This Week in Addiction TV

By John Griffiths 04/01/11

Your weekly guide to recovery-themed TV, one day at a time.

Tyson out of the ring Courtesy of Animal Planet


The Killing (AMC, 9 P.M.)

Have some dark fun trying to figure out who off’d a young woman named Rosie in this new chiller of a drama set in oh-so-rainy Seattle. Billy Campbell plays a political dynamo (ooh, is he The Killing's killer?), while Joel Kinnamon plays one of the detectives—an ex-narc. So expect a druggie component to the tale.

Taking on Tyson (Animal Planet, 9 P.M.) 

Boxing great Mike Tyson, who used to get knocked out by cocaine, wraps up his offbeat show about his passion for pigeons (the racing kind—wooh!—and tonight he sees 'em compete for the first time). Recently asked by a shock jock to comment on Charlie Sheen, the champ said he himself used to be "fantastic at tricking [drug tests]. That's something I was fantastic at—lying to myself." Experience, strength and dope!


Intervention (A&E, 8 P.M.)

Is it just us, or is this show getting steadily scarier? This week's wrenching episode is titled "Pregnant and Addicted." Should be a lot of fun.

Bad Girls Club (Oxygen, 9 P.M.)

It's the drunkfest's 100th episode (congrats!) and the girls "take the party to Mexico." We hear Juarez is really nice this time of year.

Relapse (A&E, 9 P.M.)

If Celebrity Rehab can beget Sober House, Intervention can spinoff its own show too! Relapse stars four tough-lovin' sober coaches (and former addicts) help desperate people who just can't seems to sta stay clean. The o premiere: David, a firefighter who stands to lose his wife, kids and hot gig, and Brooke, an ace college student before she got all meth-y.

TALK SHOW PICKS Dr. Drew (HLN, 9 P.M.) Look out Drs. Phil, Ruth and Feelgood! Celeb Rehab host and addiction expert Drew Pinsky gets his own weeknight talk show. Can't wait for what promises to be a cavalcade of alcoholic confessionals—with a dose of insight into the addict's physiology. HLN was coy about naming first-week guests at press time, FYI. The View (ABC, check listings) Dennis Quaid, who has yapped about his experience with recovery in the past, chats up Whoopi Goldberg and gang. (The Whoopster was recently caught on tape saying she was high on the wacky weed when she accepted her Oscar for Ghost years back.) Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC, 12:35 A.M.) James Franco, red-eyed Oscar host and all around Renaissance man, plugs his new stoner flick, the fairy tale spoof Your Highness (subtle title, no?). Maybe Whoopi and Jimbo can host the Oscars next year!


Teen Mom 2: Finale Special (MTV, 10 P.M.)

Oh, yeah, this should be good. Dr. Drew (who else?) and a studio audience grill the reality hit's uber-free-spirited young mothers. Kailyn Lowry doesn't want to have anything to do with her baby daddy Jonathan Rivera, who was busted for being under the influence of maryjane last February. That doesn't stop Jennelle Evans, party girl extraordinaire, from reportedly dishing that she smokes pot on a daily basis. Time to bring back the after-school special!

Addicted to Food (OWN, 10 P.M.

Eight poor souls who can't stop eating their feelings get help at a treatment center in rural Texas in this new reality show. On the menu: 42 days of therapy.

TALK SHOW PICK Conan (TBS, 11 P.M.)30 Rock's riotously bonkers Tracy Morgan converses with Mr. Redhead. Morgan's on the record as one of us, which makes sense.


Nothing Personal (Investigation Discovery, 10 P.M.)

In this installment of the sobering crime expose, get to know two poor souls done-in by the drug world. There's small-time dealer Moises, who is marked for murder after he's caught between two of Mexico's drug cartels (and feelin' like a fool). And Rosalio "Bart" Reta, who was plucked by a drug lord at 13 to become a hit man (teenage division). And you thought cocaine came from unicorns! 

Workaholics (Comedy Central, 10:30 P.M.)

Okay, they're not really workaholics. They're actually three slacker roomies who work, sort of, at a telemarketing firm. They like to par-tay, even if that means their brain cells are in a constant recoil position. To wit, they accidentally slam their car into the company's C.E.O, played by 30 Rock doc Chris Parnell in the first episode.


The Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo, 10 P.M.)

Cravings? What cravings? The world is a ball of serenity now that Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Sonja Morgan, Jill Zarin and the raving mad Ramona Singer are back to whoop  it up in the Big Apple. There's a new lady in the mix, the aptly named Cindy Barshop, who owns her own fancy chain of hair removal spas. The biggest kick n the premier is watching  Alex McCord and her meterosexual mate Simon knock back champagne like it's going out as out of style as their wacky wardrobes duds. Sorry, that was judgmental. Reminder to myself: Do a tenth step about Alex tonight.

True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (Investigation Discovery, 10 P.M.)

Crime writer Jones tonight takes a special look at the drug-addled  life and drug-related death of Anna Nicole Smith. Ms. Jones talks with Smith's sometime-lover Larry Birkhead, some of the bombshell's old friends, and sets the record straight about a few of the media's mess-ups in covering her sad demise.

TALK SHOW PICK The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 P.M.) Celeb Rehab livewire turned Celebrity Apprentice livewire Gary Busey makes Jay uneasy.


Fish Hooks (Disney Channel, 8:30 P.M.) 

Ozzy Osbourne—who documented doing every drug under the sun in last year's autobio I Am Ozzy—guest voices on the animated show about a bunch of underwater critters. He’s the Earth Troll, a "magical dude" who teaches little fishy Milo about the importance of recycling.


Colin Quinn: Long Story Short (HBO, 10 P.M.) 

The standup comic best known for his days on Saturday Night Live brings his one-man Broadway hit to the tube. The former bartender and avowed longtime teetotaler gives his take on the history of human behavior, from Socrates to Snooki.


Ruby (Style, 8 P.M.)

Southern charmer and sweet-as-pie 12-stepper Ruby Gettinger, now ensconced for a spell in L.A., continues her mission to lose pounds with a switched-up workout and diet regimen. She also falls for a new guy.

Oprah Presents Master Class (OWN, 9 P.M.)

In this edition of Oprah Winfey's glossy bio show, the scintillating subject who overcomes all sorts of troubles to become a national treasure  is . . . Oprah herself! Her battles with food and weight are well known, but it's maybe forgotten that she once copped to doing cocaine in her 20s during a troubled relationship (she obviously worked through things). Note: this is actually part two. Part one aired last week, right after Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes. Could Oprah be addicted to Oprah?

John Griffiths has been Us Weekly's TV critic since 2003. A longtime celebrity journalist, he was also the host and producer of The Hollywood Pitch (2006-07), a weekly web talk show that addressed recovery in showbiz. He continues to serve on the review committee for the annual Prism Awards, which honor the film and TV shows that excel in depicting addiction and mental health issues, and is a member of the public awareness task force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. 

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