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NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS
#19

By Laura Sue Dean
April 17, 1998

NEWS!
XWP SIGHTINGS
MERCHANDISE
CONVENTIONS
WEBSITES
GOSSIP!
RUMORS!
GABRIELLE 3: HELL SEASON
THE RIFT-O-METER
ERRATA
BORING RATINGS STUFF
LETTERS TO LAURA SUE
LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!



HELLO ADORING FANS! Laura Sue is just ex-hausted from making merry at the reception. (Thanks to a very Handsome doorman, you-know-who-you are!) Rubbing elbows with the cast and crew, drinking endless glasses of bubbly... it's an excruciatingly harsh job that Laura Sue has, but golly, someone has to do it! Laura Sue was especially impressed with the four-tiered wedding cake -- beautiful! Tastefully decorated with faux seaweed, sea shells and instead of the "bride and groom" on top, there was Poseidon and his lovely mermaid!


NEWS!

GET ME TO THE CHURCH ON TIME! It's official: XWP Executive Producer Rob Tapert became Mr. Lucy Lawless on Saturday, March 28th (the day before the Flawless one's birthday) at Saint Monica's (in Santa Monica, CA.) This wedding was pulled together by a pro! Lucy hired a top professional to help organize this hush-hush event. Rumors were flying that it was to be "Madonna-like" in scope and stature -- guests would get phone calls at the last minute, a limo would arrive to whisk them away to a super-secret location for the ceremony. Laura Sue got no such phone call... (she is certain that her invitation got lost in the mail, so she holds no grudges against the newlyweds--whatever!) Nine-year-old Daisy was Mom's maid of honor, and Mom looked fab-u-lous in an elaborate white gown with a 12-foot train. The dress was designed by the show's costume diva, Ngila Dickson. The low-cut dress exposed Lawless' shoulders and back, which were otherwise covered by a chiffon veil.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO LEARN MORE about Lucy and Rob's big day, just click here.

RENEE O'CONNOR, XWP's GABRIELLE (who wore a light blue "modest" gown) and her beau, Steve Muir; newly married Kevin Sorbo and his actress bride, Sam Jenkins, were there; and, in a typical show of class, almost everyone connected with both shows was invited. (Except of course, me!) The beautiful bride and groom left the church for the reception at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in a white Rolls Royce. The entire staff at News, Gossip, Rumors (Yes, LSD has a staff!) would like to take this opportunity to wish the happy couple a long, leisurely honeymoon (whereever they may be!).

IS THAT A HICKEY?!? Renee O'Connor acted as spokeswoman for the honeymooning couple when she appeared on Entertainment Tonight to unveil the Official Wedding photos. (ROC described getting a big ole kiss on the cheek and turning around to see a beaming Lucy... )

WHAT'S THE DEAL, SAL? Robert Trebor recently did a chat with TV GUIDE Online where he discussed, among other things, his *PALINDROME PALS* FAN CLUB WEBSITE, his desire to direct more ACTION PACK episodes, his role as David Berkowitz in CBS' Son of Sam movie, and why he's not on next week's Herc or Xena episode.

OKAY, Y'ALL CAN STOP ASKING ME NOW!!! The USA cable channel will start broadcasting Hercules and Xena 5 days a week in the 6 and 7 PM slots starting August 3, 1998.




XWP SIGHTINGS


XWP OVER A BASKETBALL GAME? WELL, DUH!!!! The ABC Comedy "Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place" featured a lead character who refused to leave for a Celtics game (the series takes place in Boston) until XWP was over.




MERCHANDISE


ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION OVER THERE? LSD was going through her brand-new set of Topps Xena Trading Cards when she fell off her Bard-a-Lounge. You probably will not believe this, but there weren't cards for Ephiny or Salmoneus. Huh? What were they thinking? Or, were they thinking? There are cards for Draco...even Velaska...but no Eph or Sal?!? Who's the genius behind this? Hello?!? Someone should inform Topps that these guys are major supporting characters.

MORE REASONS TO AVOID HOMEWORK! For all of you Nintendo gamers out there, here is some news about a Xena (and a Herc) game; First for GameBoy, then for N64: Titus is planning a set of games for Game Boy, with an innovative character-swap system, allowing a character exchange between the two games. (E.g., when Xena is transferred to the Herc game, she will be able to do things and go places beyond Herc. (well... duh!) The word on the N64 games are that they will be released in 1999, and the first one will be based on Xena. (yep, those suits are finally learning!)

BIG-DOIN'S IN XENA-LAND! SIMULTRONICS and UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Online have launched their online HERCULES & XENA: ALLIANCE OF HEROES text-based RPG. (RPG=Role Playing Game)

THE GAME USES THE SAME ENGINE as GEMSTONE III and DRAGONREALMS, and is set in the Greek mythological world of the syndicated TV series. New features are added to the game daily, including hidden spoilers about upcoming TV episodes. Laura Sue has played this game for a while (and obsessively, but hey -- isn't she obsessive about everything?) and so far, killed several boa constrictors, sewer rats, skeletons, died, found her way out of Tarterus and met lots of very nice folks wandering around ancient Athens. Of course, being the consummate actor, the role-playing is trel-appealing! Believe Laura Sue, cheating Hades and coming back to life (with mega-experience points to boot!) is a major Ego Boost! In short -- this game is fun! A word of caution from someone who learns everything the Hard Way -- If you are new to the online role-playing realm, stick close to places where lots of folks congregate (hint, hint!) and remember -- mentors are a gals' best friend!

AND, LISTEN TO THIS! To market this unique product, the suits are tossing about an idea to have Lucy, Renee, et. al. spend a day cavorting with the Hoi Palloi in the lands -- would that be awesome, or what? Laura Sue is busy honing her gaming skills -- in the event she is called upon to assist our gals if they should run into any trouble fighting zombies or monsters... (sigh)

TEASE: Stay close to NGR's merchandise column for some very exciting news for sony playstation fans!




CONVENTIONS


WHAT'S UP? What's Up Productions is producing the 1st Annual Mystic Warriors Renaissance Festival in Reno, Nevada from September 18-20, 1998. They will be presenting surprise guest stars from not only XWP and HTLJ, but for all you closet Conan fans, from CONAN as well! They are planning a Celebrity Dinner (yes, not only see and meet with your objects of obsession, but eat them as well), as well as the usual vendors, games, competitions, movie clippings, music cuts, autographing, interviews, etc. Prices are $25 for adults and $10 for kids under 15. For more information call Adrienne Forest at 602-691-0555, or e-mail her.

UPCOMING FESTS AND CONS

Robert Weisbrot: NYC XenaFest (04/18/98) Fan
Pittsburgh XenaFest II (05/02/98) Fan
Ted Raimi: Phoenix (05/31/98) Creation
NWP XenaFest II (05/30/98) Fan
Robert Trebor/Stephen Sears/Patricia Tallman: Las Vegas (06/14-18/98) Fans of Fantasy Con
SoCal XenaFest IV (07/25/98) Fan
Alexandra Tydings: Taunton, MA (07/31-08/02) RebelCon
Hudson Leick: Minneapolis (08/08/98) Creation
Hudson Leick/Karl Urban: Cherry Hill, NJ (08/29-30/98) Creation
TBA: Atlanta (09/03-06/98) DragonCon
TBA: Reno (09/18-20/98) Mystic Warriors
Hudson Leick: San Francisco (10/18/98) Creation
TBA: Santa Monica (01/99) Creation

ORGANIZING A FAN CONVENTION, FAN FEST, OR WHATEVER? Drop Laura Sue a line and I will shamelessly promote the heck out of it, especially if you give me a comp ticket to the event!




WEBSITES


LAURA SUE HAD A LINK she wanted to share, but she lost it . So instead I will use this space to beg my loving fans - LSD wants to hear about kewl and unusual sites! Whatever strikes my fancy will find a place in the hallowed halls of NGR-fame (we all deserve our moment in the sun)!




GOSSIP


WE CAME THIS CLOSE <-> TO EXTENDED XWS! Boys and girls, this one went down to the wire! The current three-year SAG & AFTRA contract expires June 30, so negotiations were fast and furious to cut a new deal... if one didn't happen, we'd be up a creek without a paddle...with the HORDE closing in! Here's what Laura Sue snipped from the wires:

Actors, Producers OK Tentative Deal
© The Associated Press (reprinted w/out permission)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Setting the two most contentious issues aside, film and TV producers reached a tentative contract agreement with actors, they announced Sunday.

Talk was postponed on the issues of residual payments for television shows broadcast in foreign countries and domestic cable fees "to avoid dividing and potentially paralyzing the industry," the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said in a joint statement.

Contract details were not released. They will be presented to SAG and AFTRA leaders for approval in the next few weeks. If approved, the contract will go to the unions' more than 130,000 members for ratification.

The residual rates are to be decided after an industry wide study that could take up to two years, the statement said.

SAG and AFTRA want a doubling of the current residual rate for shows on foreign TV and a portion of distributors' foreign revenues. They also seek a substantial increase in the current 6 percent fees for domestic cable.

Producers want reductions in domestic residual payments, a lower salary structure for movies with budgets below $15 million and a lower cap on pension and health contributions.

The current three-year contract expires June 30. Contract talks began Feb. 19.

SAG members haven't struck since 1980, when a walkout caused massive disruption of the subsequent fall TV schedule. Hollywood's last major strike came in 1988 when the Writers Guild of America walked out for 22 weeks.



A FROCK TART OF HIS OWN??!! Fresh from the files of the kiwi paparazzi, here's a snap of Whoosh! gadabout Bret Rudnick undergoing final costume fitting for his upcoming syndicated television debut in SACRIFICE.

Preparing for the remake of Birth of a
Nation

Bret Rudnick getting ready for more Amazon action.


PSSSSSTTT! HASN'T SOMEONE TOLD HIM "WRONG BLONDE" YET? And instead of plugging Laura Sue, Bret's out plugging Amazons! But not to worry -- I'm sure he's circulating Laura Sue's portfolio at all those parties he attends. Why just last week someone told me they heard him say "You got any more of that Laura Sue gossip stuff? I'm outta paper in here!" What a guy!



ARE THEY CRAZY...MORE SPINOFFS? This comment was taken from a recent Bruce Campbell online chat:

Question: "Are there any plans for an Autolycus spinoff from Hercules/Xena?"

BruceCampbell says: "I'm talking with the producers about a new show that will be a fun show in keeping with the other shows. But, it's not currently planned to be an Autolycus show. No, I don't have ANY details. I don't know."



KUDOS? FOR ME? WHY, THANK YOU!
"Since AWARD MANIA struck the Internet, we at The Playground felt we had to jump on the bandwagon. Some adoring fan nominated you for HEATHER'S CONTENT GLAMMY because they think you are brilliant. (Or you think you are brilliant and nominated yourself.) [[LSD comment, NOT!!!]] Want to find out if you won? Go to http://www.pfplayground.com/mix/technolog y/april/gwinners.htm If you won, you can pick up your specially engraved award, read the charming praise Heather has heaped upon you, and then follow the link to your own site to kiss your own screen and bask in the glory that is you. If you lost, you can start a bloody, unrelenting feud with the winners."

I SUPPOSE THE INTREPID WHOOSH! STAFFERS should start preparing for the onslaught of feuders, since the site won one the annual Glammy awards for "Excellence in Content". If anyone needs us for the next few weeks, we'll be holed up in the abandoned barn that we'll dub an "armory."




RUMORS!


LIVE FROM NEW GREECE-LAND...IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!!! The SNL rumor has reared its head again. Laura Sue's mailbox started filling with requests for confirmation that Lucy would be hosting Saturday Night Live. My sources at SNL are busy as Tori Spelling's dialog coach preparing for the new season starting in September, and... they tell me that the FLawless one, Lucy Lawless is on the potential guest list!!!

OF COURSE, EVERYBODY, including my Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Don are on SNL's "potential" list, just not as close to the top. (Pssst, if the SNL producers are listening, I hear ROBERT TREBOR, aka Salmoneous is available...)




GABRIELLE 3: HELL SEASON


RE-RUNS...ALWAYS WITH THE RE-RUNS! Last week we had to RE-endure the "way-harsh lipstick and those earrings reminiscent of the 'Miracle of the Bowling Balls'" Not to mention, jumping into that ICK-water while wearing her lovely aqua silk-number! As Dr. Smith would say, "Ohhhhh THE PAIN!!"

THIS WEEK, THE GABSTER has to endure the affections of Joxer, the Ape Man. Of all the tortures Gabrielle has suffered through this season, this may just be the worst.




RIFT-O-METER


LAURA SUE ASKED Y'ALL FOR FEEDBACKabout THE RIFT from her faithful readers. My, but did she have fun reading the very creative and thoughtful replies! One of the (printable) replies follows:

"What did we get out of the rift? ONE AGAINST AN ARMY, Pwaise Hestia!"

--An emotionally wrung out but happy fan,




ERRATA


YES, READERS, IT'S TRUE. Laura Sue occasionally makes a faux pas, and is always eternally grateful when a knowing fan points it out, as one has, below. All she can say is, gee, thanks! (We all know how hard Laura Sue strives to maintain her stellar reputation, as a hard-news journalist don't we?)
I am a huge fan of your web page but I have found a mistake in the merchandise section. The person who wrote the descriptions of the action figures did a good job, but at the end made the comment of other toys that "should be" made. One of these was Ares, and an Ares figure has been made. I will admit that it is a very poor representation of everyone's favorite god of war, but it has been made -- by ToyBiz."

[Laura Sue much prefers the one made by the oh-so-talented (and dreamy!) Paksnarrion, but okay, so ToyBiz made one...]




BORING RATINGS STUFF


SPEEDY IS MISSING IN ACTION. If you see SPEEDY, please tell SPEEDY to come back. Laura Sue really didn't mean what she said. The stress of the Academy Awards, the Emmy nominations, and then the FISH THEMED wedding was just too much. Yes. Laura Sue finally went over the edge and the target was SPEEDY. SPEEDY, come hoooome!!!




LETTERS TO LAURA SUE


Laura.

In your latest NGR report you wrote that Bruce:

"HE MIGHT GET A SHOW OF HIS OWN spun off from Herc/Xena, but not about Autolycus."

But did you know that Hudson is almost singing the same tune. When asked if she'll get her own show, she basically replies with something like: "It'll be nice but it wouldn't be about Callisto."

Things are getting interesting! Also if you haven't read it yet.

Robert Tapert was quoted saying in the latest Xena magazine (#2)...

"She has certainly run the course of being Xena's ultimate villain, and that's a well you can only go to with her so many times," evaluates Rob Tapert. "Callisto has a very definite arc - she is going to act as a guide and model for Xena. She will give some small amount of joy that only brings a larger amount of unhappiness into her life. But she still serves a very self-reflective function, and we're going to play that in a less adversarial role for now." Right now, anything is possible (especially with Robert Tapert comments above) but I'm just hoping to be seeing more of Hudson on TV and not less.

Until then,

--Tower






Hi--

Around the rumor mill I have heard of both potential non-Callisto and Callisto centered spin-offs starring Hudson. Any truth?

--Darth Skeye

LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear Callisto fans,

Darling, if you go chewing on what comes out of rumor mills, you'll likely end up with something half-baked, underdone, and thin (which is not a bad description of Laura Sue, come to think of it!) But seriously kids, talk is *cheap* (and, judging from Laura Sue's mail bag lately, some people think *she* is, too, tsk, tsk!) There are still many, many things to consider, deals to be struck, and lunches "done".

Speaking of which, that charming fellow who let me in to the wedding reception last week promised to call me for lunch and he hasn't done it yet! Why, oh why, don't they *call*?! They always *say* they will, but do they? No! They just let us sit here, waiting, wanting... oh, sorry, where WERE we?

Anyway, while Laura Sue thinks it's more likely than not that we've seen the last of Callisto after the end of Season 3, it's still far too soon to tell yet what's happening with various and sundry projects in the "pitch" stages.

But rest assured, Laura Sue always has her cell phone with her to take *any* calls in order to find out. (Why, oh why, don't they *call*?!)

--Laura Sue Dean, the ACTRESS!






And now, for the "I don't write 'em people, I just agree...er (cough) *print* 'em" file:

Laura Sue,

I have just one question, why in the hell is Ted Rami playing such an Annoying character? I admit that every time I see the show there is the briefest hope that he will be as cool as the character he used to play on the old show SeaQuest DSV. He was actually a cool cynical communications and weapons officer and I was just wondering what happened, or if I'm wrong about the SeaQuest connection. Just wondering.

--Longing for the Good old Days.



Dear Laura Sue,

I'm a huge fan of XWP, and always have been. The acting is fabulous, as are the scripts, but what always seemed to be the biggest attraction for me was the *ALL FEMALE* star rule -- that is, the show starred two women, and that was it. It's what makes the show so cool! But now I hear that Joxer will be in up to 22 episodes?! Ted Raimi is a fabulous actor, and I give him credit where credit is due, but how I hate his character! Joxer is far and away my least favorite person on Xena, and adding to that the fact that it would change one of the fundamentals of my favorite show is just really annoying. No offense to Ted, but is there anything we can do, or someone we can write to so he doesn't get all 22?

--Annoyed in New York



Laura Sue,

I just read your latest NGR update in Whoosh!, which confirms that Ted Raimi has been signed for 22 X:WP eps. Why?

Don't get me wrong - I'm not a Joxer-hater, but I certainly don't have a preference for eps that feature him. One of the reasons I'm drawn to X:WP is the Xena/Gabrielle relationship - as far as I'm concerned, the show is about them, not about them and Joxer. When Joxer's around, the relationship dynamic changes.

Perhaps that's what TPTB want. Do you think that turning X:WP into the Xena/Gabrielle/Joxer show will get the Xenastaff out of the subtext corner they seem to have backed themselves into? I mean, they really can't take the Xena/Gabrielle relationship any further (society just isn't ready), so either they keep the status quo, or they back off.

What do you think?

--Curious



LSD (Hmmm that sounds familiar)

I enjoy your gossip "column", find it amusing and even informative, "hey". Anyway, since I'm in work and should be working, I'll make this short: What the Hell (can I say that) is Joxer doing in 22 episodes of Xena. I like him but not that much, and since when did the twosome become a threesome. Please pass it on to whoever counts, that this is a very bad idea if it comes to pass. Let him get his own %$%#%^ show.

--pooka



Dear Laura Sue,

love your info...lots of fun...not sure who is responsible for the xena show becomming the j**** show...if this is what they want do it already so i and my friends can move on...we are so over this season of the j**** eps...it does tho save some video tape...and gives us lots of free thursdays now...

--over it in Texas



LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear Readers:

What can Laura Sue say? Business is business and apparently this is a business decision...by a big cheese with a "vision." (Apparently nobody has the cajones to let the Emperor know he's buck-naked.) Meanwhile, there's been some *very* creative ideas tossed about the internet -- Top-10 Ways J***r could appear in all 22 eps. All acrimonious hypothesizing aside, (can you say "Funeral pyre ashes in Argo's saddlebags"?) the Plain Truth is...all we can really do about it is trust. Trust in the truly talented and passionate artists that sweat blood weekly to bring us, the fans, this show. Show? I mean this incredible work of art. (Remember... we could be watching Sinbad!) Season three definitely has its (way-harsh) critics, but then, those critics don't have to bang out an hour-long television show twenty-two times over, year in, year out. It's always easier to sit on the porch and complain about the sprinkler system than to dig the trenches in the hot summer sun...

BTW, this defense has been written before viewing FINS, FEMMES AND GEMS. And, judging from the (Lame-O) preview she saw last week, she wonders...should Laura Sue waited until after? Only her hairdresser knows for sure! (Coiffure-boy has a satellite dish!!)




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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