PR Newswire

5 May 1995


Spin-Off Series Star Lucy Lawless Guest Stars as Xena in
Currently Airing Episodes of `Hercules' (w/o May 1 and May 8)

LOS ANGELES, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- MCA TV will follow up the huge success of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," this year's most highly rated new syndicated hour, with "Xena: Warrior Princess," another action hour from critically acclaimed filmmakers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert. Set to premiere in national syndication this September, the new series is a spin-off of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and stars New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless, who is guest starring as Xena in currently airing episodes of "Hercules" (weeks of May 1 and May 8).

Designed to deliver the successful combination of non-stop action and humor that has made "Hercules" the breakout hit of the season in syndication, "Xena" will feature dazzling sequences of martial arts and acrobatics with both comical characters and the ultimate female hero -- Xena.

Xena first appeared in a March episode of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" as the half-man, half-god's most formidable female foe. Lawless drew an incredible audience response for her portrayal of the character, with her "Hercules" episode scoring a 6.3 (GAA%) rating, over-achieving the series 6.2 season to date average. The warrior princess was initially presented as a provocative but militant force bent on destruction. In the currently airing episodes, however, an enlightened Xena emerges who is committed to mending her wicked ways and dedicating herself to helping mankind.

The new Xena is like a "soul mate" to Hercules. While she may not be half-god, she is definitely all hero. Pursued by the evil warlord Khan the Great, she travels from town to town -- and battle to battle -- and invariably finds herself caught between the innocent and the forces of darkness. Her band of self-invited comrades includes Gabrielle, antiquity's version of a teenage runaway who recklessly follows the warrior princess in search of a more exciting life, and Pan, an acrobatic gymnast of the forest.

"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" resumed production in New Zealand this month for its return in the fall. "Xena: Warrior Princess," which will air as its companion series, is set to begin production of 22 episodes in June, also on location in New Zealand. "Xena: Warrior Princess" will be produced by Renaissance Pictures and distributed exclusively in national syndication by MCA TV.