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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: The Pitch - Producer John Irwin for 'Celebrity Rehab'

"Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" is on VH1 at 10pm
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We spoke with John Irwin, a producer for VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" to have him give LAist's readers his Pitch on why you should watch the show (Thursdays @ 10pm).LAist: What are the top 3 reasons you would tell somebody to watch the show?

John Irwin: I'd say that the first one is because of the nature of the topic it's pretty compelling television. There's a lot of reality out there where there's a lot of fabrication and a lot of the drama is 'produced', so to speak. But it doesn't get any more real than this, this is a real life struggle, and for many of these people, this is life or death.

Secondarily, for anybody that is struggling with an addiction or knows somebody who is in the throes of addiction, I think that this show really pulls back the veil of secrecy. Treatment has forever been shrouded in shame. I think the show is a motivating factor for anybody experiencing addiction, to go seek treatment.

The third reason, I would say that this season, especially, we have some very interesting celebrities. We have Dennis Rodman, who has been arrested something like 15 or 16 times for substance abuse, and it literally in complete denial that he has a drinking problem. Of course, we have Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss, who have their history together involving domestic violence, restraining orders, and we coincidentally managed to get them both into treatment. And of course we have Dr. Drew who is the leading addictionologist, literally the foremost in his profession.

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Again, the great thing about this show is that these people are getting the best in treatment for the 21 days that they are [involved with the program].

Listen to the podcast to hear about how the show is shot, how many thousand hours of footage they have to edit, and a response to criticisms of the show paying celebrities to appear on the program when, in some cases, their celebrity status is what led them to addiction. [I apologize for the poor sound quality of the file as John Irwin spoke to us via a cell phone through an exchange]

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