17 October 2000
''Xena'' will ride off into sunset
By Melissa Grego
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - ``Xena: Warrior Princess'' will vanquish her last enemy this spring, when the popular syndicated show ends its run after six seasons. Firstrun
episodes will continue to air through summer 2001.
Although ``Xena,'' which is produced for well north of $1 million per episode, is the
top-rated hourlong action show in syndication, viewership has declined over the
One reason for the erosion is that the prime time periods in which it was launched
are no longer available, said Steve Rosenberg, president of the show's distributor,
Studios USA Domestic TV.
Since the advent of multinight programming on broadcast networks the WB, UPN
and to a certain extent Fox, ``Xena'' and similar shows no longer air in primetime
during the week. Instead, syndicated weeklies are relegated primarily to weekend
afternoons, when viewership is lower and the chances of preemption in favor of
sports and other programming are high.
Rosenberg also said that while no spinoff of ``Xena'' is in the works, it is a
possibility down the line. And he's intent on continuing to work with the show's
producers, Renaissance Pictures, and its star, Lucy Lawless, on future projects.
Lawless will likely talk publicly this week about her future, as she's slated to appear
on ``Rosie O'Donnell'' Tuesday, as a co-host on ``Live! With Regis'' on Wednesday
and on ``Conan O'Brien'' Wednesday night.
``Xena'' topped the firstrun weekly action hour genre in the 1999-2000 TV season,
averaging a 3.3 national household rating. It airs on 200 TV stations, reaching 99%
of the United States.
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