Joe Schmo producers fool entire town with fake Shatner film for new Spike series.

Joe Schmo producers fool entire town with fake Shatner film for new Spike series.
There will not be another season of Joe Schmo, but the producers of the series are bringing a similar but much larger hoax show to Spike TV early next year. Last week, William Shatner went to Riverside, Iowa, to film Invasion Iowa, but the film was actually fake, a facade for a new reality series that sounds sort of like a reality version of State and Main. In a press release, Spike TV explains:

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.

Producer Rhett Reese says, “This is unlike anything that’s ever been tried in the history of television. It was a truly breathtaking experience.” Possibly to prevent a riot in the town, which has 978 residents and is the fictional birthplace of Captain Kirk, producers gave $100,000 to the town after revealing yesterday that the whole project was fake.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.