Characters are killed off on TV shows and in movie franchises all the time. But have you ever heard of it happening in a commercial? You have now.

Priceline.com has killed off William Shatner's character, the Priceline Negotiator, as part of a new re-branding strategy. But at least he goes out in a blaze of glory. Or, if you want to get technical, an exploding bus.

The ad starts airing on Monday, but it's online already.

Check it out here:

The reason Priceline killed the Negotiator is because they're moving away from their "name-your-own-price" system.

Notice in the commercial, they don't even call Shatner the Priceline Negotiator. His jingle starts, but then it cuts off abruptly after the word "Priceline". Also, he tells the woman, "You don't have to bid."

Shatner says, "I'm in grief mode. It's not the first time I've had an iconic character die off...It was a great run. But if the management says this is the end, this is the end."

That crack about an "iconic character" is an obvious reference to Captain Kirk who was killed off in the 1994 movie "Star Trek: Generations".