As educational and informative as it’s been for viewers, there’s no denying that Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew has been a majorly voyeuristic event as well. Sure, it was nice to see Michael Lohan finally admit he has anger management issues — but let’s come clean about why we really tuned in: to see how many times he’d name-drop Lindsay or get into a knock-down, drag-out screaming match with his ex-girlfriend Kate Major.
This time around, the show’s star, Dr. Drew Pinsky, is determined to play down the train wreck factor and put the focus where it truly matters: on recovery. To do this, he’s dropping a major component of the show: the famous people! Wetpaint Entertainment spoke with TV’s most popular doctor about his decision — and what else the revamped Rehab With Dr. Drew, currently in pre-production, has in store.
Wetpaint Entertainment: So, no celebrities this time?
Dr. Drew Pinsky: No celebrities. It’s something I always wanted to do. When I first said I wanted to do Celebrity Rehab, I had wanted to put regular people in with the celebrities, but before we had done this — before we put it on TV — it became clear to me that regular people couldn’t consent to it. They didn’t know what they were consenting for or they couldn’t understand what the ramifications would be.
Why do you want do the show without famous people?
I want to make the point we don’t treat celebrities any different than anybody else. I’m so happy that point is finally going to be made. I think it’s going to be great.
How did you go about finding your new set of patients?
I, personally, don’t get involved in finding them. The production company brings the cases to me and I say whether I think I can or can’t treat them.
Will the same staff be returning to the show?
Bob [Forrest] will be there and Shelly [Sprague] will be there, yes. I have to have them there. I’m hopeful that Jenn [Gimenez] will be back as well. Dr. John Sharpe, the psychiatrist, will also be returning.
Can we expect visits from celebrity alumni of the show?
I wouldn’t object to that. It would be great to have some of them come back and do a testimonial or something like that. A lot of them have made solid progress in terms of their recoveries and it would be a nice thing to see.