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NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS
#38

By Laura Sue Dean
June 3, 2001

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

ARE WE ALL READY FOR THE END DARLINGS? Only a couple more weeks of Xena and it is ALL over...well...the series anyway (see below for more MOVIE updates). Laura Sue can't believe it's almost over. She would keep pinching herself, but then she would be bruised and incapable of working in a bikini again (and who knows when another sports drink commercial is coming her way!)

It's been SOO hard getting these updates out, choking back on the tears, collapsed dramatically over her writing desk while clutching her threadbare Xena nightshirt. Of course, it could be just sheer laziness and an increased social calender that has kept Laura Sue away...but, NO. Laura Sue has been extremely busy with yet ANOTHER industrial project...this time a MUSICAL industrial film with a higher budget...all about farming equipment. She actually has the big show-stopping number on top of the threshing machine. It feels good to get back to Laura Sue's bucolic roots, donchaknow?

NEWS

THE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE... AND CREATION

Color Laura Sue surprised, but she HAS to admit that Creation actually did a pretty darn good job with this year's Pasadena Convention. Laura Sue sporadically dipped in and out covertly of events (lest her fans see her and are driven MAD with lust and admiration), but PRIMARILY got her dish from her (miserably whiny) assistant who reported on all the goings on in lurid, tedious detail. According to her reports, the historically brusque staff was actually cordial, helpful and polite. The events ran on time, the cabarets were fun (ESPECIALLY Claire Stansfield and Alex Tydings XXX hilarious fanfiction reading revue), there were real bona fide charity auctions left and right, and Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor were onstage for TWO WHOLE HOURS. Naturally Laura Sue was skeptical, thinking perhaps that she had stepped into an alternate universe where everyone was nice (people have told Laura Sue that this is what Minnesota is like...shudder)...but NO. She witnessed some very bad behavior: blatant rudeness, pushing, being inconsiderate...but this turned out to be, well, FANS! Laura Sue knows she should have NEVER worn that midrif shirt and hot pants and gone jogging around the Sheraton, but what's a girl to do?

To top all of this off, when Laura Sue's Chakram magazine didn't make it to her new New York address, Sharon Delaney personally dropped it in the mail and it got here in a couple of days. What service! Laura Sue will be keeping a cynical eye open, but taking a clue from Gabrielle, will try to give the benefit of the doubt to those seeking redemption. Except for those slime that lost her luggage at JFK. They must die.

FINAL CALL FOR THE US MARCHING XENAS

The infamous Marching Xenas that have traipsed down Fifth Avenue in New York City for the last couple of years are doing it again for ONE, LAST time on Sunday, June 24th. They have been getting a lot of publicity (including getting on the front cover of the official Guide to NYC Gay Pride that is all over the city). The Marching Xenas are run by those naughty inebriates over at Xena Night at Meow Mix. They will be marching in costume and NEED more recruits (costumed..or not), so plan to be in New York City on June 24th. This is something everyone should do at least ONCE in their lives and this is your last chance to do it! Go to http://whoosh.org/xenanight/marching.html for all the info, including a GREAT guide to making a Xena costume.

GEORGIA ON MY MIND...AND CREDIT CARD STATEMENT

Ah...the SOUTH...big hoop skirts, mint julep, and 20,000 geeky sci-fi fans tearing up downtown Atlanta! Dragon Con 2001, America's largest annual convention for fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror, comics and art, games and computers, animation, science, music, television and films, will be held August 31-September 3, Friday - Monday in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Head over to http://www.dragoncon.org/ for all the latest info.

THE ATLANTA XENA PARTY WRAPS IT UP...

The Atlanta Xena Party is planning a HUGE blowout Dragoncon Party on Friday, August 31st, at 7 PM at My Sisters Room, 222 East Howard Avenue, Decatur, Georgia, 404-370-1990.

The guests this year (so far!) include: Alexandra Tydings, Claire Stansfield, Tim Odmunson, Steve Sears, MaryD, Claudia Christian of Babylon 5 fame. Rumor has it that those wild southern women have something REALLY special up their sleeves. According to reports, it is something no subtext fan should miss. Does Laura Sue smell another cabaret moment? She could USE a refreshing mint julep.

EITHER BRING FLOWERS OR A BUCKET OF ROTTEN FRUIT

Feeling all cultured and want to see a panel discussion with Lucy Lawless, Rob Tapert, and Renee O'Connor?. On June 19th, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM, The Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills is having a little to-do. Here's the official blurb:

"Since the debut of Xena: Warrior Princess in September 1995, Xena has risen to the status of cult figure and pop culture icon. The show - which has made history as syndicated television's highest rated first-run action series and currently airs in more than 115 countries - redefined the archetypal female action hero as sly, brooding, and subversively sensual. The Museum of Television and Radio will present the West Coast premiere screening of the series's final episode, followed by a panel discussion.

Appearing in person: Lucy Lawless, Rob Tapert."

Renee O'Connor requested not to be mentioned in the flyer just in case she would not be able to make it (beinging with child and all). Laura Sue contacted the Museum and as of today, O'Connor was still planning on making it.

Laura Sue is not posting any ticket information because it's SOLD OUT sweeties. This is a GOOD sign that Lucy and Rob would brave being in public after screening the finale...isn't it?

GINA TORRES GETTING HITCHED

Congrats to Gina "Nebula/Hel" Torres, who recently became engaged to actor Laurence Fishburn. Laura Sue STILL has her peach chiffon bridemaid's dress from Renee O'Connor's wedding (that sadly was not used). Hint. Hint.

BUT CAN WE PUT A HOTEL ON THAT?

Sword and Staff has an extra fun charity drive underway. As a longtime fan of Monopoly (Laura Sue likes to be the SHOE, naturally), she simply LOVES this idea.

"One of the initiatives the Starship Foundation has instituted (in conjunction with Hasbro New Zealand) is a special edition Starship Monopoly game. Lucy herself has purchased a 'property' on the limited edition game board, and Sword and Staff has been offered a property on board as well. The cost of the property is US $7,500.

"Proceeds from the sale of properties as well as a percentage from retail sales of the game will be returned to the Starship as contribution to the 10th Birthday celebration. So, Starship benefits twice from your generosity."

"What do we need to do?

"We need to raise US$7,500 for the Starship Foundation and let them now as early as possible (but not later than early June) that we wish to purchase the property. It's that simple. In exchange, we will receive a property named for Sword and Staff on the special edition Starship Monopoly game board. And we will also receive several of the special edition games, two of which will be raffled off among those of you who participate in this fundraising event.

"So here's the skinny: Sword and Staff will be collecting donations payable to the STARSHIP FOUNDATION. The donations will be earmarked for the Monopoly property and sent off to Starship Foundation on or about June 15th. You may pay by check, money order, or credit card. All donations are in US $ please."

Please go to http://sword-and-staff.com/auction.htm for more information. And hurry, the auction ends today June 3rd at 10pm EST!

THE WOMAN GETS AROUND

Looks like Lucy Lawless will do some serious promoting of tht last show. Her LA appearances will be the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) June 13; KTLA Morning News (Channel 5 Los Angeles) June 15; and the Museum of Television and Radio June 19. Her NYC appearances will be Live with Regis and Kelly (ABC) June 21; Late Night with Conan O'Brien (NBC) June 21; WPIX Morning News (Channel 11 New York City).



GOSSIP

CAN OXYGEN REVIVE A MOVIE DEAL?

Freshly poured into Laura Sue's gossip box is a report that Oxygen big cheesette Geraldine Laybourne is VERY interested in getting a Xena movie deal together in the future. Supposedly, the folks at Oxygen have been talking to both Lucy and Renee's agents, and although it's not likely to happen in the immediately future..the movie thing is BACK on the table folks!!

FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS...

On another Oxygen note, the new keepers of Xena threw a little focus group soiree with fans last week to get their feedback on what they'd like to see Oxygen do in the future with Xena. In the next several months, expect to see xenathons, sweepstakes, and contests. Basically, Oxygen asked "what can we do for the fans?" Of course, Laura Sue is STILL waiting to have her own talk show/Pajama Party...but until then...a trip to New Zealand might be nice. They ARE thinking about trying to find a way to move the Netforum to THEIR site after the show ends.

JET-SETTING PLAYBOY REVS UP WARDROBE

Whoosh's jet setting playboy (who recently took off yet AGAIN for New Zealand) was supposedly ALL over the recent auction of costumes and propos in NZ. According to some sources, Bret bought lots and lots of Amazon wear to complement his already swingin batchelor pad guest wardrobe. You GO, sweetie!

LAURA SUE'S BRASSIERE UP FOR AUCTION

Well..not exactly..but it COULD have happened. Also in this MASSIVE auction in New Zealand were 48 Samurai costumes from the finale (yow...that's more than Crouching Tiger -- had it been Japanese!) AND, the most unusual item...a Whoosh reporter's costume from upcoming episode SOUL POSSESSION. It appears that they did NOT use Laura Sue as their model for this character...but instead selected someone with more pedestrain tastes (good taste is one of Laura Sue's best qualities). If they had to shell out for Laura Sue's wardrobe, the bids would have been very high INDEED (sniff!). HOT NEWS FLASH ON THIS! It has come to Laura Sue's attention that the MODEL for this character seems to be none other than Whoosh's stylish webmaster Betsy Book! The character, who identifies herself as Whoosh's webmaster is called Barb Binder (BB like Betsy Book..and "binder"(as in three-ring) is kind of a cute take on the word "book"). However..it appears that the character does NOT wear Betsy's signature deep red lipstick shade nor one of her stylish Scully-style suits (well..they had to cut corners somewhere, darling..). Congrats, Betsy..you've been immortalized!

THE SEARCH FOR WONDER WOMAN

Just in case ANYONE is interested in the continuing SAGA of just who will be the original Amazon kick *ss-chick and speedy dresser..Wonder Woman. The current possible women who could be cast are: Eliza Dushku (Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Sandra Bullock (please God..NO), Chyna (no comment), and Lucy Lawless (wouldn't this be typecasting?). If Shannon Doherty ever gets on this list Laura Sue will be beside herself.



RUMORS

ABOUT THE FINALE...SPOILERS...

For all of those who are trying to remain spoiler free..head on down to the ultimately FASCINATING ratings information below...

Well...lets talk about the FINALE..Shall we?? According to Ian Spelling's syndicated Inside Trek and Sci Fi, Lucy Lawless ambiguously tap danced around dishing too much about the finale. To quote her fro Mr. Spelling's column, lucy said:

"Xena comes full circle. She was somebody who was afraid to love and trust another single human soul, and now she is somebody who's comfortable in her own skin, who has a family.....I always thought the day Xena achieved redemption would be the end of the show, and make of that what you will. The finale is enormously ambitious - it's our most expensive episode. I'd also say it's the most defiant episode we've done."

Defiant episode? Defiant against WHO? The suits at Studios USA who callously dragged off costumes and props before they even stopped filming on May 17th? Defiant against the fans who have supported them and moderately terrified them at times? Redemption? Geez Lou-eez...didn't she get that yet? Currently, rumors range from the truly WACKY (Xena dies and then follows Gabrielle around like some kind of leather clad weather balloon) to Hamlet-esque (They ALL die) to sappy (Xena and Gabrielle hang up their sais and open a bakery), to highly unlikely (Xena ditches Gabrielle and hooks up with Ares - despite Kevin Smith not being in the finale - because she finds redemption in his perky nipples).

According to the TV Guide logline, here's the official listing for the finale: Xena and Gabrielle face the greatest threat they've ever known when they go up against the evil Yodoshi and an army of 20,000 elite Samurai warriors. Well..it's good to know they made those 48 costumes go around, you know?

Oh..and IF you live in the New York or Los Angeles area, The final two eps of XWP will be shown as a 2-hour prime-time movie in the. Currently it will be shown in both markets on June 23 from 8-10pm! Check your local listings, however...and stock up on tissues...

BORING RATINGS STUFF

Here's a little bit of fun ratings trivia. This season we have a NEW record for the lowest rated ever first run episode. SEND IN THE CLONES slunk in at 2.4. This TIES with the two lowest episodes ever...the 3rd release of LITTLE PROBLEMS and the 2nd release of RETURN OF THE VALKYRIE.

Here's a run down of the ratings so far for Season 6

COMING HOME 3.3
HAUNTING OF AMPHIPOLIS 2.9
HEART OF DARKNESS 3.2
WHO'S GURKHAN 3.7
LEGACY 3.9
ABYSS 3.4
RHINEGOLD 3.3
THE RING 3.5
RETURN OF THE VALKYRIE
Haunting of Amphipolis 2.6
Heart of Darkness 2.6
God Fearing Child 2.8
Married With Fishsticks 2.9
Succession 3.5
Coming Home 3.2
OLD ARES HAD A FARM 3.5
DANGEROUS PREY 3.3
THE GOD YOU KNOW 3.8
YOU ARE THERE 3.1
PATH OF VENGEANCE 3.5
TO HELICON AND BACK 3.5
Antony and Cleopatra 3.2
Who's Gurkhan 2.7
Legacy 2.9
Abyss 2.8
Rhinegold 2.6
The Ring 2.6
Return of the Valkyrie 2.4
Old Ares Had a Farm 2.8
SEND IN THE CLONES 2.4 (LOWEST FIRST RUN EVER)




MERCHANDISE NEWS

SEASON 6 ON VIDEO

For those video collectors, the sixth season is already pre-selling on video for $169.99 The release date is July 1. You can go to the hercules-xena catalog site at http://www.xenahercules.com/ to order.

FINALLY..SOME NEWS ABOUT THOSE ELUSIVE DVD'S!!!!!

This exciting tidbit about DVDs sold through Columbia House comes from NGR reader Kimberly:

"Anyway about the info on DVDs. I am a buying some video collections from Columbia House and when I got one of my new videos in today, it had a little advertisement for their new titles available on DVD. The Xena series is on it. Downside is that you can only get one a month."
So for all 300 of you who have asked about the DVD's over the last month...there YA go. Please contact Columbia House and pester them with ALL of your inquiries..go on... God Bless you Kimberly, wherever you are.

VARESE SARABANDE RELEASES XENA SOUNDTRACK VOL. 6

Preorders are now being accepted at the mysterious and exotic sounding VARESE SARABANDE site for Xena soundtrack number 6! This release will be available on 7/3/01. This will be their final release. Here's the official blurb:

"To celebrate the series finale and the end of Xena's long run, VarŠse Sarabande Records and composer Joseph LoDuca have prepared a valiant send off. Xena Volume Six is the most spectacular volume of all. For starters, Xena Volume Six is the first 2-CD set of the series. Featuring over two hours of the music fans have been demanding, Xena Volume Six includes music from Xena's grand finale S her trip to Japan! Music from Xena's Ring Trilogy of episodes (The Ring, The Rheingold and The Return of the Valkyrie) is here as well as the epics Fallen Angel and Ides of March. Rounding out this landmark set is a collection of fifteen of the most requested unreleased songs and novelty items from the show's six seasons. No Xena fan can be without this one!"
So folks...two two TWO CD's for the price of one. Whatta bargain!

CREATION NEW MERCHANDISE OVERLOAD

Oy. Laura Sue isn't going to even go to the trouble of listing all of the new merchandise Creation had released in time for the Pasadena Con...because, honey, there was a LOT. Highlights, however, include a new Callisto prop sword, a T-shirt called "Family" (which includes one of the many infamous hot tub scenes...so this ain't the Brady Bunch kiddies), a denimn and leather jacket, and a ton of very large posters that can cover up unsightly wall stains or holes from annoying explosions.



LETTERS TO LAURA SUE

Laura Sue,

What are we endearing, constant readers going to do with out you?! I *love* your News, Gossip, Rumors. ~ Will there be a writing life for you after Xena? Your flair & savvy fashion consciousness will be missed! LSD, help! ~ I've drained my portfolio over the last week or so with Ebay Xena prop items! :P Take care hun ::air kisses::

~Cyn

My poor impoverished Cyn,

Put the credit card AWAAAY darling. Do you really need that tankard from Meg's brothel? Lao Ma's shampoo bottle? A ratty codpiece from an extra from Chariots of War? No, honey..STOP THE MADNESS!

As for life after Xena, Laura Sue will hopefully still have time to write an NGR periodically. To be honest, as the show is wrapping there seems to be less and less hot gossip. She RELIES on people to feed her tidbits, and frankly, NOBODY seems to be eating much lately (sort of gossip anorexia). If anyone wants to send nibbles that we can share with the world..just send it Laura Sue's way. Otherwise, she's simply avoid the computer and hit all the sample sales downtown.

*big smooch back at you*
Laura Sue

Hello--

I tape Oxygen's showing's of Xena at 11 AM everyday... my VCR is set for it. With the exception of Wednesdays... purely so I can catch your comments amongst the other drivel that is passing by on the bottom of my screen. I've thought many times that I should write and thank you for keeping me so entertained ... and tonight I finally got off my b*tt and did it ...

"Your writing is purile and amateur...."
I'm *still* laughing.

Thanks ever so much
Ever your fan...

Dear Chat Fan,

I am soooo happy you like Laura Sue's comments. She wants to make that difference amongst comments like "Zena Rules!" and "Oh no!" and "I love gabby". Keep watching sweetie..Laura Sue is just getting warmed up...

-Laura Sue, TV star

Laura Sue,

I think it would be totally awesome if Lucy went to Charmed and played the role of prue. I think she would be delightful and although the show is good-it would be better with Lucy. All of the onset fighting between the girls would not be happening because Lucy is always so nice to everyone she meets and works with-what do you think????

xenik

Dear Charmed Fan,

Well..the REASON everyone fought on Charmed was because Laura Sue's former gal pal (no LONGER the case...let me tell you) was on that show and has mercifully LEFT. I think it would be best to simply KILL off the character and move on. Mind you, Laura Sue thinks adding a sweet natured, sexy blonde from Kansas as the wacky next door neighbor would REALLY help their ratings. Lucy can hang out with the blonde and periodically go shopping with her, and maybe give her a massage, and maybe do all the cleaning....

That's what Laura Sue thinks...

signed,
-A Sexy Blonde from Kansas

Hi Laura Sue,

A note to begin: I'm from Switzerland, so forgive me for my horrible English. Enjoying your columns, I wondered if you do have a life outside Xena and what you are going to do now our darlings (X&G) don't kiss each other any more?

Oh, I forgot to mention why I write to you: What does my favorite entertainment company Renaissance Pictures do now their successful products are finished?

thx for your answer!

Hugs,
UDS

Dearest Swiss person,

Xena and Gabrielle KISS? Just kidding...Laura Sue DOES have a life outside of Xena...which is why she never has time to write these gosh darn columns much. Laura Sue has NO idea what Ren Pics will be doing, but she sure hopes SOMEONE will tell her. However, a little birdy did tell her that Rob Tapert has some plans to go fishing for at least one year.

By the way...Laura Sue LOVES your chocolate..and the cocoa with the little mini marshmellows.

-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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