:
I am actually shocked that you didn't figure out this one by yourself... You can order any and all Xena books at:
I wanted to write and let you know about my new talker, Chakrams and Scrolls. This is a telnet based talker, allowing fans of the show to come on and talk to each other real-time. There are currently 30 rooms, allowing people to have private conversations, and also main rooms, where people can just chat at will. The room descriptions are based on the show, and I think it will be a great place for Xena fans to hang out and get to know each other! The web site is not quite finished, but will be online soon at http://www.talker.com/xena and the address for the talker itself is talker.com 8000. I'll be linking to your web site from the web site for the talker, so I was wondering if you could add the talker to your links, stating a little bit about what I've done. If you have any questions, comments or requests, PLEASE let me know...
Thanks a ton!
Melissa aka 'Gabrielle' on Chakrams And Scrolls
LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!
If you HAVE any good dish, write me. Need a rumor confirmed, denied, or ambiguously tap danced around? I'm your gal! Just drop Laura Sue a line!
I can't print every letter, but I'll do my best to answer your questions... and report those late-breaking XWP stories!
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