- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2005

The Dr. is in

Avuncular relationship guru Dr. Drew Pinsky gets pretty worked up when asked how the media handles matters of the heart.

“Health problems … interpersonal issues … the way the media portrays these things is inaccurate,” Dr. Pinsky says. “The people producing television and news only know television. Their sense of what’s interesting is a million miles from what reality is.”

So the good doctor decided to do something about it.

His provocatively titled “Strictly Sex With Dr. Drew” debuts at midnight tonight on the Discovery Health Channel. The show will take a sophisticated look at bedroom issues, ranging from sexual dysfunction to relationships gone wild.

“I’ve had to go in and create every segment from the ground up,” he says of the weekly show. “The fluff and nonsense we instinctively go to is so far from what I want to talk about.”

Radio listeners of Dr. Pinsky’s “Loveline” call-in show — heard locally at 11 p.m. weeknights on WJFK-FM (106.7) — know precisely what the doctor means. That program, which casts Dr. Pinsky as the cerebral personality while Adam Carolla flings comic bons mots, regularly unearths the childhood crises too many callers are trying to resolve.

“The issue of our time is that the trauma of the past gets acted out in relationships of the present,” he says, especially “in sexual relationships.”

To hammer home this perspective, “Strictly Sex” will bring on a series of experts to help guests work through their problems — “real serious professionals,” Dr. Pinsky promises, not the usual sex experts found on other shows. “They really dig into what’s going on.”

So, too, will Dr. Pinsky, who believes the media treads too lightly on just how profoundly different men and women are, for example.

Why do women tell Cosmopolitan they want men who are funny, sweet and romantic, then date a succession of so-called bad boys? Why do men respond so forcefully to visual stimuli, and what should women understand about this process? It’s all fodder for future shows.

Dr. Pinsky says it’s the kind of information he wishes someone had given him years ago. That sentiment sparked his own radio career of helping young callers deal with the complexities of life and love.

Dr. Pinsky isn’t giving up his day, or rather his night, job. He sees the new show expanding “Loveline’s” message to the masses.

“I love working with kids, but there’s more to be done,” he says.

‘Dancing’ to the top

Only at the start of the summer rerun season could a show featuring quasi-celebrities tripping the light fantastic threaten to outdraw a ratings winner such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

ABC’s new series “Dancing With the Stars,” featuring former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield and reality-show star Trista Sutter (“The Bachelorette”) hoofing along with professional dancers, came in second last week, Associated Press reports. The show was seen by 13.5 million viewers, second only to a “CSI” rerun, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Another oddball reality show, NBC’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” a British-based series in which 1980s rockers such as Loverboy compete for a chance at a comeback, ranked 17th for the week but came in first among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic

Elsewhere, beautiful women trumped Broadway’s best: The Miss Universe pageant on NBC was seen by 9.2 million people, while only 6.5 million watched the Tony Awards on CBS.

CBS averaged 8.4 million viewers to win the week, NBC had 7.1 million, ABC had 6.5 million, Fox had 5.2 million, UPN had 2.5 million, the WB had 2.3 million, and Pax TV had 560,000.

For the week of May 30 through June 5, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 14.2 million; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 13.5 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 13.1 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 12.6 million; and “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 12.1 million.

Cavuto lands Bush

Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto sits down with President Bush today to discuss a range of subjects, including the ongoing violence in Iraq, oil issues and a possible successor to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. The interview will take place in the White House.

“Your World With Neil Cavuto” airs weekdays at 4 p.m. on FNC.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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