Ryan Seacrest Is No. 1 on THR's Reality Power List
For Drew Pinsky, documenting a celebrity's rock bottom carries a far greater purpose than a ratings grab. "We hope viewers have moments where they go, 'There was this show on and I could no longer deny my disease,' " says the L.A.-based M.D. of his popular VH1 addiction series Celebrity Rehab which he co-produces with John Irwin. Since Rehab premiered in 2008 (its fifth cycle featuring such patients as Michael Lohan, Sean Young and Amy Fisher just wrapped) and spawned the two-season Sober House, Pinsky says it has "raised awareness and lowered the threshold for people to come and take care of their problems." These problems have inspired Pinsky's monopoly of the oeuvre of substance abuse to include sex addiction (as seen in the one-off VH1 special Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew). He also has delved into teen pregnancy (Pinsky hosts reunion specials for MTV's Teen Mom series) and has the 25-year-old syndicated radio program Loveline, a just-launched HLN talk show and a forthcoming daytime talk show on the CW (with Telepictures) called Life Changers With Dr. Drew slated for September. While the married father of triplets says practicing medicine for 16 hours a day is "10 times harder" than his current media-empire duties, he's never abandoned his professional creed of "first, do no harm." "People who make reality shows generally aren't schooled in medical issues and ethics," he says. "These are things that still weigh profoundly on me."