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)





[04/30/16 - 08:38 AM]
ABC Is #1 on Friday in Adults 18-49 as "Shark Tank" Surges to a 10-Week High
ABC spins the numbers for Friday, April 29.

[04/30/16 - 08:31 AM]
"Dateline" Grows, "Grimm" & "Caught on Camera" Maintain 100% Week-to-Week
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, April 29.

[04/29/16 - 10:01 PM]
Winner Announced on "Hell's Kitchen"
The winner received a Head Chef position at BLT Steak at Bally's Las Vegas, a total prize value of $250,000.

[04/29/16 - 04:26 PM]
Discovery Channel Dominates April with More Top Ten Unscripted Cable Series with Men Than Any Other Network
Discovery spins the numbers for the month of April to date.

[04/29/16 - 04:10 PM]
Video: Watch First Looks at "MasterChef" Premiering Wednesday, June 1, at 9/8c, on FOX!
Judging the battle rounds will be Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi, who will taste for flavor, creativity and presentation.

[04/29/16 - 04:04 PM]
It's Official: Season 2 of Netflix's "The Ranch" Coming in 2017!
Co-stars Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson and Sam Elliott shared the news in a video message this afternoon.

[04/29/16 - 03:22 PM]
Science Channel Delivers Highest Rated and Most Watched April Among Total Viewers and Key Demos
Science Channel spins the numbers for the month of April to date.

[04/29/16 - 12:36 PM]
Hulu Announces Straight-to-Series Order for "The Handmaid's Tale" from MGM Television
The series will be created, executive produced and written by Bruce Miller with Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Warren Littlefield serving as executive producers.

[04/29/16 - 12:32 PM]
Season Eight Winner Sawyer Fredericks and Hot Band DNCE to Appear on "The Voice" Tuesday, May 3
Fredericks not only won season eight but also set a record for the first artist to have 14 songs in the iTunes Top 200 singles chart in one week.

[04/29/16 - 12:18 PM]
Showtime 2016 Summer Programming Overview
Highlights include the return of "The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth" on Sunday, July 10 at 8:00/7:00c.

[04/29/16 - 11:16 AM]
Velocity Keeps Foot on the Gas in April with High Single and Double-Digit Ratings Increases
Velocity spins the numbers for the month of April to date.

[04/29/16 - 10:44 AM]
New Premiere Time Alert - "NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed" Three Night Special Events Premieres May 8, 15 and 22 tt 9PM ET/PT
The three-part event will now air at 9:00/8:00c instead of 10:00/9:00c as previously announced.

[04/29/16 - 09:51 AM]
NBC Olympics and Snapchat Partner to Present Unique Perspectives of the 2016 Rio Olympics & U.S. Olympic Team Trials
NBC Olympics will co-produce the NBC Rio Olympic Discover channel with Buzzfeed, a regular contributor to both the Snapchat Discover platform and NBC's content projects.

[04/29/16 - 09:11 AM]
"The Odd Couple" Grows to Season High Adults 18-49 Rating
CBS spins the numbers for Thursday, April 28.

[04/29/16 - 09:01 AM]
AMC Releases New Photos and Promo from "Preacher" - Highly Anticipated Series Launches May 22
Check out the latest images of Sheriff Root (W. Earl Brown), DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Derek Wilson).