'Celebrity Rehab' benched (for now)
Dr. Drew’s VH1 drug rehab facility is closed — at least for now.
VH1 has no current plans for 2012 editions of its hit show Celebrity Rehab, or its spin-off Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House, though both could return at some point.
Last year, the shows drew criticism following the death of two former cast members. Actor Jeff Conaway, who appeared in season 2 of the flagship program, died of complications from taking prescription medications. Season 3 participant, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, died after mixing Xanax and alcohol. The events prompted a surge of criticism about the show, where stars try to get help for their addictions.
VH1 will instead launch Relationship Rehab, which avoids potentially deadly abuse issues and instead will deal with mending fractured relationships.
A VH1 rep says the Celebrity Rehab programs are not cancelled and future editions are off the schedule due to scheduling issues. The network has previously paused reality shows such as Celebrity Fit Club and revived them after a year or more. Host Dr. Drew Pinsky is focusing on his daytime CW talk show, Lifechangers.
Still, the Celebrity Rehab format was a rising presence on VH1 until last year. The network aired five seasons of Celebrity Rehab, including two editions in 2010. Season 5’s cast was announced last March and premiered in June. The show was considered a success for the network, averaging about 1 million viewers per episode, higher than the network’s 600,000 prime-time average. Sober House aired its first and second season in 2010 and 2011, respectively, then likewise went dark.