Although Brian Lowry's article on the syndicated hour business presented an accurate picture of the current TV marketplace, some historical facts were inaccurate ("A Bit of Hercules, a Little Xena . . . ," Nov. 1).
The article quotes Peter Sussman of Atlantis Films stating that " 'Hercules' and 'Xena' got in under the wire." It then pursues the premise by noting the pair premiered when "syndicated fare consisted of little more than 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and 'Baywatch.' " This simply is not true. "Hercules" and "Xena" became top-rated hits in an environment as challenging as that found today.
When "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" premiered as a weekly series in January 1995, there were already six successful hours in syndication. In addition, that season saw the premieres of 11 hours. By the time "Xena: Warrior Princess" premiered in fall 1995, the arena was even more crowded. Eight new hours joined the 10 that carried over.
In fairness to the producers, writers and stars Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless, "Hercules" and "Xena" succeeded because they are distinctive series that people actually watch and enjoy.
Senior Vice President
Universal Television Enterprises
Lowry's article incorrectly implied that the syndicated "Highlander" is one of Xena and Herc's "imitators." Hardly. "Highlander" was offering viewers original and exciting drama in 1992, while "Xena" and "Hercules" did not begin airing until 1995.
This is the sixth and last season of "Highlander," a creative and daring show that KCBS-TV Channel 2 is unfortunately airing after midnight on Saturdays.