Shatner Gambles on New Game Show, Charity Work

By Michelle
November 1, 2006 - 4:35 PM

In St. Louis to open the 28th annual Jewish Book Festival, William Shatner (Captain Kirk) talked about his new game show, the role on Boston Legal which won him two Emmy Awards and his uncertainty about what people want to hear from him as a guest speaker.

"It's all part of, well, I think of it as part of entertainment," Shatner told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I keep saying to myself, 'People have paid admission, they don't want to hate you. So, if you just offer them something, they'll like you.'"

At the book fair, he added, he planned to sign copies of his latest Star Trek book, Captain's Glory, noting, "I don't quite know what they want me to speak on, but usually I ramble anyway."

Shatner has enjoyed so much success on ABC on Boston Legal - the show's ratings recently reached a season high among males 18-49 despite being up against the World Series - that the network is giving him his own game show, Show Me the Money, which is scheduled to debut later in November.

"It's an ABC show, and they seem to be happy with what they're seeing," Shatner said. "It may get a big's quite complex just technically, but I think I can make it something more than a game show, so we're trying to do that."

His principal charitable endeavour, a therapeutic riding program for physically and mentally challenged children, is something that he hopes to establish in Israel as well as the US.

"It occurred to me that maybe that would work in Israel, and the mandate would be that it is open to children of all the nations around there," he said. "There was the Lebanon war, and that probably put us three steps back. But hope springs eternal, and there's the hope that all the nations will see their way to sending children to riding therapeutic programs that will be throughout Israel. And it will be a step to helping solve some of the war wounds."

Though he made mocking headlines for auctioning his kidney stone, the money raised was donated to Habitat for Humanity along with contributions from other Boston Legal castmembers and a house was built. "We've got pictures, and there's a lovely family living there," he pointed out.

"If you approach everything with love, you can be awful and people will feel sorry for you," Shatner said. "Then if you're any good, that changes, and they stop feeling sorry for you. And they get to envy you and, well, then you've got to work against that."

The full interview is here.

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