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VH1's new 'Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew' to premiere January 10


By Christopher Rocchio, 09/24/2007 

VH1 has announced Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, a new reality series that will follow Loveline host David Drew "Dr. Drew" Pinsky as he chronicles the detoxification and treatment of several celebrities, will premiere Thursday, January 10 at 10PM ET/PT.

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Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew will document the experiences of nine celebrity patients undergoing detoxification and treatment at a Los Angeles-area center as they receive help from Pinsky, counselors, nurses and other addiction experts. 

Only one of the celebrity patients failed to complete the 21-day round-the-clock program that included both group and one-on-one therapies.  Those who did complete it were rewarded, given the opportunity to continue their treatment in a sober living facility for three months on VH1's dime.

"This project will reveal that true rehabilitation is grueling work and takes an ongoing commitment. At the same time, we hope to demystify the process and encourage people with substance issues to explore rehab as a viable option," said Michael Hirschorn, VH1's executive vice president of original programming and production. "There is no one better than Dr. Drew to deal with this topic honestly while assisting people who truly need his expertise and guidance."

In each one-hour episode of the series, Pinsky will also offer viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the rehabilitation process as well as educate them on available treatments to break the cycle of addiction.

"The road to sobriety is not easy and rehabilitation and the recovery process are not to be taken lightly," said Pinsky. "My goal is to lift the veil and help my patients, as well as viewers, understand that if not taken seriously, addiction is a disease that will kill you."

While VH1 plans to announce Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew's cast closer to its premiere date, a spokesman for the network confirmed to The Tampa Tribune that former American Idol fourth-season finalist Jessica Sierra is one of the participants.

The 21-year-old Tampa, FL resident failed to attend a procedural hearing last month on battery and drug charges and also saw the start of her trial postponed because her lawyer John Fitzgibbons said she'd been in a California drug and alcohol rehabilitation program since July.  He described her rehab stint as " a comprehensive program that covers drug and alcohol abuse and other issues," adding Sierra "would probably be there several more months."

Sierra was arrested in April and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a detention facility following a night of partying with friends in Tampa. 

The eight-episode series is executive produced by John Irwin and Damian Sullivan for Irwin Entertainment. Pinsky and Howard Lapides are also executive producing along with Michael Hirschorn, Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes, and Noah Pollack for VH1.

VH1 announced plans in June to launch Thursday as a third night of original programming that would be fueled by several new reality series.

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