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Dr. Drew’s new show debuts Monday night on HLN

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After weeks of heavy promotion, including a gushing one-hour interview Sunday evening with the feel of an infomercial, HLN launches a new prime-time show Monday night featuring Dr. Drew Pinsky, hoping the well-known radio sex advisor and TV addiction specialist can help the network make a ratings play in the 9 p.m. ET hour.

The show, Pinsky says, will not center on his usual topics of compulsion or addiction but will instead look at “real people” and “why do they do what they do.” In an interview Sunday with HLN anchor Robin Meade, he said the new show was part of his ambition to “use media to change the culture” in a positive way.

He gave this example of what viewers might expect: Covering the Charlie Sheen saga by hearing the stories of bipolar cocaine addicts, talking to addiction experts and perhaps lightening up the conversation with the observations of a few celebrities and comedians.

Pinsky, an internist and addiction specialist, hosts VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” and dispenses sex and relationship advice on “Loveline,” a late-night syndicated radio show. He has filled in as the host of HLN’s “Joy Behar Show” and “Larry King Live” when it aired on HLN’s sister network, CNN.

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