'Xena' Canceled After 6 Seasons
After six seasons on the air, "Xena: Warrior Princess" will call it quits when the current season ends next summer. For the legions of fans who have packed the more than 100 Xena conventions over the past few years, the blow was swift and painful.
Sharon Delaney, head of the official Xena fan club, said her e-mail inbox was practically groaning with messages on Monday morning after the announcement was made. "There was a huge outpouring," she said. "They're upset about it."
Xena has become a cult icon since first hitting the airwaves in 1995, and now references to Xena and the "Xenaverse" turn up in all kinds of places. A nerdy character in the new Fox series "The $treet" wins a woman's heart after he discovers she is a Xena impersonator.
The show won high ratings in its early seasons, but it was gradually forced out of key prime time slots over the past few years due to the expansion of the WB and UPN networks, said Jim Benson, a spokesman for Studios USA, which makes the show.
"Xena" never aired on network television, and the studio instead cut separate marketing deals with independent stations, leaving the show vulnerable when those stations became WB or UPN affiliates, which quickly filled their prime time lineups.