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NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS
#33

By Laura Sue Dean
November 6, 2000

NEWS
GOSSIP
RUMORS
MERCHANDISE
BORING RATINGS STUFF
LETTERS TO LAURA SUE
LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!

Number 50? Wow, is that a record or something? Laura Sue would like to take this opportunity to thank all of her ADORING fans for their undying support (and use of their Big Books when she couldn't find hers). Congrats go to Kym as well, for having the good sense to know a GREAT thing when she saw it and for giving a gal a much-needed break -- News, Gossip, Rumors!



NEWS

ALL DRESSED UP...AND NO PLACE TO GO

Guess what kids, Laura Sue's been stuck with the fuzzy end of the proverbial lollipop... AGAIN. Things were all a'tingle when friends gave the heads-up that Charlie Sheen (current landlord) was scheduled to appear on the same LIVE with Regis and (?) as a certain "Royal Kiwi" we all know and love. LSD is not proud to admit this, but yes, visions of Green Room passes and a charismatic meeting (and possible job offer?) from Lucy danced in her head as she plotted (and performed unnatural acts) to get the money for a plane ticket to NYC. HOWEVER, seems that Charlie has FINALLY found work (Spin City) so his interview was TAPED, and unable to procure the coveted green room passes... So it's Deja Vu All Over Again... LSD gives a virtuoso performance (on the casting couch) and her (rubber gloved) hand comes up empty again.

XENA IS HISTORY!

(Didn't she invent that? Oh wait, that was Gabrielle's Dad!) As most of the known world already knows, after the currrent Season 6, Xena: Warrior Princess will be HISTORY, literally as well as figuratively. October 16, 2000 will forever be known as "BLACK MONDAY" for Xena fans -- that's the day Studios USA Domestic Television President Steve Rosenberg and Rob Tapert made it official with a press release -- we have Xena till the spring and then it's "So long, Battling On Babe!"

TEA AND SYMPATHY...

This announcement came out just BEFORE Lucy Lawless appeared on a bunch of talk shows in New York (Laura Sue is still BITTER about those passes). She seemed to be plodding joylessly through the Rosie O'Donnell show and most of Live with Regis before Ms. Lawless perked up enough to let rip a few jokes on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. (Guess somene needed to make her a REALLY strong cup of tea.) What a BUMMER to show up for interviews on National TV wearing a "pink slip". "Hey, you're getting fired..how's it feel?" is really not the best way to get a chitty-chat rolling. Sadly, Laura Sue knows this from personal experience.

REN PICS DEVELOPING FOR THE FOOD NETWORK?

Why are the suits rushing Xena's Swan-Song? Over the past few seasons most Xena prime time slots were hard to find. Even though the show was seen by 99% of the nation, a lot of the time Xena was on at 3:00 AM. One of those "prime" slots between a "Sommars-size" informercial and some Jamaican (yeah, right) woman giving Tarot Readings to women seriously considering dating men in prison. (Sound fascinating...? it isn't.)

Since fans couldn't find their favorite show, ratings went down... actually, they plummeted. (Not so quick, this all started WAY before season 5). Xena:WP is syndicated -- and to survive must be "sold" to a big distributor that owns a lot of TV stations. In XWP's case, that distributor is Tribune Entertainment -- owner of primarily WB stations, plus a smattering of Fox and UPN affiliates in 22 major TV markets. Tribune wants to develop and show their own stuff, namely Kevin Sorbo's new show "Andromeda" and "Earth: Final Conflict". (They also produce the utterly "gripping" US Farm Report...which many consider lots more creative than "Andromeda")

You may ask, "Why would Tribune put XWP on a back-burner when it makes so much money for everyone?" Laura Sue's head hurt when she tried to figure this out. Luckily, fanfiction author and gal about town, Bat Morda, was happy to explain:

"Let's say my name is Tribune and I own a restaurant. For my restaurant I buy prepared dishes from other vendors. While it gives me something to serve at my restaurant, it's rather expensive because it costs more to buy Prepared Sea Bass with Dill then to go out and buy the dill and fish and fix it myself--but I've gotta have a full menu so I do it.

My restaurant is doing pretty well and I decide that I'll start preparing my own food, my profit margins will be higher since I'm not paying some Renaissance Cafe to cook for me. So I put my own dishes in the middle of the menu where everyone will see it, and put that Renaissance food on the back page where people have to hunt for it. More people buy my stuff and I'm thrilled. Renaissance Cafe is pissed though since I'm not buying as much of their stuff and they finally decide to stop cooking for me."

DISCLAIMER: Laura Sue would like to stress that the above is an ANALOGY. She does NOT need a flurry of letters asking why Renaissance Pictures is now making Prepared Sea Bass with Dill or whether or not Xena will battle The Iron Chef!

MOMMAROC'S LITTLE GIRL NOW "AN HONEST WOMAN" (SOMETHING LAURA SUE WOULDN'T KNOW ABOUT...)

Pink Slips aside, some speculate the reason Lucy looked so TIRED in her first NYC appearances was her massive partying the previous weekend in Austin -- where her co-star was in town to officially break a billion ROC fans' hearts. Mourning Shrouds and Wailing/Whacking Walls aside, MOST Gab-fans sucked it up and were heard to say - CONGRATS, RENEE! The Austin American-Statesmen reports that former "useless sidekick" Renee O'Connor was officially hitched October 14th at the Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church to longtime boyfriend Steve Muir, who was immediately christened (by gabfans, anyway) the NEW, IMPROVED "Useless Sidekick". Laura Sue hears from the grapevine that the reception (immediately following) at Stephen F. Austin Hotel was lovely. (You know MommaROC wouldn't have it any other way!) Unfortunately, Laura Sue doesn't know just *how* lovely, because her invitation must have been LOST in the mail. If anyone is in the market for a perfectly good peach chiffon bridesmaid's dress (with matching requisite Texas Big-Hair bow) and shoes, send email to LauraSueDean@Yahoo.com.

Sadly, word is the wedding was a tad more crowded than it needed to be, thanks to some incredibly disturbed person and the necessary security to keep said Wacko AWAY. Laura Sue hopes this person can get some medical attention or at LEAST get a new hobby OTHER than stalking actresses. Sheesh! What we stars must go through just to do our jobs!

ATTACK OF THE CENSORSHIP WEENIES!

Adding to the insult of bizarre timeslots in the US, Xena is actually DISAPPEARING from screens in places like Norway and (periodically) Canada. It appears that some over-sensitive, paranoid religious types have conspired to have Xena censored in Norway. Laura Sue respectfully points to this season's Viking and Nordic God storyline. "Hey Norwegian Censorship-Zealots! How'd you like it if U.S. Bible-Belters rose up and got your Freya-Fun censored in favor of "All-Eli, all the time"? Would you like that? HUH? I bet not! So lighten up! Let us have our skimpy costumes and Maintext for the rest of the season... it's the last one, fer chriss...er, cryin' out loud!

Up yonder in the television wilds of Canada, Canucks have been getting ROBBED of season 6 by Global, the ultimate in wussy broadcasters north of Lake Superior. Seems that instead of showing Heart of Darkness, anxious Xenites were hit with a rerun of In Sickness and In Hell. Instead of slinky sapphic dances and raging orgy scenes, they had to watch raging diarrhea and slinky head lice. All this from the same folks who happily gobble up "_BEAVER_ TAILS" at the ice rink! Now, where's the logic in that?



GOSSIP

PLEASE SOMEBODY MAKE UP THEIR MIND!!

It's dead, Jim. Or, it isn't... SOMEBODY please make up their MIND before Kym has to unpack her "Shrine to Gina" one more time! Like one too many plotlines of it's "big sister" XWP, CLEOPATRA 2525 keeps coming back to life...at least on paper. Now the question is... is it a half hour or an hour? Studios USA announced via phone conference with the Hollywood Reporter that although Action Pack partner JACK OF ALL TRADES was definitely cancelled. (So Bruce could commune with nature on a lavender farm in Oregon. ...you think I'm kidding?)

The new story is currently hiatus'd CLEO is coming back and extended to an hour format. Please! For the love of Eli, will somebody tell Laura Sue what the HADES is going on here? (Note to self: re-order the earplugs.)

A Few Words (well more than a few, how about... Five?) From Dr. Kubler-Ross... Either accept it or start the grieving cycle right now! Press Releases from Studio USA aside, some fans persist in their inability to comprehend the show's ending. This is called DENIAL. Naturally, there are many fans out there gossiping about possible revivals. They vow to find out those responsible and kick their b*tts. This is called ANGER. Can the show get picked up like Stargate? Can it live on the Sci Fi channel like Sliders? This is called BARGAINING. Gossip abounds...but again Laura Sue hears whispers from abroad that a certain actress is really ready for a CHANGE. Hint...it would be HARD to continue the show without her. Laura Sue urges you ALL to this final stage of grieving..called ACCEPTANCE...which occurs right after DEPRESSION. For those of you still in stages one, two or three --TAKE ACTION! Go sign yet another petition to get a season 7 at: http://www.petitiononline.com/XWP4aS7/"

YES...SHE WAS RIGHT THERE ON THE GRASSY KNOLL....

While Tribune programming geniuses are busy shuffling XWP all over place...their suits have been making a few moves of their own! Ms. Karen Corbin, VP of programming for the last six years (coincidentally the same period Xena figured prominently in their programming) left around August 28th... around the time it was announced Xena would be cancelled mid-season...

Naturally, it's all happenstance... say, does Laura Sue see another puff of smoke from way over THERE? (These smokscreen-filled press releases are so scintillating, don't ya know!) And they STILL haven't issued the press release naming a VP of programming... What's Liz Friedman doing these days, anyway?



RUMORS

THE BIG SEASON SIX GABRIELLE COSTUME-O-RAMA!

In order to keep up with the ever changing needs of Gabrielle's wardobe, Laura Sue has decided to start the Season 6 Gabrielle Costume Counter. After suffering for so long in the BGSB, the poor dear has just gotten outta CONTROL with the costume changes. At one time carrying around that extra pink nightie looked over board..but WHOA..have you SEEN how many costume changes Renee has this year? Let's take a looksee, shall we?

WARNING!! SPOILERS FOR GAB'S SEASON OUTFITS

Skip on down to Merchandise to avoid Season 6 spoilers!

Coming Home
1.The same old leftover leather bra and mini skirt-shorts combo she picked up in Season 5 episode 2-Chakram.

Haunting of Amphipolis:
That same old season 5 Costume #1,
2. Absolutely Nothing
3. Gray rag wrap (by House of Xena)
4. Blue 1950's girls gym uniform.

Heart of Darkness:
5. Red Velvet sports bra and red and black mini skirt combo with shiny silver belt.
6. Metallic bra and skirt with stiletto heels (with optional sheer crepe wrap for entrances)

Whose Gurkhan:
She starts out with number 5, which Laura Sue suspects will be her standard basic outfit...like Laura Sue's casual shorts, slides, and tiny tees from Old Navy. AND THEN
7. Slave girl dancing /harem ensemble with reversible metallic breast cup/swaddling white cloth bra thingee. That's seven outfits in four episodes..and from looking at the screenshots of Legacy and I can see yet ANOTHER ensemble. Lets not even LOOK at the shoes, shall we? Gabby's getting as bad as Queen Amidalia! (without a harem of wardrobe assistants to help her dress).

AND NOW SOMETHING FOR THAT 5-11 YR OLD TARGET DEMO...

While we're on season 6 spoilers...the season IS rather colorful, (all those orgies and exotic dancing... but who's looking?) ....but GUESS what? It's only going to get freakier. Rumor has it we get a cross-dressing Roman nutcase (PLEASE, NOT TED RAIMI!) with a thing for the kinky and deadly. ALSO - looks like the SAPPHO episode has come up for air again! (YAY!) Does Laura Sue sense another sensual musical score by Mr. LoDuca? Is that page-rustling we hear the sound of Renee's vocal double checking her calendar...(especially since we MAY see Renee doing a DOUBLE role)? We shall SEE my pretties, we shall SEE!

WELL...MICHAEL DUKAKIS WAS A LESBIAN TOO!

Never fear, ye fraidy-folks from the fiords, and Global wishy-washers! Everyone knows that Sappho, despite being a famous lesbian poet (Hey! She's from Lesbos! What did you think LSD meant?) was MARRIED and had CHILDREN. So you have NOTHING to fear from this episode! No sirree! LSD even has the disclaimer already written -- "NO 'immoral abomination' was depicted in the making of this motion picture... because Joxer is Dead!"



MERCHANDISE

THE FINAL XENA COMIC FROM DARK HORSE AVAILABLE

Xena Comic #14. What starts out as a money making enterprise, hatched by master thief Autolycus, ends in disaster when Xena discovers her pal has been using a spell to enchant sculptures of Xena and Gabrielle, bringing them to life and then renting them out to lonely gentlemen. And just when it looks as though it can't get any worse -- it does: the spell is stolen and is used to make a huge army of golem-like monsters. Will Xena be able to stop the madness before it's too late?! This is one issue you won't want to miss!

Coming in January 2001..Dark Horse will be publishing a compilation of issues #7-10 in: Xena: Warrior Princess - Blood and Shadows in a 96-page trade paperback. So much more easier for hiding in that big copy of War and Peace.

I WANT MY DVD!

Laura Sue is SORRY folks, but I STILL have no answers about those PESKY DVDs! They are SLOWLY coming out for region 2 (The UK, Europe and Japan). For the US -region 1(where the distributor is..HELLO!) and in Australia and New Zealand - region 4 (where the show is SHOT - HELLO!) we have nothing..NOTHING!!! If anyone can find when these are coming out and WHY they are dragging their feet , PLEASE let Laura Sue know! Either it is simply someone NOT doing their job at Universal OR a dastardly plot to make us buy more videos from the Xena/Hercules catalog.

SEASON FIVE, NOW AVAILABLE FOR HOME VIEWING OR CATAPULT SHOT

Speaking of which..the present that only a true Xena fanatic could want..the season FIVE videos are now available from those Davis/Panzer people. Oooh. Laura Sue is so excited..NOT. Anyway, if you want them, the word is that you will most likely NOT get them on old Disney tape stock like the season FOUR tapes. By the way, the folks at Davis/Panzer have been VERY good about replacing defective tapes from those funky season four sets. If you've been victim to tapes that are poor quality, blank, or just can't bear to watch them knowing there are things like "Mulan" and "First Kid" labels under the Xena ones, just call: 1-877-936-4372. (Customer Service, Davis/Panzer Merchandising Corp.)



BORING RATINGS STUFF

FROM MEDIA WEEK

In debuting first-run weekly news, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda from Tribune Entertainment packed a massive ratings punch with a 4.3/4.6 - the highest rated debut for any first-run hour since the launch of the syndicator's Earth: Final Conflict on Oct. 13, 1997. Andromeda, additionally, led the first-run weeklies among men 18-49 (3.6), men 25-54 (4.2) and women 25-54 (2.8).

As evidence of just how potent Andromeda was, Studios USA's second place Xena (a season premiere 3.3/3.5) trailed the Gene Roddenberry hour in GAA rating by a significant 24 percent.

Laura Sue has to remind all you readers out there that these numbers are from one of those wacky Nielson groups which is supposed to look at the US national average. In New York City, for example, where Xena is actually played in a REAL timeslot (Saturday at 8:00 PM), Xena pulled a 6.0 and Andromeda (the lead in at 7:00) did a 6.1.

Considering that in some markets the lead in for Xena is a TV movie from 1978 starring Valerie Bertinelli about the perils of hairspray inhalent addiction...averaging out at 3.5 isn't too shabby! As for Andromeda, is it Laura Sue's imagination or is there something very subtextual about the shape of those guns they're using? (bananas, french bread, cigars, what is it??)



LETTERS TO LAURA SUE

Laura Sue was FLOODED with e-mail this month..mostly about IS THE SHOW REALLY CANCELLED. So before you click on the e-mail Laura Sue link..STOP: Xena has been cancelled. I repeat..XENA HAS BEEN CANCELLED. There are 22 episodes for season 6 and then it is OVER.

Also, for SOME reason, Laura Sue got 20 or so e-mails from people wanting to know when Xena was ON. Kids...let Laura Sue explain here: Xena Warrior Princess is on at a different time and different channel in every different place in the whole wide world. Laura Sue simply CANNOT help everyone find their LOCAL listings! So, here's the BEST way to find out when Xena is on in your area. Go to http://www.clicktv.com and follow the directions there.



Laura Sue-

In the first few episodes of Season 6 ...Looks like a little less fighting for Gabrielle...any possibility with this recent wedding ...that the pitterpat of little feet could be a reason for the decline in Gabby's fighting activities....just curious ????

- Pakwmn

Dear Curious,

Who said Gabrielle's feet are little? (Gabrielle's feet are not little! It's the SHOES that got SMALL!) The battling bard of Poteidia is not fighting as much as last year because..well..she just did so MUCH fighting last year that she's plum tuckered out. Yeah, that's the ticket! Instead, season 6 is all about letting Renee RELAX and get covered by disgusting substances every other episode...(cornmeal, ky jelly, vegemite,etc) kinda like a sick SPA. Hmmm. Been there, done that. My boss still has those blackmail pictures somewhere...

Toodles,
Laura Sue



Hi! I don't know if you can answer this question, but here it is anyway. Do you know how much per episode Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor make? Also, what do the other regulars make, you know, like Ted Rami and others? Thanks for your help. Oh, one more question, do you know in what church Renee got married in Austin, TX?

-Dmh8792

Hi! Are you normally this rude or is it learned behavior? SIGH. This ranks right up there with the fan at the Burbank Con who asked Lucy if the scar on her breast was a cigarette burn! Let's just say that no one connected with the show will EVER have to dig in studio dumpsters looking for tidbits to put in their online gossip column to pay their rent.

-Laura Sue



I was wondering if the Rumor of a Season 5 Xena Score CD is true? Do u know if they are coming out with one? Or was Lyre Lyre the only one they were gonna do?

Pat

Dear Pat,

Laura Sue got on the phone to those exotic and mysterious folks at Varese Sarabande ...and the person on the phone sounded SO sexy she had to meet them for coffee. (ick. BIG MISTAKE.) Anyhoo... all LSD could pry out of this person was, "we may...but it is not yet certain" (they are so exotic and mysterious). With Joe LoDuca scoring an Emmy for Fallen Angel, we can HOPE another CD eventually will appear...maybe just season 5...maybe one with music from 5 and 6...either/or you know?

Ciao,
Laura Sue



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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