William Shatner Is Live-Tweeting The CW’s Shows Now Because Of Course He Is

By David Wharton | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

One thing that has struck me recently as I’ve been rewatching Star Trek’s Original Series is that William Shatner kind of gets a bad rap. Sure, his style of acting can occasionally be a little over the top, but those really seem to be more the exception than the rule. I mean, I can understand why so many people’s image of Shatner involves him…only…speaking…likethis. But he’s gotten a lot of mileage out of milking and mocking that persona, overtly and otherwise. The latest installment in the strange cavalcade of eccentricity that is William Shatner? He’s now live-tweeting shows on The CW. No really, see:

Of course, the Shat has been active on Twitter for quite a while now, so it’s not that crazy. Okay, it’s still pretty crazy. But I have to give credit to Shatner’s stated reason for sharing his thoughts about a network whose target demographic may be too young to have any idea who the hell he is in the first place. In an email interview with the Washington Post, Shatner says he sees it as a way to give back to the genre that helped make him a household name.

Shatner is apparently friends with actor Misha Colins, who plays the angel Castiel on the CW’s Supernatural. Collins recently directed an installment of the show and announced that he’d be live-tweeting the episode when it aired. “I jokingly ‘threatened’ to live tweet along with him and he accepted,” says Shatner. “Thus my career as a live tweeter was born.”

He isn’t limiting his online commentary just to Supernatural, either. Once word spread, actors from other CW shows starting asking Shatner to give their shows the same treatment. And so it went, from Supernatural to The Tomorrow People; from The 100 to Star-Crossed. He isn’t getting paid for any of it, although he did ask the Tomorrow People cast to give him a signed doodad for the Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show silent auction.

If I were working on one of those shows, I have to admit it’d be pretty damn cool to have captured the attention of one of the genre’s most iconic figures. And just from skimming the tweets, you can tell Shatner isn’t doing this half-assedly, either. He genuinely seems to be having a good time with it, and I got a chuckle out of several tweets for shows I don’t even follow.

It does all make a certain sort of sense. Whether the CW’s lineup is your cup of tea or not, there’s no question that the network has become a haven for science fiction and fantasy programming, a sort of anti-Fox that not only regularly greenlights genre content, but also gives the shows time to find a following. Supernatural is in its ninth season, for crying out loud, and that’s pretty damn astonishing in this day and age. And it’s about to launch a spin-off!

This is a network that has premiered three separate new science fiction shows in the past year — the aforementioned Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People, and The 100 — and even if we aren’t hardcore fans of those shows, the CW still has our respect for being unapologetic in its commitment to the genre we love. Or, as Bill puts it, “The CW network seems to be the last bastion of Science Fiction shows on broadcast television so I am obviously very interested in ensuring the genre on TV stays alive.” Your move, Syfy!

Honestly, I’d love to make a joke here, but I genuinely think that’s kind of great. A tip of the hat, Captain; no irony intended.