VH1 requires Celebrity Rehab cast, crew to take herpes meds; Jersey Shore is “a herpes nest”

There’s a big threat on the set of several reality shows, and it is herpes: Both the cast and crew of two major cable reality shows take anti-herpes medication. That was revealed in The Hollywood Reporter’s entertaining roundtable conversation between Jersey Shore producer SallyAnn Salsano, Phil Keoghan, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Kathy Griffin, Dirty Jobs producer Craig Piligian, and Randy Jackson.

VH1 requires those working on Celebrity Rehab to take herpes medication. “The network requires me to do stuff with my patients that has no relevance to anything. Like everyone on the set has to take (herpes medication) Valtrex,” Dr. Drew Pinsky said.

On Jersey Shore, Salsano said, “We hand it out like M&Ms! ‘Hey kids, it’s time for Valtrex!’ It’s like a herpes nest. They’re all in there mixing it up.” She also said that “I do a full medical but I also do a lot of STD stuff,” apparently indicating STD testing.

Speaking of medical things, Phil–who was surprisingly absent for most of the discussion–said “we have medical staff, they go everywhere.” And Dr. Drew said that “the psych testing that is done routinely on reality TV is worthless. They are worthless. They’re good tests, done by good people, but we don’t even know what we need to measure to put people on a reality show.

When Salsano said, I actually find it helpful,” Drew replied, “From a medical standpoint: worthless. I got a profile of (‘Rehab’ participant) Steven Adler and they’re like, ‘You cannot deal with this man, it’s impossible, he’s going to kill himself.’ But I’ve already got him at the hospital, he’s my patient, what are you talking about? I take care of him everyday. It’s not a problem. Give me something useful about what’s likely to happen with cameras (around). But no one knows.”

Awards Watch: Emmy Roundtable — Reality Stars [Hollywood Reporter]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.