Gary Susman
October 03, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and spin-off ”Xena: Warrior Princess” were inspired by Greek mythology, but stars Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless are complaining that their paychecks were too Spartan. The two actors, both represented by the same lawyer, filed simultaneous lawsuits Tuesday against Universal Studios, which produced the two syndicated shows. In the breach-of-contract complaints, the actors claim that they were both entitled to a percentage of their shows’ revenues — 8 percent for Sorbo, 5 percent for Lawless — but that Universal improperly reduced their shares by assessing distribution and production costs against them. (”Hercules” ended production in 1999 and ”Xena” a year later, but both shows continue to air in reruns on cable.)

A Universal spokesman told the Associated Press that the production house hadn’t seen the suits but that it was against company policy to comment on pending litigation. For our part, we’d like to see Sorbo and Lawless settle their dispute with Universal the old-fashioned way: with axes and broadswords.

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