Discovery Health Calls Dr. Drew

Discovery Health Channel has signed up radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky to host a new sex-oriented series that will premiere in the second quarter of 2005.

The 10-episode series, Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew, will deal with sexual issues and relationships, with Drew interacting with and fielding questions from a studio audience, Discovery Health officials said.

Drew -- who has co-hosted nationally syndicated call-in radio show Loveline for 18 years -- also hosted the TV version of Loveline on MTV: Music Television in the mid-1990s.

Strictly Sex effectively replaces the network’s first genre show, Berman and Berman, which has ceased production after two years on the air. Discovery Health will continue to air previous episodes of that series, which had a strong female following.

Discovery Health senior vice president and general manager Eileen O’Neill hopes Strictly Sex will draw more viewers -- particularly young men -- to the 55 million-subscriber network.

For more on Discovery Health, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 18 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.