Low-tech Shatner eyes Twitter, says what the "$#*!"

Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:22am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - William Shatner confesses he has problems with the digital age. At 79 years old, he doesn't use Twitter and can't remember computer passwords.

So what is the actor -- who started in television when it was aired exclusively live and became a pop culture hero in "Star Trek" 40 years ago -- doing in the first TV series dreamed up from a Twitter account?

"It is beyond irony," Shatner said on Wednesday of his role as an outspoken, politically incorrect dad in the new comedy series "$#*! My Dad Says".

"This show is the first show that was built on the electronic age. It is an electronic miracle. It is a show that stems from the culture of now," Shatner told TV reporters gathered here for a presentation of upcoming programs on CBS.

The ironies don't end there.

"$#*! My Dad Says", which makes its CBS debut in September, is based on a Twitter feed started by struggling comedy writer Justin Halpern in 2003, which captured his own father's salty language and forthright observations.

Called "Shit My Dad Says" Halpern's Twitter feed now has some 1.4 million followers. It has produced a best-selling book of the same name and the CBS TV show involving the creators of the Emmy award winning TV show "Will & Grace".

But bans on "fleeting expletives" in U.S. network broadcasting caused CBS to "bleep" the title (they use the word "bleep" in place "$#*!" when describing the show) even though producers say there are few, if any, profanities in the TV series itself.   Continued...

<p>William Shatner talks about his show '$#*! My Dad Says' during the CBS, Showtime and the CW Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, California, July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>