Associated Press

22 January 2001

Adieu Janeway! Adieu Xena!

Final Season For Two Popular TV Shows

LAS VEGAS, JAN. 22, 2001 (CBS News) - Klingons and leather-clad barbarians mingled Sunday as fans of TV's Voyager prepared for the final mission and Xena: Warrior Princess clones awaited her last battle.

Paramount's Voyager - the third and least successful spinoff of the Star Trek franchise - and the syndicated Xena are both in their final season.

Which didn't deter the 900 fans who crowded into downtown's Plaza hotel-casino for a convention.

"All the fans are pushing for a new series," said Grace Lee Whitney, better known as Yeoman Janice Rand from the original 1960s Star Trek. "We have a whole campaign going."

Rumors have burned up the Internet about a new series being in the works but Paramount has not confirmed them.

Whitney, who was promoting her autobiography, The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, said she would like to work with George Takei, who played Sulu in the original series.

"The series would take off where Voyager left off," she said. "I'm the poster girl for the geriatric generation."

Richard Arnold, who worked with Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry, attributed the demise of Voyager to small audiences -- about 5 million viewers a week. By comparison, he said the previous series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, drew 13-14 million viewers a week.

Las Vegan Paul Keever, 20, dressed in a Next Generation officer's uniform, said he was upset that he will soon be limited to Voyager reruns. But he was excited about the prospect of another Star Trek incarnation.

Whitney attributed the continuing fascination with all things Star Trek to the approachability of the stars.

"They've been watching us on film for 35 years," she said. "And who else can they go to a convention with and talk and laugh and carry on?"

Fans of TV's Xena were equally enamored of their idol. Deborah Abbott of Austin, Texas, drew stares in her leather-and-laces outfit. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy Lawless, the star of Xena.

"My first Xena costume I made for Halloween," she said. "I went to a convention and got mobbed five years ago."


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