or


[09/29/04 - 12:00 AM]
William Shatner's 'Invasion Iowa' Proves to Be TV's Most Elaborate Hoax Ever

[via press release from Spike TV]

William Shatner's 'Invasion Iowa' Proves to Be TV's Most Elaborate Hoax Ever

New Reality Series to Be Telecast on Spike TV in 2005

RIVERSIDE, Iowa, Sept. 29 -- Emmy Award(R)-winning actor William Shatner revealed Tuesday that "Invasion Iowa," the independent science fiction time-travel film he purportedly wrote, directed, produced, and starred in on location in Riverside, Iowa, is actually a fake. Shatner stood in front of a crowd of hundreds and revealed to the people of Riverside that they are now the unwitting stars of their own television series for Spike TV, produced by Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese, William Shatner, and Gary Benz. Shatner then, as a thank you to the townspeople of Riverside for being such good sports, presented town officials with a $100,000 city service contribution.

"I fell in love with the people of Riverside," William Shatner said. "And the hardest part of this whole experience was containing my empathy for the individuals who listened to and identified with the soap opera that we played in front of them."

A crew of producers, writers, and actors spent more than a year planning this carefully crafted hoax, which lampooned the craziness of Hollywood before an audience of "small-town America." Shatner played the role of an increasingly over-the-top version of himself. His eccentric faux "entourage" ranged from his harried, neurotic assistant, to his spiritual advisor, to his flighty leading actress, all of whom were played by improvisational comedic actors.

"It's hard to imagine any undertaking more audacious, hair-raising, and ultimately rewarding than what we just finished in Riverside," says Paul Wernick. Rhett Reese adds, "This is unlike anything that's ever been tried in the history of television. It was a truly breathtaking experience."

"This is a breakthrough concept" says Peilin Chou, Spike TV's Vice President of Original Series, and the Executive in Charge of Production of "Invasion Iowa." "The complexity and intricacy of how the show is orchestrated coupled with the warmth of the people of Riverside makes this truly extraordinary television."

The series held auditions and cast several local residents for roles in the faux film, then hired more for its fake film crew. These individuals, mostly from the city of Riverside, became the unknowing stars of a television series. The locals who became cast members, Brooke Lemke of, Iowa City; Wayne Simon, of Riverside; Leann Sexton, of Riverside; John Conway, of Wellman, Iowa; Mike Poch, of Riverside; Ryan Baumbach, of Iowa City; Brandon Kaufman, of Riverside; and, Bill Blank, of Des Moines, and the locals selected as crew members, Scott Riggan, of Riverside; Jim Pickering, of Riverside; and Diana Schultz, of Riverside; were given front-row seats to all the on-set and off-set shenanigans, including attending dailies in Murphy's Bar & Grill, a local bar and family restaurant, and becoming confidantes of Shatner and company.

"Invasion Iowa" creators and executive producers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and William Shatner chose the city of Riverside, population 978, in large part for its status as the "future birthplace" of Shatner's legendary "Star Trek" character, Captain (later Admiral) James T. Kirk, who was born in the quaint Midwestern farming community on March 22, 2228. Since 1985, thousands of fans have gathered annually in Riverside for "Trek Fest." Traditionally held during the last week in June, Trek Fest welcomes fans who come to celebrate their love of the "Star Trek" television series, films, and lore. "Invasion Iowa" has no connection to the "Star Trek" franchise.

The "Invasion Iowa" cast and crew spent ten days in town, shooting at various locations, including Downtown Riverside, Murphy's Bar & Grill, Sojka Farms, Delgato's restaurant and St. Mary's Church, and brought in nearly a million dollars to the local economy.

The show is set to debut on Spike TV in early 2005. "Invasion Iowa" was created and executive produced by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and William Shatner. Gary Benz also serves as executive producer. Mary Jester is co-executive producer, Ronnie Weinstock is supervising producer, and Brendon Carter is director. The series is exclusively produced for Spike TV by Reese Wernick Productions and GRB Entertainment. Peilin Chou, Spike TV's Vice President of Original Series, serves as the Executive in Charge of Production.

Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 87 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.

SOURCE Spike TV





  [september 2004]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
   


· INVASION IOWA (SPIKE TV)





[08/22/17 - 11:19 AM]
AMC Announces Casting for Upcoming Series "Lodge 49"
Brent Jennings, Sonya Cassidy, Linda Emond, David Pasquesi and Eric Allan Kramer will join the previously announced Wyatt Russell.

[08/22/17 - 10:45 AM]
Spellbinding Sweets Fill the New Season of "Halloween Baking Championship" Hosted by Comedian John Henson
Carla Hall, Lorraine Pascale and Zac Young will serve as a judges on the new season.

[08/22/17 - 10:30 AM]
"Game of Thrones" Season Finale Debuts This Sunday, Aug. 27
The network notes said installment's total running time is 79 minutes, 43 seconds.

[08/22/17 - 10:00 AM]
Starz Developing a Series Under the Working Title "Black Samurai" with Jerry Bruckheimer Television, RZA's Wu Films, Starring Academy Award(R) Winner Common
The series will follow the character of Robert Sand (Common), a highly-trained American Army Ranger whose life is transformed when he meets a legendary Japanese master who invites him to train as a samurai.

[08/22/17 - 10:00 AM]
Nationwide Casting Call Underway for the Role of "Ralphie Parker" in FOX's Live Musical Production of "A Christmas Story"
"Ralphie" is a bright, but not precocious, nine-year-old boy whose only dream is to get a Red Ryder Range Model Carbine Action BB Gun for Christmas.

[08/22/17 - 09:39 AM]
Video: Netflix Debuts Key Art & Trailer for "Strong Island"
The film will launch on Netflix and in limited theatrical release on September 15.

[08/22/17 - 09:29 AM]
"Jerry Before Seinfeld" Premieres Globally on Netflix September 19
In the hour-long special, Jerry Seinfeld returns to The Comic Strip in New York City for an intimate stand-up set at the club that helped launch his career.

[08/22/17 - 09:09 AM]
Oxygen Media Uncovers "Criminal Confessions" from Executive Producer Dick Wolf Premiering Sunday, October 1 at 7PM ET/PT
The series delves into the psychological showdown that transpires inside actual police interrogation rooms between investigators and suspects and dissects what it takes to yield a confession.

[08/22/17 - 09:05 AM]
MTV Scares Up a Second Season of "Fear Factor" with Ludacris
The 20-episode order of "Fear Factor" from Endemol Shine North America is slated to premiere in 2018.

[08/22/17 - 09:04 AM]
Video: Sean Combs and Mark Wahlberg Double Down on Mayweather vs McGregor Showtime PPV(R) Event
The pay channel has released a new video where superstars Combs and Wahlberg are following up on their previous Mayweather vs. Pacquiao wager.

[08/22/17 - 09:01 AM]
Morgan Freeman to Be Honored with 2017 SAG Life Achievement Award
Given annually to an actor who fosters the "finest ideals of the acting profession," the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Freeman's exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors.

[08/22/17 - 08:32 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Charts Despite News Disruption
The Peacock once again wins the evening in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[08/22/17 - 08:10 AM]
Chris Hansen Is Back to Unravel the Truth and Emotions Behind Every Homicide in Investigation Discovery's New Season of "Killer Instinct"
New episodes kick off Tuesday, September 5 at 9:00/8:00c on the network.

[08/22/17 - 07:42 AM]
It's a Fall Filled with Family, Friends and Frenemies When Bravo Media's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" Returns with a Supersized Premiere on Wednesday, October 4 at 9PM ET/PT
Returning for another roller-coaster ride are Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, and Siggy Flicker, who are joined by new housewife Margaret Josephs.

[08/22/17 - 07:02 AM]
Travel Channel's Josh Gates Embarks on a Worldwide Expedition Searching for Evidence of Extraterrestrial Life in Four-Part Special Event
"Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials" begins Wednesday, October 4 at 9:00/8:00c on the cable channel.