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On A&E: Jenna Jameson featured on William Shatner’s Raw Nerve This Tuesday

The world has gone mad.

Who would have guessed that William Shatner would be a better talk-show host than Rosie O’Donnell is a variety-show host?

Capt. Kirk has a bizarrely intense, oddly addictive style. Not only does he keep us guessing what sort of soft baritone profundity/insanity might escape his lips, he plays well with others. In his new chat show, Shatner’s Raw Nerve, Tuesdays on Biography, he aims to hit the nerves of celebrity guests with personal questions that others might not have the nerve to ask.

Rosie, meanwhile, scuttled the dream of reviving the variety show last week with her seriously misguided hour typified by Conan O’Brien taking a pie in the face.

Shatner, a.k.a. Denny Crane, Capt. James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker, commercial pitchman and camp spoken-word recording artist, brings unexpected enthusiasm to the task of debriefing C-list celebrities. The goal is to avoid actors pushing books and movies, and instead to plumb their deepest secrets, childhood memories and personal philosophies. The shameless Shatner, a multimedia success who puts his self-deprecating sense of humor on display in clever commercials, now goes a step further.

In last week’s premiere episodes — which will be repeated today at 11 and 11:30 p.m. — Shatner did back-to-back half-hours with Valerie Bertinelli and Tim Allen

He quizzed Bertinelli on adultery and drug addiction. Grilling a mid-level and descending celebrity on her theories on religion — as if he’s going to elicit some timeless quotation — he leans in intently. David Frost didn’t apply such gravitas to Richard Nixon.

In the next new episodes, at 10 and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, he talks with former porn star Jenna Jameson and talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel.

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