Tuesday, May 05, 2009 09:03:21 AM

From: Steven Sears


As many have heard by now, I am leaving Xena after the first eight episodes
of the fifth season. This is something that has been in the works for
several months and finalized just a month ago. Just to clear up the
confusion, I want to explain my leaving. Since I have been working on Xena,
I have received several offers to leave and run other shows. All these
offers included more pay and more control. I turned them all down. I love
Xena and didn't want to leave the show just to take over someone else's show.
There was one exception, though. And that would be if I was able to create
a series that I felt passionate about. I did, in fact, end up with a few
pilot deals. But, as is the case in this business, most of them ran their
course and disappeared.
One, however, stayed. And it's one that I do feel passionate about. As has
been rumored, I have developed a new series based on the comic book heroine
SHEENA. This is not a remake of the movie. I have written a pilot script
and my associates and myself produced a presentation for marketing this last
October. It was thought that SHEENA might go to series this Fall. Because
of that, my future with Xena was uncertain. Rob Tapert and I had discussed
the possibility of me creating a series and he was very accommodating. He
told me that if it happened, I was free to go and pursue it. However, the
ambiguity of SHEENA's start date was a problem. So, we decided that I would
continue working with Xena until we were more certain. The problem is that,
if I were to leave, there would be a good chance I would be leaving in the
middle of Xena's production season. Rob had to start thinking of the series.
He couldn't offer my position to someone else when he didn't know if I was
definitely leaving. So he made a sound business decision to have me stay for
the first eight episodes. After that, I would move on, regardless of the
situation with SHEENA. That way he could go ahead and hire my replacement
early enough to insure a smooth transition.
And that's where we are now. As it turns out (and as a lesson in how this
silly business works) it seems that SHEENA may not go until the Fall of 2000.
Which means I could have finished the entire fifth season of Xena before
moving on! Oh, well. 20/20 vision with hindsight and all.
Yes, I have mixed feelings. I still love Xena. It's hard to leave it. But
I have a chance to do something I've always wanted to and I have to go for
it. I'm certainly going to miss the fans... okay, MOST of the fans. :)
I'll still drop by in the chat rooms when I can. And it's not like I'll be
completely gone from the world of Xena. I am still writing scripts for the
series and may do more even after I officially leave.
On a related subject, many have wondered about the connection between my
leaving and Liz's leaving. There is none. Liz has had to pull away from
Xena for over a year as she became increasingly busy with Hercules and Young
Hercules, so it wasn't as if she wasn't involved in the shows of Renaissance.
I don't know her reasons for leaving now, but I can only assume it's to
advance her career and aspirations.
Some have asked why I didn't let anyone in on these developments earlier.
Part of it is because I didn't want to make a general announcement that I was
leaving. It seems a little self centered to do that. The other reason is
that when it was made official, we were in the middle of the "The Way"
controversy. And I didn't want people concluding that it the two things were
connected. So I decided not to say anything, but not to deny it if it came
out, as it was sure to. Keeping a secret in the Xenaverse is like changing a
tire with a toothpick; theoretically possible, but hardly probable.
So, that's it, folks. The whole truth to the matter. Xena will obviously do
fine without me. I was just one part of a creative team. And a team I will

The one undisputed good thing to come out of this is.....

...I'll finally get to read some Fan Fiction!!! Missy, I will expect your
stories in order, thank you.


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