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)





[06/25/16 - 08:55 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Wins Low Key Demo Race
ABC, NBC and CBS all finish within a few ticks among adults 18-49.

[06/25/16 - 08:27 AM]
Women's Gymnastics Championship Grows 80% Vs. Year-Ago Saturday Telecast
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, June 24.

[06/24/16 - 02:59 PM]
Netflix Announces Premiere Date for "Haters Back Off"
All eight episodes of will premiere globally on October 14 at 12:01am PST exclusively on Netflix.

[06/24/16 - 02:08 PM]
TLC Brings Back "A Baby Story" in a Whole New Way
TLC reinvented "A Baby Story" by bringing a live birth to Facebook in an unprecedented event early this morning with "A Baby Story Live."

[06/24/16 - 12:03 PM]
Travel Channel's "Expedition Unknown" Posts Highest-Rated Episode of Second Season
Travel Channel spins the numbers for Wednesday, June 22.

[06/24/16 - 11:23 AM]
Video: HBO's "High Maintenance" Tease & Photo - Debuts this Fall
The half-hour comedy series follows a Brooklyn pot dealer who delivers to clients with neuroses as diverse as the city.

[06/24/16 - 11:08 AM]
James Earl Joins "Scream Queens" in the Series Regular Role of "Candy Striper"
Set in a hospital, where some of the most fascinating and bizarre medical cases are under observation, Earl is one of the new male leads opposite recently announced Emmy Award nominee John Stamos and Taylor Lautner.

[06/24/16 - 10:51 AM]
Hulu's Fall 2016 Slate
The streaming service confirms dates for "The Mindy Project" (October 4), "Chance" (October 19), "Shut Eye" (December 7) and more!

[06/24/16 - 09:30 AM]
"Good Witch" Season Finale Delivers Hallmark Channel's Highest-Rated and Most-Watched Episode of the Season
The Hallmark Channel further spins the numbers for Sunday, June 19.

[06/24/16 - 09:01 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "Big Brother" Sparks CBS Victory
The Eye claims the top spot in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[06/24/16 - 08:32 AM]
Third Season of Emmy-Nominated Amazon Original Series "Annedroids" is Now Available on Prime Video
The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can inspire children to do great things.

[06/24/16 - 08:23 AM]
Queen Latifah and Flavor Unit Tap Actor Anthony Anderson to Reveal "The Best Place To Be" in New Travel Channel Series
The series follows Hollywood's hottest A-List celebrities as they share the best places to eat, drink, shop and sightsee at their most favorite international destinations.

[06/24/16 - 07:30 AM]
VH1's Hit Series "Basketball Wives LA" Returns Sunday July 17th at 9:00 PM ET/PT
Returning cast members include Shaunie O'Neal, Tami Roman, Jackie Christie, Malaysia Pargo, Brandi Maxiell and Angel Brinks.

[06/24/16 - 07:19 AM]
NBA Superstar LeBron James and Business Partner Maverick Carter Draft a Winning Lineup for New CNBC Series "Cleveland Hustles"
The series teams four successful Cleveland business leaders with local entrepreneurs looking for an investment to launch their own brick-and-mortar stores.

[06/23/16 - 05:44 PM]
CBS to Encore "American Gothic" Series Premiere This Sunday
Said rebroadcast will replace the previously announced repeat of "Elementary" at 10:00/9:00c.