The New Dr. Drew show debuts on Monday night at 9pmET on HLN. Driven by social buzz and current events, the new format focuses on the human — and human behavior — at the center of the most compelling stories of the day. We caught up with Drew for 5 questions as he prepares for the new version of his HLN program.
TVNewser: Tell us what to expect when your show re-launches with Michael Catherwood joining you.
Drew: We will have a live audience. Of course that brings an energy and, like live theater, it creates a feedback loop that makes it very interesting. And Mike is there bringing the outrage. With him there, we will probably delve into more sex and relationships a bit and get a more youthful point of view. A youthful exuberant point of view. More importantly, though, it’s just an opportunity for me to dig into stories that fly out of the news and social media through the prism of how my training and experience helps me understand the human experience.
TVNewser: How does the show plan to incorporate a social media element?
Drew: We’ve always had it, we do Twitter and Facebook and many of the shows will be live, so we will be taking material from all social media as it’s happening. If something is catching on in social media, if there is a conversation in social media that will inform the stories that we get into. Social media, at many times, will be our source.
TVNewser: How do you balance staying up to date with the always-evolving medical world and all of your TV/radio responsibilities?
Drew: I love this question. I have a stack of journals I’ve got to dig through while I’m on the road here. I have a stack of journals that I’m behind on. I still practice medicine and it’s really important, interacting with my peers and it motivates me to keep up on the literature. Even having your hand in it a little bit, it’s remarkable how quick things change and how much you learn from your peers and their practices. It’s a combination of insisting that I always do it and the discipline of reading the literature. I’m compulsive about it and actually enjoy it.
TVNewser: I was a huge fan of MTV’s LoveLine fan back in the day, how do you think that program helped advance your career?
Drew: I didn’t really have something I thought of as a career before it. I wasn’t really intending to be on television. Radio was something I did for 10 years, thinking I was in community service. It was the AIDS epidemic that compelled me to talk and educate. We were talking about using condoms before the term ‘safe sex’ had been coined, before HIV had been identified. I was on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic and it somehow compelled me to use media to make a difference. When a couple of TV producers showed up and said they want to make a TV show out of my radio show, I didn’t know what they were talking about. I had no idea what that meant. It sounded like another interesting way to reach people and, I’m still on MTV doing Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. I can’t believe it. Here we are 20 years later and I’m still on MTV. For that, I am deeply grateful. The new incarnation of the HLN program is just another version of my journey.
TVNewser: I always ask one food question but I know you’re a healthy guy. So, what’s your favorite guilty pleasure meal in Los Angeles?
Drew: My guilty pleasures are sort of on the junk version. It’s not very often, because I have to really pay attention, but every time I drive by Carneys on Sunset Strip, I have an intense desire to get a chili dog. I’ve managed to fight it off for about 10 years.
TVNewser: You deserve one, stop and get one the next time you drive by.
Drew: I may do that.