William Shatner reinvents TV image with new shows

Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:23pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - William Shatner will always be known for his role as the resolute Captain Kirk on classic television series "Star Trek." Yet, recently he has carved out his own brand of journalism on TV and in September, he boldly steps into the world of TV sitcoms.

Having starred in cop drama "TJ Hooker" and law shows "Boston Legal" and "The Practice," Shatner takes on an elderly father in upcoming "$#*! My Dad Says" debuting next month on U.S. network CBS. At the same time, he starts a third season of his talk show "Shatner's Raw Nerve" on cable TV's Bio Channel.

All this while Shatner is appearing in and executive producing another program, "Aftermath with William Shatner" also on Bio, in which he interviews people who were the subject of media headlines in the past. He talked with Reuters about all he has going on, and why "$#*!" should be said on TV.

Q: In "Aftermath" you interview those who became household names overnight due to unforeseen circumstances -- the DC Snipers and the Unabomber, for instance. What makes them sit down with Capt. Kirk, instead of (broadcaster) Katie Couric?

A: "They're anxious to tell their story. They've had their 15 minutes (of fame) and here's an opportunity to present that story once again from their side. It may also be they know me in some manner and want to talk to me."

Q: When they first meet you, do they get excited to meet someone they've watched on TV?

A: "They do indeed, but then they get past that and see that it's not an actor, but a human being who is vitally interested in them."

Q: How do you like being in the journalist's chair?   Continued...