William Shatner has new talk show on a cable channel I hadn't heard of before, Bio. Below are a couple of excerpts of Ginia Bellafante's review of it in this week's New York Times ("Captain’s Log: Celebrity Universe Probed for Signs of Offbeat Life").
The range of Mr. Shatner’s cultural contributions sometimes seems incalculable, and his tenure on “Star Trek,” is, of course, really just a fraction of his national gift. If YouTube offered nothing but his spoken-word renditions of classic rock songs (“Rocket Man,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”), it would still get thousands of hits, no millions and zillions of them. Google might have bought YouTube with no other content. In a 1978 appearance at a science-fiction awards show Mr. Shatner, seated, wearing a tuxedo and slowly fiddling with a cigarette as if it were a tiny baton, interpreted Elton John as if he were doing Beckett directed by Lee Strasberg.
“Shatner’s Raw Nerve” puts its host’s peculiar brand of intensity on full display. The set looks like the cavernous basement lounge in a Balinese hotel. Mr. Shatner sits in an armchair that butts up against his guest’s on a diagonal: he is so up close he looks as though he is going to spoon-feed whoever is seated there in front of him. I kept expecting the opening question to be, “So how about a spring roll?”
But Mr. Shatner is much more probing than that. What does he want to know? He wants to know what Valerie Bertinelli thinks about sin. This Lifetime television star is the first guest on the show, and what she has to say about sin isn’t going to put Thomas Aquinas out of business.
The photo above, of Shatner on the set of his new show with Kelsey Grammer (or Kelsey Grammer's arm, in this cropped version), is from the Times article. For those of you haven't seen the Shatner version of "Rocket Man" that Bellafante referred to, there it is below.