ShatnerWatch: Boston Legal Renewed + Autobiography Preview [UPDATED]

A special Sunday Shatnerific Edition of CelebWatch. After a long period on the bubble, ABC has cut a deal to give Shatner’s Boston Legal another season. More on that and how it relates to Colm Meaney’s new show Life on Mars below. Plus new excerpts from Shat’s new autobiography “Up ‘Till Now” have just been released.
UPDATE: Added full schedule for Shatner media tour

More…Denny Crane!
Back in February ABC gave early renewals to a number of series, but not Boston Legal. It has been ‘on the bubble’ since, but now Variety reports the fifth season of Boston Legal will kick off this fall. Apparently the deal for BL was tied to negotiations related to David E. Kelley’s new show, the USA adaptation of the UK series Life on Mars (which has DS9’s Colm Meaney as one of the two leads). From Variety:

The verdict is in, and “Boston Legal” will indeed be back on ABC next fall. Show had been at the center of a tug-of-war between ABC and David E. Kelley Prods.

At issue: ABC wants to greenlight the pilot “Life on Mars,” but Kelley owns the rights to the show (an adaptation of the BBC drama of the same name). Kelley has expressed his intention to leave “Mars” (Daily Variety, May 7) – but in order for the show to continue without him, first needed to negotiate his departure. That’s where Kelley’s beloved “Legal” comes in. Show has a loyal, but small audience – and wasn’t a lock to return for another season. But insiders now say that a deal has been reached between ABC, Kelley and 20th Century Fox TV, and “Legal” indeed will be back for a fifth season.

“Mars,” meanwhile, hasn’t been officially ordered to series yet – but a deal appears to be imminent. ABC did not confirm the pickup.

So it looks like Captain Kirk and Chief O’Brien are going to be on ABC’s new schedule (which gets officially announced on May 13th)

Boston Legal has two more episodes to air in its fourth season (at the new time). Check out this clip from the last episode where they ‘broke the fourth wall’ and made fun of their time move and ‘on the bubble’ status.

Up Till Now Excerpt
William Shatner’s autobiography "Up Till Now" goes on sale May 13th. Excerpts from the book are now available at The Daily Mail. Here is a sample about his early rivalry with Leonard Nimoy:

On September 8, 1966, for the first time we entered “Space: The Final Frontier”. The reviews were not great. Showbusiness magazine Variety said: “William Shatner . . . appears wooden.”

Wooden? Me, wooden? Not that I took it personally, of course.

I barely even remember reading that review, sitting at the kitchen table on a rainy morning, eating three eggs while Gloria, dressed in a pale green cotton top, got our daughters ready for school.

As a professional actor, those things don’t bother me. And that review has continued to not bother me for more than four decades.

Over the next few weeks Leonard’s character began receiving most of the attention.

Spock fan clubs were formed and the network sent Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry a memo wondering why Spock wasn’t in every story.

I’ve often heard it said that acting is not a competitive sport – but never by actors. The truth is, every good actor has an ego.

I was supposed to be the star but Leonard was getting more attention than I was. It bothered me.

He did it for the children
So why did Bill decide to do another memoir now? The Shat explains to the OC Register:

I wrote it because I had the opportunity to. And I chose to do it because I felt it was a way of explaining to my children and grandchildren who I was … in some minuscule form, like a book.

So the last while I’ve been trying to do things that may explain who this creature was that they were looking at, and what was going on inside.

But what does Bill read?
As part of his book promotion, Shatner is the subject of a ‘In My Library’ feature at The New York Post. According to the Post, the following are a few of the books that have ‘turned him on.’

by E.L. Doctorow
“Handles the passage of time better than any novel I’ve ever read. Doctorow was able to push us forward backward and stay in the present and keep it clear. He’s one of my favorite writers.”

Citizen Hughes: The Power, The Money and The Madness
by Michael Drosnin
Fascinating story about a man who started bad – and went worse.

Riding Into Your Mythic Life: Transformation Adventures with the Horse
by Patricia Broersma and Jean Houston
An interesting treatise about horses and mythology. Strangely enough, my daughter saw it and thought I might want to read it just based on the title. It’s a nonimpressive book except for the subject matter – having myth be part of your life, giving it a broader meeting.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom
Recommended to me by Jon Voight during his interview on my new talk show, “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.” I finished reading it in one sitting. It’s very spiritually stimulating.

Shatner (and Stewart) headed to The View + Shatner book signings

Shatner is out promoting his book this week and will be on Late Night with Conan O’Brien on Monday night. On Tuesday, May 13th he will appear on The View, where he will be greeted by TNG’s Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg). By sheer coincidence, Shatner isn’t the only captain to hang with the ladies of The View this week. On Thursday Patrick Stewart will be on The View to promote his Macbeth on Broadway. More info at the official The View website.

Shatner also has a series of live appearances and book signings this week….

Monday, May 12 – 92nd Street Y (NYC)
Shatner appears at the Kaufmann Concert Hall in New York and will be interviewed by Leonard Lopate before signing books for attendees. Tickets are available, CLICK HERE
Signing starts at 7:30pm
1393 Lexington Ave (between E91st St & E 92nd St), New York, NY 10028
212-415-5619 or 5652

Wednesday, May 14 – Barnes and Noble (NYC)
Barnes & Noble book signing, more info here CLICK HERE
Signing start at 7pm
33 E 17th St (at Union Sq), New York, NY

Saturday, May 17 – Book Soup (LA)
Book Soup book signing, you can have the Shat sign a book even if you are not there, paying only the regular price of the book and shipping costs, although if there are book or time limitations, those in attendance get their books signed first. For more information,  CLICK HERE
Signing start at 2pm
8818 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90069

UPDATE: Shatner Media Tour
Shatner is on an all out media blitz doing radio and TV interviews all week. From local TV stations to Bill O’Reilly, Bill will be all over the place. See full list below.

Monday, May 12

  • Interview with Glen Beck of the Glen Beck Show. (Interview will air Friday, May 16)
  • Conan O’Brien Show – airing that night

Tuesday, May 13

  • 7:45am – 8:00am: Radio Interview with GMA Radio/ XM-Sirius Satellite Radio’s Hillary Barsky.
  • 8:00am: Live Interview with ABC News Now
  • 8:40am: Live Interview with Good Morning America
  • 9:30am – 10:30am: Live ABC Satellite Radio Tour
    KGO, San Francisco, WBAP, Dallas-Ft. Worth, KQRS, Minneapolis, WRXQ, Washington, DC, WXLO, Worcester, MA
  • 11:00am: LIVE In-Studio/On-Camera Interview on The View.
  • Daily Café on Retirement Living TV. Airs Wednesday May 14, 2008 – seen in 30 million homes. Host is former Congressman, and Love Boat co-star, Fred “Gopher” Grandy.
  • VH1 Best Week Ever. Show airs Friday-Sunday, May 16-18 at 9pm.
  • 4:00pm – 6:00pm: Live and Taped Radio Interviews:
    4:00pm-4:20pm: Judith Regan Show
    4:20pm-4:30pm: Sirius Hits 1
    4:40pm-5:00pm: Jay Thomas Show
    5:00pm-5:30pm: Jim Breuer Unleashed
    5:40pm-6:00pm: Maxim Radio
  • Rusty Humphries Show/Talk Radio Network. Interview airs 9pm (ET) nationwide May 13, 2008.

Wednesday, May 14

  • 7:05am: Live Radio Interview with Howard Stern.
  • 8:40am: Live Network TV: In-Studio/On-Camera Interview with Fox & Friends.
  • 9:30am – 10:30am: Live & Taped National Radio Interviews — Premiere Radio Network Satellite Radio Tour.
  • 9:30am: WBIG, New York
  • 9:40am: Rover Show (nationally syndicated)
  • 9:50am: WAXQ, New York
  • 10:00am: WMGK, Philadelphia
  • 10:10am: WUSN, Chicago
  • 10:20am: John Boy & Billy Show (nationally syndicated)
  • Reel Talk. Host is Jeffrey Lyons. Show is syndicated nationally to NBC affiliates nationwide.
  • Interview on Lips & Ears. Show airs weekend of May 17 & 18, 2008.
  • Interview on Geraldo at Large. Host is Geraldo Rivera. Show airs weekend of May 17 & 18, 2008.
  • Interview on O’Reilly Factor. Host is Bill O’Reilly. Airs at 8pm on May 14, 2008

Thursday, May 15

  • 6:29am – 6:50am: Live Radio Phoner with Imus in the Morning.
  • 7:05am – 7:30am: Live Radio Phoner with Mancow’s Morning Madhouse.
  • 8:05am – 8:30am: Live Radio Phoner with Opie & Anthony.
  • 10:15am – 10:45am: Live Radio Phoner with Dennis Miller Show.
  • 10:50am – 11:00am: Taped Radio Phoner with Wake Up with Todd Michaels.

The following William Shatner books are available for pre-order at Amazon

Up Till Now (Hardcover)


Up Till Now (Audio)

Starfleet Academy
Collision Course (Paperback)

Star Trek Memories
(paperback reprint)


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Great! More Denny Crane!!! Love that show.

I might pick up Shatner’s autobiography. I’ve been curious as to his life immediately post-Trek. BTW, what’s up with the Academy novels? Anyone out there know what’s going on?

There is defenately reference to a sequel at the end of “Collision Course” and unanswered questions. I remember hearing or reading something that Shatner said about the book(s). From what he said, it looks like sequels are unlikely at this point.

Don’t listen to any of your critics (including me.) Bill, you’re obviously doing something right.

YES!!! Never doubted it for a second. :)

Denny Crane!

Congrats to Bill! I won’t be tuning in myself (show lost me around the third season) but I’m happy he’ll continue working. And I’m always appreciative of his honesty about his less appealing qualities in his biographies.

Boston Legal is Shatner’s deepest work. There are times when his character is pretty ridiculous, but then they humanize him with a great moment. They walk a very fine line between caricature and drama. Not at all an easy thing to do. Shatner and Kelly are to be commended.

#6 Sean – I think this last season has been their best ever. Maybe you want to check it out?

Yay!!! Congrats to all the talented cast & crew members of BL. Especially Bergen, Spader, and Bill!

And I cannot WAIT to go to Borders this week and buy Up Till Now!


For those of us that happen to live in the Vegas area, we get to see William Shatner doing a commercial for a local lawyer firm here in town! It is pretty much just a straight-forward commercial with The Shat sitting in a suit in front of a bookshelf full of books, I assume trying to tie-in with his Denny Crane character! Heh! :)

I still think Denny Crane should dress up as Captain Kirk for the Halloween episode.

More Denny Crane….and an autobiography?

Life is good.

Great Shat update! Life is good, I like the Denny Crane dressing as Kirk for Halloween comment……regarding Shat reading list, I highly recommend “Citizen Hughes” fantastic book, too bad JJ Abrams refuses to acknowledge the genius and life force that is SHAT!!!!!!!!!!!


Shatner does the same type of commercial for a lawyer in my town as well. I think that the idea was probably pitched to a bunch of lawyers around the country due to his portrayal (if you will) of a lawyer. Then he spent a day in the studio filming them ala how the network anchors do it for your local news.


I’d have to disagree. I’ve said it before, but David E Kelley is great at starting things, but has no idea how to develop or finish them. He had the same problem with The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, etc. Boston Legal started great, but – for me – slowly descended into Kelley limbo somewhere around season 3. I still watch it here and there, but I’m never as satisfied with the storylines or characterizations. The show became extremely preachy (I say that as someone who usually agrees with the sermon) and smug. I love Shatner & Spader, but even they are often relegated to slapstick now. The biggest indicator in the downhill slide was the cast changeup, as Kelley typically drops & adds castmembers roughly a year before his shows sink.

I say that strictly to address #8, and not as a slam on anyone that enjoys the show. I just have no interest in it anymore.

YES!!! Now The Shat will FINALLY be on a show that has more than 100 episodes!! Go Bill!! Go Bill!!!

Great news! BL is a fantastic show – one of the few I watch. Shatner and Spader are great chemistry together.

It was also interesting to read his thoughts on his recent favorite books. Shatner often comes across as a thoughtless windbag but there is another, better side of him that is usually hidden from view. That autobiography of his may be worth reading.

Shat’s also going to be on Howard Stern Wednesday. They were quoting The Shat today re: his book and cracking up , “The greatest autobiography I have ever read”.

Apparently Shat really did say that.



Looks like busy days in Shatland. :)

Way to go Bill!

hitch — is Shat’s erstwhile subordinate going to be working that day? I hope we get excerpts here.

DENNY CRANE!!! Yes! Way to go Bill! And congrats to Colm Meany , I look forward to “Life on Mars” !

Ya’ know, every time I see the heading “ShatnerWatch” I get the idea in my head that we should keep sharp objects and lengths of rope away from Bill.

I think this occasion merits the re-posting of my favorite Shatner/BL parody! :-)

And he almost mentions his wig in the autobiography

glad boston legal was renewed. shatner finally completes a five year mission. wonder if Chris Pine or Nimoy will guest star next April/May?

It’s great fun to see William Shatner remaining a hot pop culture commodity after all these years. We should treasure these times with the larger-than-life “Bill” Shatner. It’s a tremendous tribute to him and also to the staying power of the original Star Trek. Are there any other 1966 TV series stars still kicking ass today?*

In a way, it reminds me of someone else I still get a kick out of seeing on TV regularly who I’ve been a fan of for years — Ron Jaworski, the quarterback of my beloved Philadelphia Eagles when they went to Super Bowl XV in 1981, is as big as ever as an ESPN football analyst.

* Yes, David McCallum is on NCIS and according to IMDB has worked steadily, but he hasn’t had nearly the profile of Shatner.

I think Shatner’s longest-lived TV series was Rescue 911, which ran seven seasons. Hosting/narrating rather than acting but still a big success.

” Yes, David McCallum is on NCIS”

McCallum a Brit is on American TV, coincidentally his U.N.C.L.E. co-star Robert Vaughn an American is on the UK show “Hustle”.

Was William Shatner offered a cameo in the new film?


Shatner is the new Asimov in terms of book output.
Its just too bad Shatner hasn’t actually written any of his books.

i am a little concerned that Boston legal is moving to mondays this season.
its up against CSi Miami at 10.

#33 … I liked its original night during season one – Sundays. Laughing with Denny and Alan was always a nice way to end the weekend. As far as them taking on CSI, the way I look at it, I feel lucky to get 1 more season. I really thought this one would be their last. So if season five turns out to be the final one, I’m ok with that. They’ve had a good run. I just hope they do a nice series finale and let these characters end it in style.

I’m actually looking forward to the new Life on Mars. The British version was a wonderful lovesong to great 70s shows such as The Sweeney and The Professionals. The US one is set in the era of stuff like the early Dirty Harry movies and a little before Streets of San Francisco. The great thing about the concept of Life on Mars and its sequel, Ashes to Ashes, is that it can stretch to any country in any recent era.

That said, I’m hoping for an eventual UK sequel to Ashes to Ashes where Gene Hunt gets injured and wakes up as a police officer in the present day!!!

Looks like Boston Legal will get one LAST mini season:,0,7596840.story

Oh and as for Shatner’s autobiog, I’ll pick up the paperback. I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Memories’ books and I’ll wait because, often as not, paperback editions get some revisions and even the occasional extra chapter!

There are no real words to express how MUCH I LOVE THE SHOW, but would not watch without Shatner. I love him, always have, even his commercials, he really makes me laugh, and i just think he is awesome. keep on, shat, we love ya.