Shatner Game Show To Debut Tonight

By Michelle
November 14, 2006 - 4:59 PM

A special preview of William Shatner's Show Me the Money airs tonight on ABC in lieu of Shatner's other regular gig, Boston Legal, and while the actor says he is very excited about this new project, his recent work on video games, his charities and the other dozen balls he is juggling as a writer, father, grandfather, husband and international celebrity, he remains most hopeful about playing Captain Kirk yet again in Star Trek XI.

From 9:30-11 p.m. Eastern time tonight, Shatner will emcee, ask trivia questions and "spontaneously boogie" with beautiful dancers onstage, according to The Futon Critic. The format of the show involves requiring contestants to answer a series of questions, then choose among dancers holding scrolls with dollar figures that will be added or subtracted from the contestants' totals. When a player gives a correct answer and chooses a dancer holding a high-paying scroll, millions of dollars may be awarded.

TV Guide interviewed Shatner about the show and his busy schedule, learning that Shatner had done 13 interviews in two days to promote both Show Me the Money and Boston Legal. "The dancing girls are part of the glitter of the show," he explained. As for the contestants, "When they say, 'I want to win this money to fix my boyfriend's teeth,' and the boyfriend is there and he smiles, you realize he does need help, that it would change his life, her life... everything... if she could only win this money."

It certainly does seem to be true that Shatner is everywhere. He spoke with GameSpy recently about his roles in the Star Trek games Legacy, Encounters and Tactical Assault, all from Bethesda Softworks, saying that for a long time he didn't want to record Kirk's voice for more electronic entertainment, but "they kept coming back to me, 'Please do it.' It was the groveling that got me. It broke my heart." Then, when he learned what the games would be about, "it seemed really cool" and he agreed to participate. Shatner joked that it takes time for him to get back into Kirk's head - he claimed to have to climb a tree near his home and break off a twig - but said he doesn't understand what people mean when they refer to his diction as the captain, saying, "As far as I'm concerned, I have a smooth, mellifluous delivery that's kind of a monotone."

Shatner has been joking that he pitched an idea for Star Trek XI where Spock morphs into Kirk, something he told both TV Guide and GameSpy. He also joked to the latter that Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and George Takei (Sulu) had begged him for help getting voice work in video games but he had failed to make the appropropriate phone calls. "The only person who wants Nimoy is his wife, and she's been having doubts," he deadpanned.

Massachusetts' The Republican asked Shatner about famous people he had worked with early in his career in films like Judgment at Nuremberg, but Shatner insisted that the people he works with now are just as talented. James Spader is a wonderful, professional actor...Candice Bergen - there is nobody better than she. Rene Auberjonois turns out to be a classic, wonderful man. I am enthralled by the people I am working with now," he said.

Asked by TV Guide about what was in store for his character during November sweeps, the actor stated that there would be lasciviousness and lightheartedness, but he will not get to perform with the person he named as his ideal guest star: Jesus Christ. "Is he booked?" asked a disappointed Shatner, who then added, "How about Moses? He'd be a good foil for Denny."

However, Shatner admitted to some trepidation at the idea of another actor playing a "younger" James T. Kirk in the upcoming Star Trek film and suggested that if Jesus Christ were unavailable for that role, Moses might be a good choice, though he "would have to shave."

"He's got to be handsome. He's got to be athletic. He's got to be rich. He's got to be funny. He's got to get the girl - the sort of things I do," Shatner told The Republican. He said that he does not dwell on the franchise's 40th annversary, however, for "I am busy on my horse and holding my wife in my arms and that's two occupations that are totally enveloping."

But back to the film itself: The Omega Sector reported that at the Creation convention in Secaucus, New Jersey last weekend, Shatner said that producer J.J. Abrams was "committed" (which the reporter took to mean "determined") to having Nimoy and himself in Star Trek XI. He said he had spoken to Abrams about three weeks ago about the possibility of an appearance.

"It's easy for Leonard, because Spock's alive. But I'm dead," Shatner noted, referring to Kirk's onscreen demise in Star Trek: Generations. On the same topic, he told TV Guide that Kirk's being dead was "one of those science-fiction puzzles that needs to be worked out."

Shatner told the fans in Secaucus that he did not believe gossip that Matt Damon would play Kirk in any upcoming film and said, "I think they're going to go with unknowns" as Kirk and Spock. The audience booed the idea of Damon as Kirk and cheered halfheartedly at the idea of any new actors in the roles.

Abrams has not yet confirmed any plans to have Shatner - or, indeed, Kirk - in the upcoming Star Trek film. However, fans can get their first glimpse of the actor on Show Me the Money on ABC tonight at 9:30 p.m. before the show moves to its regular time slot on November 22nd, airing Wednesdays at 8.

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