Shatner's 'Raw Nerve'

Z ON TV

December 02, 2008|By david.zurawik@baltsun.com

Maybe the world doesn't need another TV interview show - particularly one that features guests almost no one would think of as "A" listers.

But William Shatner's Raw Nerve, which debuts tonight on the Bio cable channel, is a welcome addition. In fact, it offers some of the most intriguing conversation you will find on the tube.

As suggested by the title, the concept is that Shatner will hit a raw nerve with each of the guests and get them to talk about things that matter.

His first guest tonight is Valerie Bertinelli - not a TV performer about whom I had any burning curiosity. But the interview was fascinating with Shatner bringing her back from PR speak with wisecracks. Here's an example:

Shatner: "So you were married to a rock star [Eddie Van Halen]?"

Bertinelli: "But he was never that to me. That was just what he did. That's wasn't the person. I was attracted to the person."

Shatner: "Hmm. And where did you meet?"

Bertinelli: "Backstage at a rock concert."

Even she got the point. The raw nerve: her Catholicism and Shatner pushing her about her "sins" (10 p.m., Bio). ***

LATE-NIGHT GUESTS Bruce Willis visits Late Show with David Letterman. Comedian Kathy Griffin visits The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

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