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Last update: 01-31-01
01-31-01. From The Times-Picayune, 02/01/2000, by Chris Rose:
A ROSE AMONG FAMOUS THORNS; OUR MAN AT NATPE BRAVES THE WILDERNESS THAT IS A TV INDUSTRY CONVENTION
...[Jerry] Springer. Now this guy's a trip. He works the floor like a politician himself. He greets everyone, slaps backs, shows up early and stays late. He is a walking photo op, and he loves to schmooze other celebrities. And women. Working the floor, he stalks around like a cross between an autograph hound and a hunting dog.
This boy is Grrrrrl Crazy!
He approaches the cast of " Cleopatra 2525, " three young and telegenic actresses in costumes that are a cross between "Barbarella" and "Land Before Time."
"Hi, I'm Jerry Springer, " he says to them, all smiles and arm-around. They joke that he should come on their show and break up the fights. "I'll break it up if you all start fighting right now," he says and I swear he laughs just like Woody Jenkins.
" Cleopatra 2525" is a syndicated show that premiered last week. The plot centers on a 21st century stripper who goes in for breast implants, slips into a coma and wakes up in the 26th century, 2525, to be precise. There, in the future, she fights evil, or something like that.
Jennifer Sky is the actress who plays the stripper Cleopatra and I ask her about the show's concept. "It's a catchy starting point for the show," she says. "A catchy way to get me into the future."
Indeed. "It's a McGuffin," says co-star Victoria Pratt. We all look at one another and realize nobody knows what a McGuffin is -- not even Pratt -- but we think it's a television industry term for "catchy starting point."
"Don't ask me," Pratt says, shrugging. "I have a kinesiology degree."
The more time you spend at this convention, the looser your grasp on reality becomes.
... To contact Chris Rose, call him at work, 826-3309; at home, 269-8863; by fax, 826-3186; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
01-31-01. From the Hollywood Reporter, 02-10-2000, by Steve Brennan:
'Back 2 Back' journeys into top ratings territory
"Back 2 Back Action" from Studios USA debuted as the top-rated new weekly hour in syndication with a 3.2 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research rankings for the week ending Jan. 30.
The package, which comprises two half-hours _ "Cleopatra 2525" and " Jack of All Trades" _launched with an impressive lineup of 234 stations. The 3.2 was good enough to tie with sophomore weekly hit "V.I.P." and the sun-and-surf franchise "Baywatch Hawaii."
01-31-01. From The Sci Fi Guys, vol. 3, issue 3, 02/05/2000:
-- TV: "Cleopatra 2525"
-- Reviewer: Kevin Wagner
Oh, Hercules, where have you gone. "Hercules the Legendary Journeys" has been replaced by two half-hour shows. The first, "Cleopatra 2525," is a Terminator-style futuristic action series starring a trio of women, Charlie's Angels-style, who run around (almost naked) fighting invaders that have taken over the surface of the Earth and driven mankind underground.
Cleopatra is an exotic dancer from our own time who was frozen, Buck Rogers-style, and now returns to use her twentieth century wisdom and bare midriff, Xena-style, to battle the powerful forces of evil.
The most amazing part of this series is how they managed to fit so many science fiction cliches in only thirty minutes. If the actors were not trying to be so serious, I would have sworn this was supposed to be a parody. Unfortunately, this is for real, and it's not good.
Someone over in production probably imagined that sexy woman and explosions sells, with or without acting or a plot. That's not quite true, even for a bottom-dweller like me.
01-31-01. From Maclean's Magazine (Canada), 4/17/2000, by Anthony Wilson-Smith with Shanda Deziel:
Victoria Pratt fights mutants for fun
Science-fiction babes draw huge followings: TV characters Xena the Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Agent Scully (The X-Files) all have cultish fans. Now, Chesley, Ont., actress Victoria Pratt is confronting such a world with her role as Sarge on Global's new sci-fi series Cleopatra 2525. "The Cleopatra cast went to a convention of Xena fans the day our show premiered," says Pratt, 29, "and people were already there in our costumes. That's dedication."
After appearing on two episodes of Xena, Warrior Princess, Pratt -- who has a kinesiology degree from York University in Toronto -- was offered a part on Cleopatra. The show's stirringly novel premise is that the title character went in for breast-enlargement surgery in 2025 and woke up 500 years later in the presence of two futuristic female warriors who, clothed in rubber outfits, battle mutants. Naturally, the newly augmented siren joins in. "We are three strong women taking on enemies of the future," says Pratt. "I don't think I could fight 20 mutants in chinos and button-down shirt. I have to be in my rubber pants."
GRAPHIC: Picture, Pratt: a kinesiology degree and a fondness for rubber pants, Craig Chivers for Maclean's
10-12-00. More on the cancellation from the October 2000 edition of New Zealand magazine ON FILM:
Cleo 'hiatus' is seen as closure
Cleopatra 2525 distributor Studios USA last month announced a 'production hiatus' on the syndicated show. Cast and crew were given notice on September 11, and told they'd finish 10 days later.
In a brief statement, Studios USA said it will "evaluate different forms the show may take in the future, and as further decisions are made we will keep you advised", but many suppliers interpret this as a sign the show will cease permanently.
The production of Xena is not affected, and Studios USA says it is committed to a full 22-ep season, shooting through til March.
The show has been in its 2nd season, which started filming on July 6; it employed three US fulltime lead actresses, and one NZ fulltime support actor, plus other NZ actors on an ep-by-ep basis; there were 160 fulltime crew plus 40 post-production crew (who will continue to work until early 2001); 40 key suppliers have been affected, and 25 actors agents were advised.
09-04-00. Released today by Reuters:
Action series ``Cleopatra 2525'' put on hiatus
BY Louisa Cleave
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Variety) - Studios USA Domestic Television has pulled the plug indefinitely on the production of syndicated action series ``Cleopatra 2525,'' filmed on the former set of ``Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'' in West Auckland, New Zealand.
The company gave no reason for the ``production hiatus,'' saying only that it was evaluating the different forms the show may take in future.
The distributor does have enough episodes of the weekly in the can to continue its syndication run in the United States through December, sources said.
``Cleopatra 2525'' is part of the weekly syndicated hour block ``Back 2 Back Action,'' which also includes the series ``Jack of All Trades.''
The block debuted midway through last season in the U.S., during the week of Jan. 17, largely in time periods previously occupied by now-defunct ``Hercules.'' The new season of ``Back 2 Back'' is scheduled to premiere Oct. 2.
The Pacific Renaissance-produced ``Cleopatra'' had been bought by New Zealand's TV3, though there were no plans to screen it this year.
``Cleopatra'' stars Gina Torres (''Hercules,'' ``Xena: Warrior Princess,'' ``Profiler''), Jennifer Sky (''General Hospital,'' ``Xena'') and Victoria Pratt (''Forbidden Island,'' ``Xena'').
The 160 Kiwi crew members, all independent contractors and, among them, many who have worked their careers to date solely for Pacific Renaissance, were told they would be out of work on Sept. 21.
A spokeswoman for Pacific Renaissance said the Lucy Lawless vehicle ``Xena'' was not under threat and filming on the current series would continue until the end of March.
09-03-00. From the recent print edition of the TV Guide: On Cleo, Danielle Comack will be back as Raina, and Joel will be back as Creagan.. On Jack, Danielle will appear as Catherine the Great, and Micheal Hurst will appear as a villian, described as Leonardo DaVinci's psychotic great-grandson.
09-03-00. From Dan. You can count tennis great John McEnroe as one of the fans of Cleopatra 2525. While commentating on a tennis match, he was asked if there would be another group of close American tennis players like the Sampras generation, and he sang: "In the year 2525..." Of course, it might have been a shameless plug - it was being broadcast on the USA Network, after all.
03-07-00. In the pilot for CLEOPATRA 2525, Lucy Lawless did the voice for The Voice. Because of scheduling conflicts, The Voice was voiced by Elizabeth Hawthorne (Herk's mama), in the actual series. The pilot was re-dubbed with Ms. Hawthorne's voice and aired as the episode HOME.
02-03-00. The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine). February 1, 2000. Pg. 20. Move over, Xena.