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)





[09/26/16 - 12:09 PM]
Viceland Sets Premiere for Its First-Ever Daily, Late Night Show "Desus & Mero"
The show will air Mondays-Thursdays at 11:00/10:00c beginning Monday, October 17.

[09/26/16 - 11:33 AM]
Prepare to Be Scared with Syfy's Annual "31 Days of Halloween" Celebration
Among the highlights: "Channel Zero: Candle Cove," which will now premieres Tuesday, October 11 at 9:00/8:00c.

[09/26/16 - 11:14 AM]
Raise a Glass to An All-New Season of Bravo Media's "Vanderpump Rules" Premiering Monday, November 7 at 9PM ET/PT
The new season of "Vanderpump Rules" once again partners Lisa with Jax Taylor, Stassi Schroeder, Scheana Shay, Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Tom Schwartz, Kristen Doute, and Lala Kent.

[09/26/16 - 11:06 AM]
TNT Orders "Hinges" Pilot from Executive Producer/Writer Janine Sherman Barrois and Executive Producer John Wells
A series that provocatively and humorously dissects middle-class suburbia, "Hinges" follows two sets of neighbors whose lives are dramatically changed in the wake of a scandal that rocks the community.

[09/26/16 - 11:01 AM]
History's New Unscripted Series "Lone Star Restoration" Premieres Monday, October 3 at 10 pm ET/PT
The network has teamed up with Texas based restoration expert, Brent Hull, and his company Hull Historical in a new eight episode series.

[09/26/16 - 10:49 AM]
Nerdist's Kyle Hill Named Host of Science Channel's "MythBusters: The Search"
The all-new series features the next generation of fearless contenders with killer build skills, science smarts and nerves of steel, ready to be judged each week as they bust myths and vie for the win in becoming the next myth-busting superstars.

[09/26/16 - 10:04 AM]
Science Channel Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Science Super Heroes
Recognizing the science superstars all around us, the new Science Super Heroes initiative recognizes individuals who are furthering science in local communities across the country.

[09/26/16 - 09:51 AM]
FX Productions Lands Exclusive Overall TV Production Deal With Emmy(R) Award Winning Writer and Producer D.V. DeVincentis
DeVincentis won two Emmy awards on "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" (producer and writer).

[09/26/16 - 09:49 AM]
Travel Channel's Jack Maxwell Discovers America's Unique Watering Holes in "Booze Traveler: Best Bars"
The two specials follow Jack Maxwell as he hunts down prohibition-style bars hidden from view, as well as bars with spectacular and unforgettable views.

[09/26/16 - 09:42 AM]
Bravo Media Finishes 3Q with the Biggest On-Air and Online Growth Among the Top 10 Ad Supported Cable Entertainment Networks
Bravo spins the numbers for the quarter to date.

[09/26/16 - 09:06 AM]
Video: "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars" Releases Season 6 Supertease Featuring Brand New Cast!
On this groundbreaking season, shocking secrets spin Boot Camp out of control as five famous couples fight to save their broken relationships.

[09/26/16 - 08:49 AM]
A&E Network's Emmy-Winning Docuseries "Born This Way" Renewed for a Third Season
In addition to the Emmy win, earlier this year the show was chosen as one of six honorees for the 2016 Television Academy Honors, an award that recognizes television programming that inspires, informs and motivates.

[09/26/16 - 08:37 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: "Sunday Night Football" Tops Charts on Night of Declines
FOX's "The Simpsons" is the only series to post year-to-year gains on the broadcast networks.

[09/26/16 - 08:04 AM]
Soul Train Weekend 2016 to Take Over Mandalay Bay November 3-6
The four-day weekend of events will include intimate performances, electrifying concerts, an outdoor day party and exclusive late night parties - all leading up to the 2016 Soul Train Awards.

[09/26/16 - 08:02 AM]
MTV Brings Back "TRL" for One Day Only as "Total Registration Live" to Encourage Voter Registration Tuesday, September 27 at 6:00PM ET/PT
The one-hour live show will simulcast on MTV.com, the MTV App, MTV's Facebook and YouTube pages, and ElectThis.com.