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NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS
#22

By Laura Sue Dean
September 17, 1998

NEWS!
XWP SIGHTINGS!
MERCHANDISE
CONVENTIONS
WEBSITES
GOSSIP
RUMORS!
BORING RATINGS STUFF
LETTERS TO LAURA SUE
LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!



Hello. My name is Laura Sue Dean, and...
I've been away for a while. Yes. That's it. Away. At a... resort. A nice resort. In fact I saw a lot of other Hollywood stars there too! LSD doesn't need to name drop, so she'll keep her lips sealed about the guest list at this EXCLUSIVE... resort. LSD also needs to check in with y'all and tell you that she's had a semi-rough summer... Some of you were nice enough to write Laura Sue to say how much you've missed your dose of news, gossip and rumors; and believe me, this reporter MISSED digging up the dirt just as much... LSD is sorry for your pain, and will sincerely attempt to make "amends". *Trust* Laura Sue -- it couldn't be helped. (Hope that doesn't bring up a lot of issues for you!)

A lot of those letters basically said, "What Happened?" Without getting maudlin, here's a brief synopsis: After a long night at the Phoenix (and a long string of Long Island Iced Teas) LSD got behind the wheel of her sporty red Jeep when clearer heads would have hailed a cab. Two months of rental cars and court dates later, Laura Sue went incognito to check into above-mentioned "resort". Twenty-eight + days later she feels like a new woman..."Tan, rested and ready!" as they say! (who are they, anyway?)

So, if you can find it in your hearts to forgive LSD a little "rehab" time, she'll sharpen her pencils and get down to doing what she knows best! Bringing you all the news that's fit (and a little dirt, too) about the fourth season of XWP! Can ya? Huh? Well, okay! Let's ROC!




NEWS!

IS IT MERE COINCIDENCE OR ARE THE POWERS THAT BE TRYING TO TELL US SOMETHING?
Tonight, YES, tonight, our favorite dark-haired warrior woman actress, Lucy Lawless will be on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO. And what else is tonight??? Well, it's the 2nd Anniversary of the WHOOSH Website site and Journal. On September 17, 1996, WHOOSH went on-line with Journal Number One. Is this great timing or what, Lucy??? There will be an on-line party celebrating both WHOOSH and Ms. Lawless TONIGHT at the XENA PALACE (go to http://whoosh.org/palace for more information). And the COINCIDENCES NEVER CEASE! On October 17, 1998, Lucy Lawless will host SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE in NYC. And what else is happening that date in NYC??? The marriage between the WHOOSH Website and TOM'S XENA PAGE will take place. Yes, those two lovebirds, Betsy Book (webmaster of WHOOSH) and Tom Simpson (webmaster of TOM's XENA PAGE) will tie the knot into Holy Wedded Bliss. Now I ask again...IS THIS MERE COINCIDENCE???



LAURA SUE KNOWS SHE'S BEEN GONE AWHILE AND THAT IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY BUT...SHEESH!.
The kids at Simutronics' Hercules and Xena: Alliance of Heroes online RPG are trying to get in on LSD's GIG! George Strayton, RenPics merchandising maven, has been meeting with the Simultronic's creative geniuses to make the game even more addicting... and.. they've added a GOSSIP page [GASP]! They'll have tidbits and stuff on the stars and upcoming eps.... here's a snip from the first installment:

"Salmoneus Goes to Europe! Robert Trebor has been traveling quite a bit lately, it seems - visiting merry old England for several fan conventions. We hear he was spotted at the Fifth Annual Cult TV Fest in Shropshire last weekend, and will be stopping in at the First Annual Hercules & Xena Symposium in Surrey on September 12th and 13th. All this and he still has time to finish up the final bits for next season's Hercules episode, "For Those Of You Who Have Just Joined Us" - a sequel to last seasons "Yes Virginia, There Is a Hercules." Where does he find the time?!"

Get more SIMUTRONIC'S H/X GOSSIP is at: http://www.play.net/simunet_public/hx/hxgossip.asp.



DANIELLE CORMACK NEWS:
Our favorite Amazon Queen stand-in has been approached to appear in a new XENA episode! That's great news, but she may not be able to fit it in to her busy schedule... Immediately after her Cherry Hill appearance she traveled to the Australian Outback to begin work on a film for several weeks (a dark romantic comedy). Ephiny won't be able to commit to Xena if the Australia gig runs over -- we'll all keep our fingers crossed that she can!



THE NEW SEASON COMETH
The HERK episode "For Those of you Just Joining Us..." will be a sequel to last season's "Yes Virginia There Is A Hercules". This time around, the gang will go to a writer's camp (perhaps to fix those fifth season doldrums?) with a counselor called Sunny Day, played by Renee O'Connor! This sounds like one that shouldn't be missed.

Among the other characters who will be back:
Borias, Caesar, Pompey, Tara (the brat), Cleopatra, and more! Michael Hurst signed for 22 episodes of XENA and HERK, some of them directing. Bruce Campbell is also doing some directing. There was mention of hard times for Iolaus for the next season (Iolaus' year of hell perhaps?), and a new character on Herc, a demigoddess named Morgan. And did I mention Xena gets a new nemesis? The Horde will also return, and Herc, Xena, and Gab will have temporary wardrobe changes next season. There are serious rumblings about cutting Joxer from further episodes. They really might be serious this time around. But Laura Sue sees that they might just decide to actually DEVELOP THE CHARACTER a little this season. Wouldn't THAT be a nice change?




XWP SIGHTINGS

SHOULD I MAKE THIS THE COMING OUT AREA???
Last month Madeleine Albright (remember her? Secretary of State or something for the US; sometimes when I am channel surfing waiting for one of the thirty-two weekly XENA broadcasts, my remote gets stuck at CSPAN. Hey! It could happen!) came out as a Xenite. In New Zealand of all places. Seems like she wanted to make a point to the natives and chose to use Xena-talk. This caused a stir because Ms. Albright conjectured that Xena would be pro-nuclear and then Lucy Lawless countered that Xena would not be, and then Lucy used a big word (atavism) which forced an entire planet to run to its dictionary (Laura Sue still feels the most traumatic run-to-the-dictionary word she has ever encountered is consilience). This political stuff can give a gal a headache, you know? BUT THE IMPORTANT THING is that Albright FINALLY came out of the closet. She is a Xenite. So there.



DID YOU SEE ME?
The E! cable channel missed me again at the Emmys and they almost near missed Lucy and Renee. Thank goodness they were interviewing that Flockhart person while our ladies walked by. I am not going to bother to link you to the E! page where they have a realvideo/.mov of the interview. If you want it that bad, you probably already have it!




MERCHANDISE

SOME GABSTER STUFF!
While putting in my time, I had the chance to check out the new ALA catalog, and discovered that they finally have the bookmarkers that I had been waiting for! Yup! All-Gabrielle. There are 100 in a pack: 50 of Gabrielle and 50 Xena. Unfortunately for you ALL-GAB fans, that's the only way they are selling them. They are US$6.00, item #5024-0397. To order, call 1-800-545-2422 and press 7, between 8:00am to 5:00pm CST Mon-Fri. They still have the Gabrielle Banner available, so that might ease the pain of having to buy 50 Xenas. Or, you can fax that order at 1-312-836-9958



PSYCHO BARBIE? OR, BI-POLAR GAB?
Laura Sue has finally seen the 12 inch Xena dolls and lived to tell about them! Some friends told me while I was at the Shady Rest how bad they were but I just couldn't believe they could be that bad.......... Well, let me tell you, these are some of the most horrendous dolls I've ever seen. I don't understand how anyone connected with the show allowed these dolls to be released . The heads look HUGE and don't fit the bodies. The facial expression on the Callisto doll looks like she's constipated and what's up with the hair on the Xena doll. Thank God I was spared the sight of the Gabrielle doll. I'm sorry guys, but these dolls will be in the clearance aisle soon and I doubt I'll even buy them then. I guess my feelings are sort of strong on this subject because I've been looking forward to seeing these dolls for months. What were they thinking? If they look at some of the Mattel celebrity dolls maybe they could get a better idea of how to make a doll that looks like the character or at least how to make the doll look attractive. At least the Spice Girls dolls look sort of like them and at least the heads fit the bodies. I'll have to play with my Barbie's now to calm down.



COUNT DOWN TO HALLOWEEN
Sewing machine broke down? Panicking about Halloween coming up? Check out Todd Coyle's Costume Website for seeing what the well-dressed Amazon can be wearing on October 31st this year. Todd Coyle runs a costume website and carries costumes to clothe an entire nation of Amazons and warrior princesses.




CONVENTIONS

UPCOMING FESTS AND CONS
Karl Urban: Sacramento (09/20/98) Creation
TBA: Baltimore (10/2-4/98) Zon Con
Ted Raimi: Seattle (10/10/98) Creation
Hudson Leick/Ted Raimi: San Francisco (10/18/98) Creation
TBA: Chicago (10/31-11/01/98) Creation
TBA: Santa Monica (01/23-24/99) 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

Xena does NASCAR.
Last month on NASCAR online there was a chat with Patty Moise, who just so happens to drive the number 14 Ford sponsored by Rhodes Furniture which has a painted Xena on the hood. Someone asked her about the Xena paint job, and she said:

[Question]Are you planning on running the Xena car again this year?

[Moise] "I'm not 100 percent sure if we're running the Xena car again. That's been up to Terry Smith, who is Michael's business manager, and Rhodes. It's a beautiful car and gets a lot of interest when we run it. It also sparked some interest in Rhodes (the sponsor), and the car may be purple next year."

The Michael she mentioned is Michael Waltrip, the owner of the carr. If you would like to e-mail him and encourage him to paint all her cars in the Xena theme here is his e-mail address: michael_waltrip@revspeedway.com or you can visit his website at http://www.revspeedway.com/Fan_Club/michael_waltrip.html.




GOSSIP

COMING SOON TO A COUNTRY NEAR YOU!
Our sources say Hercules and Xena won't be spending as much time in Greece this season. Look for both shows to venture out into the wide world around them. Where are they going, you ask? Shhh... we can't tell you everything can we? You're right. We could. And we might...later!



HERCULES TURNS INTO A ... TEENAGER!
Well, Kevin Sorbo might not be - but this new Hercules is! Starting September 12th, we think you should keep an eye out for a new Hercules series featuring Hercules, Jason and Iolaus as young men. Starring Ryan Gosling (last seen on UPN's "Breaker High") as the Youngun Hercules, the show will be filmed in New Zealand and feature characters such as Strife, Discord, and Ares. Being a gossip page, we're not saying this is definite, of course...no, no, not at all. Nope. But if we were going to watch it, we'd check it out Tuesdays through Fridays at 4:30 PM and Saturday mornings at 9:30 AM on Fox! In fact, eek, it's already started airing...quick...turn on the set...THERE IT IS!



AND WHAT'S A GOSSIP AREA WITHOUT A MENTION ABOUT WHOOSH's VERY OWN JET-SETTER PLAYBOY, STAR INTERVIEWER, BRET RUDNICK?
Believe it or not! That was **NOT** a rhetorical question! WHOOSH!'s own Bret Rudnick was recently on New Zealand television as part of a documentary being done by NZ TV3. Ironically, Bret got more screen time in New Zealand as part of a film done in Burbank than he did on US screens when he was in the XENA episode, SACRIFICE I last season. Isn't it so, er, IRONIC?

I have some graphics up in my room...want to see them?

Bret Rudnick, WHOOSH staffer, telling it like it is to NZ TV3...





RUMORS!

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER?
In a recent interview with the NZ press, Lucy Lawless was quoted as saying "I'm incredibly lucky to have this role [Xena]. I will never get a role that has this much scope...If it lasts five or eight years, that's still still long in terms of a lifetime and I certainly don't intend it to be long in terms of my career either."

"lasts five or eight years"? Does Laura Sue feel a contract negoitiation going on? Does Laura Sue have a premonition of a season beyond, say, 5? Does Laura Sue talk to herself too much in the third person? Stay tuned...Laura Sue might have more job security than she ever imagined!



THAT WILD AND CRAZY JOSH BECKER
Unless you were in some sort of Betty Ford type clinic, you probably have already read about how Josh Becker, a director of XENA shows, on his website, mentioned that the FINS, FEMMES, AND GEMS episode was meant to be the "coming out" episode of XWP like the "puppy episode" was in ELLEN. Since then, TPTB have made it CLEAR that those words were Becker's and not anyone elses. Yeah, right. But anyhoo, it's a nice thought, no? I mean there has to be some reason why that episode was so...unqiue.



ALL QUIET ON THE TOY FRONT? I THINK NOT!
Here are some rumors about the status of XENA toy development at Toy Biz. The 2nd series of toys has been announced. The new set, presumably due out in late Fall, will include Autolycus, Velasca (with her very own Amazon Queen mask -- even in toydom she's an insistent one "It's mine, Gabrielle....MINE!"), and Xena in the dancer outfit from Cradle of Hope). There was to be a fourth figure, but no one seems to be mentioning it anymore. Prototype pictures have been published in the latest Diamond's Previews.

The 3rd series of toys is still somewhat on shakey ground. There is word that Toy Biz is aiming for a 1999 release. The favorites seem to be Ares, Hercules, Joxer, and...Amazon Queen Gabrielle (so she can go and beat up the Velasca one!! "But **MY** Mask is bigger, Velasca."). Also, they are hoping to include another "Episode Specific" Xena.

Finally, there are rumors of a boxed set coming out which will promote THE BITTER SUITE. Again, this is firmly on rumor ground. If you are happy with the toys or want more toys, just write a letter to Toy Biz (Toy Biz, Inc., Customer Service, PO Box 90113, Allentown, PA 18109). they have been known to respond.




BORING RATINGS STUFF

Speedy was missing all summer, but Laura Sue found Speedy in a seedy LA dive mumbling something about the ratings from last season. Laura Sue is confident that her new therapy will do wonders with Speedy. Stay tuned for the new and improved Speedy.






LETTERS TO LAURA SUE

Dear Laura,

I heard this awful rumor that the producers and writers of XWP are going to stop the subtext. IS this TRUE!!!! i hope not I just can't bare the thought of not living with the possibility that Xena and Gabby may be more than firends. Think of all the Fan Fic stories writers that will loose their muses because of this. Please let me know.

Completely Disapointed,
Artemis,
Goddess of the Moon

LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear Arti,

Hmm. well certain supervising producers have been uncharacteristicly tight-lipped about the subtext lately.. I couldn't say for certain, although I doubt it..

News that should make your day is that Whoosh! has started compiling a new Calendar for 1999, entitled "The GRRLFRIENDS OF XENA". That's right, one a month...so even IF the unthinkable happens, you can still get your subtextual fix online in fan-fic and here.

However, from what Laura Sue can tell, subtext and Xena cannot be separated no matter what mortals try to do. Remember, subtext popped up by itself apart from the writers and producers of the show. It has a life of its own. Kind of scary, but kind of cool, too. I am optimistic that where there is Xena, there will always be some level of subtext, even if the writers are clueless!



I am a recent Xena fan, having just discovered the show a month or so ago. Last night, the episode, "The Bitter Suite" was shown and I LOVED it. Not just for the story and the emotion, but because I'm an actor, dancer, singer and I'm always looking for more music. I thought the music in the show was fantastic and would like to use some of it as an audition piece.

The question is: Do you know where I can get a copy of either the score or sheet music for the individual songs? Any leads you can pass on will be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you,
Tim Wrobel

LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear Tim,

I spoke with George Strayton at RenPics. He said that the sheet music for episodes, much like many merchandising items from the show are "out of their hands" once a license is signed.

The company that has published the Xena Theme Music (MCA Music Publishing) has been discussing putting out the music from THE BITTER SUITE, but its not out just yet.

You could contact them directly for more information. Their contact info is inside an ad from the TOPPS Xena Mag #3, page 21. I am sorry to say I cannot find my issue right now, but you can find it in any store ... odds are you may already own one.. So, contact them and ask them when the BITTER SUITE sheet music may be available..

Be well,
--Laura Sue Dean



Hi, I was wondering if you could find out something for me. I saw 'The Lady and the Dragon' A Hercules episode last night and my ear might have been playing tricks on me but I was sure the Dragons voice was Lucy Lawless. I didn't get to see the credits but I would really like to know . . .

Thanks
Cathy

LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Cathy

Although I have not been able to identify whose voice was used as Braxis the dragon, according to Kevin Sorbo, in Robert Weisbrot's HERCULES: THE OFFICIAL COMPANION (New York: Doubleday, 1998), a child's voice was used. That would rule out Lucy.

Thanks for writing.
Cheers
LSD



Dear Laura:

Hi, my name is Aaron Weinstein, and I'm one of the "suits" over here at Real Entertainment. Now, I'm a production suit, not a web suit, or a marketing suit, just the production guy. (Okay, so I'm wearing jeans...) Anyway, I was paying a long overdue visit to Whoosh! this evening (I discovered the site when I was doing the original commercials, and its hands down my favorite Xena site on the web) when I started reading through some of the back issues of your NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS column.

Numbers 17 & 18 were a bit on the scathing side as far as we were concerned, but things seem to have quieted down since April. Therefore, I just wanted to check with you and see how we are doing? I know you have been in touch with people here, but the feedback doesn't always get to me if people are trying to cover themselves. If things are cool, great. If things aren't cool, I'd like to know about it.

Thanks for taking the time to respond, and kudos to you, Kym and everyone else (I know I'm leaving out a ton of people, I read the credits) for putting together a site that shows how good the web really can be. The people at Renaissance/Universal/Studios USA should be proud.

Best regards,
Aaron Weinstein
Vice President, Production
Real Entertainment

LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Aaron,

I know the fans appreciated how Real Entertainment worked to iron out the problems that plagued the intial release of the first season videos and the trilogy. Since then Laura Sue has heard nary a complaint. Keep up the good work and thank you for your kind words. And don't worry, if you start to slip, Laura Sue will give you a tongue-lashing that, well, won't be pretty.






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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