In 1995, the first episode of Hercules spin-off series Xena: Warrior Princess aired on Syndication network. The show went on to become more beloved than its inspiration, lasting six seasons and a total of 134 episodes before coming to a final end in 2001. Well, final until NBC decided to dig it up and revive it for a modern audience. The network even landed Javier Grillo-Marxuach, writer of Lost, and for a time it seemed Xena was on track to make a triumphant return to your living room. Unfortunately, such was not in the cards, because the plug has been officially pulled on the reboot due to “creative differences.”
NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke gave a very brief statement over Xena’s cancellation.
“Nothing is happening on that right now. We looked at some material; we decided at that point that it didn’t warrant the reboot. I’d never say never on that one because it’s such a beloved title, but the current incarnation of it is dead.”
Not much to go on, but it’s perfectly clear that the reboot, announced two years ago, has been fully dropped by the network. Of course, that might open the door for another channel to snap it up, but don’t hold your breath on that.
In 2003, the first home box set of Xena: Warrior Princess came to Region 1 DVD players (we in the U.S. are region 1), which contained the full first season. The sixth and final season released in March of 2005. Three video games based (loosely) on the series came to PlayStation in 1999, Game Boy Color in 2001, and PlayStation 2 in 2006.
The longest-running remnant of the franchise would be the comic book series that ran for 55 volumes and concluded in 2009, continuing the trend of Xena material slowly trickling off into memory. Though there is an omnibus comic collection to pick up for die-hard fans. Maybe someday we’ll see a successful revival, but for the time being it seems the princess will remain buried in the not-so-distant past.
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