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William Shatner is in the house

William Shatner (Oct. 11, 2008)

William Shatner (Oct. 11, 2008) Photo Credit: AP

There's nothing in the known universe quite like Bill Shatner -- he's a legend and wonder and great actor and maybe the best all-round panelist anyone could hope for at a TCA event, which can occassionally be burdened by less than totally engaging details about a script or character sketch.

There is nothing dull about "the Shat" and nothing dull about his appearance this afternoon -- where he declared of his new series, "[Bleep] My Father Says" that "I wished they'd just call it 's---. Why are we pussyfooting around?"

"Bleep" -- as it's modestly called by CBS -- does have the slightest tincture of trouble, already receiving some blowback by the Parents Television Council for the name, while the producers recast one of the leads, which meant the entire pilot had to be re-shot. Early buzz has not been great -- though from what I saw of the scrapped pilot, the flaws hardly seemed fatal, and Shatner held his own just fine.

Of his new character on "Bleep ," the Shat noted, "This guy is very much with it -- there's a snap to to the way he speaks and there's an anger and passion" but "we're all fumbling for what the character IS, and exactly what his facets are . . .  won't be known until several episodes have gone by."

Yes, he said, there's a certain "irony" in the fact that he's in a show based on a tweet: "I started in live television, when the cameras were as big as this table."


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