Reelz Premieres Celeb Downfall-Focused ‘Under the Influence’ July 7

Reelz series Under the Influence, about celebrities headed down the wrong path, premieres Friday, July 7. Each hour-long episode looks at two stars and their scandals. The premiere spotlights Heath Ledger and River Phoenix.

Under the Influence is produced by Essential Media Canada.

According to Reelz, “Behind every famous downfall, scandal or even death is usually a web of destructive behavior, unsupportive friends, unfortunate circumstances and really poor choices that led up to their undoing.”

Reelz says of the premiere episode, “Phoenix was a troubled kid trying to keep up with a wild Hollywood crowd while Ledger was anxious and uncomfortable with being in the public spotlight. Wanting to fit in and being weary of fame shouldn’t spell death, but swirling around Ledger and Phoenix were troublesome friends, poisonous addictions and simple bad luck.”

Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears are profiled July 14, Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse get their turn July 21, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cory Monteith go on July 28, John Belushi and Chris Farley are in the Aug. 4 episode, and George Michael and Prince on Aug. 11.

Reelz is part of Hubbard Media Group and is based in Albuquerque.  

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.