TV Talk

Xena: Warrior Princess Reboot Details, and Other TV News

by | February 25, 2016 | Comments

This week in TV news, the next America’s Next Top Model, Xena gets a reboot, casting news, and more!


America’s Next Top Model ended its 12-year run on The CW (formerly UPN, formerly The WB) with Cycle 22 last December, but this won’t be the end of ANTM. VH1 is reviving the show for a 14-episode run – sans host Tyra Banks – later this year. This is a natural step for VH1 – the channel has shown reruns of the reality show for years. “We could not be more excited to bring back and breathe new life into one of the greatest unscripted franchises on television,” said chief licensing officer for CBS Corp Scott Koondel,  “VH1 is the perfect partner for this new endeavor and we hope this is the beginning of a long relationship.” While Banks will not be the host of this new ANTM, she will remain on board as an executive producer. The show will move to New York City and will likely have new hosts. We are all rooting for it.


WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) Stars Alano Miller, Amirah Vann, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Jessica de Gouw and Chris Meloni appear at a screening and panel discussion of WGN America's "Underground" at The White House on February 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for WGN America) *** Local Caption *** Alano Miller; Amirah Vann; Jurnee Smollett-Bell; Aldis Hodge; Jessica de Gouw; Chris Meloni

Yesterday, WGN America screened its highly anticipated original series Underground at the White House as part of the White House Office of Public Engagement’s Black History Month event, “These Hallowed Grounds.” Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Barack Obama, provided opening remarks, and the premiere episode was lauded by attendees at the event. Prior to the screening, the Underground cast and creative team, including executive producers John Legend and Akiva Goldsman and stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw and Amirah Vann, participated in panel discussions in which they elaborated on the inspiration behind the escape thriller. Underground premieres Wednesday, March 9th on WGN America.


In a recent interview between Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost), showrunner of a new Xena: Warrior Princess reboot for NBC, and Genevieve Valentine, writer of the new Xena comic, Grillo-Marxuach spilled some beans about his plans. Changes will include a more serialized story arc than Xena fans are used to and the changing of some character backstories. “Some of their morality will be tweaked,” he explained. But it will still surround legendary characters “in a way that makes sense to the totality of the story.” Will Xena still have a Chakram? Grillo-Marxuach said he usually answers that with, “Of course… What am I, a monster?” But lead actresses Lucy Lawless and Renée O’Connor won’t be recreating their roles. While he loves and will miss the duo, the showrunner said, “The reboot is not a repudiation of the classic show, but rather a compliment to it. I want for Xena to be a cultural icon for longer than my tenure in the entertainment industry, or that of anyone else involved with the project.”


In casting news this week, Actor-producer-rapper Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner has just booked an influential guest starring role on Fox’s Empire. Xzibit is playing Leslie “Shyne” Johnson, who is described as 100% wolf and 100% gangster and it looks like 100% nemesis of Lucious Lyons. And as long as we are talking Cruel Intentions, we have learned Sarah Michelle Gellar will be reprising her role as Kathryn Merteuil in NBC’s revival of the famed 1999 film. Gellar will not be joined by her famous co-stars, but by their fictional son who learns the dark truth of his late father’s family. And all those that have been missing Dr. Mark Greene – E.R. alum Anthony Edwards has been the first cast, and will play Drew’s father, in CBS’s eagerly anticipated Nancy Drew reimagining. CBS has promised a diverse cast and a grown up Nancy, so we shall see where this famed feminist icon will take us next.


HBO hasn’t had a breakout drama hit since Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, and the pressure has been mounting for the next big hit. Their most recent release, Vinyl, garnered less than impressive ratings and mixed reviews. And after troubles with highly anticipated productions like Westworld, and projects from David Fincher, and Steve McQueen were benched due to production problems, HBO’s drama head Michael Ellenberg found himself out of a job this year. Nevertheless, HBO insists that they are still looking forward to their 2016 slate.
  • Nate Blank

    Katrina Law for Xena!!!

    • Amy Schnauzer Wilson

      Nope, Lucy and Renee or nothing.

  • Dennis Young

    If Sylvester Stalone can get back into the ring as Rocky at 60, Lucy and Renee can reprise their roles as Xena and Gabrielle at the young ages of 47 and 45. They’re both still in great physical shape, beautiful, and I’m sure would be very interested in “getting the gang back together”. First season could be them then hand it off to a younger duo.

    • Brian Hull

      Lucy was so smoking hot in Spartacus, hotter than she ever was in Xena. and Spartacus is also where i learned she’s a real actress.

  • Amy Schnauzer Wilson

    Lucy and Renee are Xena. They broke the mold and no one else can play them. Screw this reboot!! This writer also sucks and very much the monster. If we can’t get Lucy and Renee in a revival or movie then leave it alone before you ruin it!

  • Ignatius P. Garnet

    Xena was a great, fun ‘feminist’ show that everyone could enjoy. Putting Lucy and Rene ‘out to pasture’ and rebooting it with younger actors undermines everything that made it groundbreaking. Dennis, below, is right. If Stallone can do it, so can Lucy and Renee. We, the fans, love them and only want to see them in the roles, irrespective of age. If the final episode has eliminated the possibility of continuing the story, then leave it alone.

    • Brian Hull

      i have no problem with “feminist” content but why does everything feminist have to be G rated tripe. i don’t think feminists have a problem with authentic violent action scenes or an actually gritty story. Xena was SyFy worthy snore, like Hercules, TV for the lowest common denominator of fantasy lovers.

      Aliens was a great movie with an empowered totally non-sexualized female lead; Cameron was told men wouldn’t watch it- he thought that was bullshit and he was right. Treating female characters with kiddie gloves is working backwards.

  • Brian Hull

    If they do a remake of Xena and it’s G rated daytime tv bullshit with different actors even less people will watch it than watched the first one. Jessica Jones and companies like Netflix is where it’s at.

Tag Cloud

Rock GLAAD Funimation superhero comedies The Witch Country franchise Mary Poppins Returns Writers Guild of America TV MTV cancelled TV shows Hallmark Christmas movies chucky Podcast CNN nfl witnail Chernobyl films Amazon Prime Video Nickelodeon BBC One zombie jamie lee curtis Peacock Marvel pirates of the caribbean Nat Geo TLC green book medical drama HBO USA Hallmark Hear Us Out Film Turner Shudder MSNBC Opinion crossover OWN DirecTV Lionsgate richard e. Grant obituary festivals Elton John stand-up comedy thriller 2019 Kids & Family Apple TV renewals harry potter 4/20 Emmys japanese justice league HBO Go Pop TV theme song best Sneak Peek independent strong female leads spanish free movies zero dark thirty comic books revenge DC streaming service comiccon archives television LGBTQ reboot screen actors guild Amazon Rocketman mutant joker RT History psycho TIFF Hulu Warner Bros. Lifetime Christmas movies CW Seed YouTube Premium Masterpiece Musicals universal monsters ABC Family mockumentary APB Mystery 24 frames aliens Sundance Now game of thrones jurassic park Trivia halloween Winter TV YA ITV Television Academy period drama Film Festival Music Mary poppins PBS dogs critics batman crime thriller 99% Awards Tour reviews GIFs Tumblr The CW political drama Watching Series worst movies Best and Worst toronto Anna Paquin Dark Horse Comics italian E! Women's History Month Holidays cancelled television NYCC spinoff Disney Martial Arts rt archives discovery ABC australia Infographic DC Universe E3 HBO Max versus USA Network hollywood james bond toy story First Reviews anthology robots Marvel Television disaster cancelled criterion emmy awards Crunchyroll romantic comedy Drama TCA Awards Endgame Summer Western casting composers rotten movies we love biography indiana jones Shondaland Logo satire Spring TV Mudbound Vudu festival Bravo Amazon Prime SundanceTV cartoon WarnerMedia foreign kids TCM elevated horror Teen golden globe awards Christmas stoner CBS All Access VICE Reality TruTV black Election A&E Certified Fresh Musical child's play sports Netflix war remakes Chilling Adventures of Sabrina VOD romance Extras American Society of Cinematographers golden globes anime Avengers miniseries Turner Classic Movies vampires sitcom Thanksgiving canceled TV shows comics ABC Signature fast and furious Black History Month Biopics Spectrum Originals TBS cinemax police drama cops sequels Cannes a nightmare on elm street Tomatazos spy thriller Nominations TV Land Marvel Studios dc Comic Book Mindy Kaling DGA 2018 Esquire Brie Larson Holiday Paramount Network Reality Competition 21st Century Fox canceled blaxploitation Video Games Star Wars politics The Walt Disney Company documentaries historical drama Family Character Guide venice Ovation animated hispanic Columbia Pictures sag awards MCU cats Song of Ice and Fire PaleyFest based on movie directors BET 72 Emmy Awards San Diego Comic-Con Epix docudrama Ellie Kemper series SXSW 45 20th Century Fox Pop 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Tubi Cartoon Network Pet Sematary award winner dceu adventure Discovery Channel Sundance GoT TCA Winter 2020 SDCC adaptation video on demand Captain marvel 2017 Set visit ESPN Netflix Christmas movies tv talk indie X-Men football Trophy Talk Starz diversity Paramount halloween tv Apple TV+ Black Mirror science fiction movies BET Awards Spike space Disney Plus finale Fox News Sci-Fi Cosplay teaser See It Skip It 2016 christmas movies Disney+ Disney Plus 2015 Valentine's Day Trailer VH1 supernatural DC Comics book Schedule rom-coms nature Red Carpet 71st Emmy Awards The Academy stop motion Food Network spanish language Animation streaming natural history concert fresh Comedy OneApp mission: impossible screenings Fox Searchlight Syfy spider-man transformers Freeform BAFTA Interview deadpool FX what to watch Comics on TV Alien BBC America Showtime all-time documentary cars Calendar facebook Grammys Lifetime Oscars ratings The Arrangement A24 Emmy Nominations Rocky Sundance TV nbcuniversal President spain dramedy RT21 WGN dragons Mary Tyler Moore die hard travel ghosts IFC Crackle Box Office Premiere Dates worst serial killer 2020 boxing PlayStation Rom-Com Pride Month ID sequel National Geographic south america CBS werewolf Television Critics Association name the review Tarantino hist Walt Disney Pictures Universal LGBT TV One AMC parents Toys game show crime unscripted IFC Films Acorn TV Apple TV Plus quibi asian-american binge boxoffice Creative Arts Emmys Superheroes comic french Polls and Games Adult Swim breaking bad slashers Countdown New York Comic Con trailers scary movies Quiz YouTube Red First Look BBC Baby Yoda Star Trek FOX latino Sony Pictures crime drama social media Pirates singing competition Fall TV TCA Photos Action 007 blockbuster video scorecard dark Pixar Ghostbusters The Purge TNT classics cancelled TV series rotten Arrowverse History Marathons Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Comedy Central Stephen King true crime CMT children's TV Super Bowl Binge Guide renewed TV shows psychological thriller Classic Film twilight Heroines cooking Academy Awards talk show cults Britbox El Rey Winners NBC FXX Disney streaming service YouTube movie Awards The Walking Dead Lucasfilm doctor who laika Horror news TCA 2017 Amazon Studios Superheroe Disney Channel zombies technology Year in Review Fantasy Travel Channel FX on Hulu