Intervention (TV series)
|Created by||Sam Mettler|
Others; see "Interventionists" section
"Five Steps" (closing song)
Performed by The Davenports
Craig Marks (Theme & Incidental music, 2005 – 2013)
Dominic Messenger (Incidental music, 2006 – 2007)
"Breathe Me" (2008 season preview song)
Performed by Sia Furler
|Country of origin||United States |
|No. of seasons||22|
|No. of episodes||315 (list of episodes)|
|Production location||United States|
Handheld HDV cameras
|Running time||43 minutes|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original release||March 6, 2005 –|
Intervention is an American series that premiered on March 6, 2005, on A&E. It follows one or two participants, who are dependent or addicted to drugs. They are documented in anticipation of an intervention meeting by family or friends. During the intervention meeting, loved ones give the addict an ultimatum: go to an inpatient drug rehabilitation program immediately, or else risk losing contact, income, or other privileges. The show follows up on the recovery progress for future episodes or for web shorts.
On May 24, 2013, A&E announced it had concluded the series, with remaining episodes to begin airing in June 2013. The final episode in the lineup aired on July 18, 2013, and concluded with reflections from past addicts and thanks from the producers to the interventionists, family members, treatment centers, and addicts. On August 5, 2014, however, LMN announced the revival of the series with a new season premiering in 2015. A&E revealed the return of the show on January 13, 2015, and aired both a special behind-the-scenes episode showing the filming process and updates from former addicts, and the season 14 premiere on March 22, 2015.
Part 1 of season 14 ended on May 10, 2015. Ten additional episodes aired beginning on July 26, 2015. Season 21 premiered on July 20, 2020; season 22 premiered on March 15, 2021 and will end on April 26, 2021.
The show follows one or two participants who have either substance dependence or addiction. It is a documentary of their addiction, including graphic substance abuse and its effect upon their lives, until a surprise intervention event is conducted with a professional interventionist. It is intercut with interviews with relatives and friends. In the intervention, the addict is given an ultimatum: either undergo a 90-day, all-expenses-paid treatment plan at a rehabilitation facility, or risk losing contact, income or privileges from their relatives and friends.
In situations where the individuals in the addict's close circle have become codependent or otherwise traumatized by the addict's behavior, the interventionist usually recommends that the entire family seek counseling to enable them to move on.
The cast for each episode is primarily the addict and their family and friends. The only regular cast member in each episode is the interventionist. The series started with three regular specialists and gained many more. Ken Seeley is a methamphetamine addict who founded Intervention-911, a service specializing in interventions and in finding appropriate treatment centers for each kind of addiction. Jeff VanVonderen is a former pastor and alcoholic. Candy Finnigan is an adoptee, mother, and alcoholic. Jenn Berman, PsyD is a Beverly Hills-based psychotherapist who made a single appearance in Episode 22.
Most episodes feature average people, with a few entertainment professionals. Vanessa Marquez, a supporting actress on the first three seasons of ER, appeared in episode 2 due to a compulsive shopping disorder. Travis Meeks, lead singer of the Alternative rock band Days of the New, appeared in episode 6, focusing on his methamphetamine addiction. Antwahn Nance, a 6'10" former NBA power forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, was featured in episode 4, as he ended up homeless due to his crack cocaine addiction. Chuckie Negron, the son of Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron, was featured in episode 6, with heroin addiction. Tressa Thompson, a women's shot put champion, was featured in episode 7, as her Olympic dreams were ended by her methamphetamine drug abuse. Aaron Brink, a porn star and once moderately successful mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, featured in episode 8, lost both careers due to his methamphetamine addiction. Rocky Lockridge, a two-time Super Featherweight boxing champion, was featured in episode 113, due to his homelessness and drug addiction. Linda Li, an actress who played a Taresian woman in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Favorite Son" as well as appearing as an extra in TV shows and movies, was featured in episode 1, battles an addiction to Actiq, a transmucosal Fentanyl lozenge on a stick or "perc-a-pop". David Sax Jr., the son of former Major League Baseball player Dave Sax and nephew of former Major League Baseball player Steve Sax, was shown battling an addiction to methamphetamine and alcohol.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||14||March 6, 2005||August 21, 2005|
|2||21||October 30, 2005||December 17, 2006|
|3||15||March 16, 2007||September 7, 2007|
|4||10||December 3, 2007||March 17, 2008|
|5||17||June 23, 2008||November 30, 2008|
|6||14||December 15, 2008||March 23, 2009|
|7||17||May 25, 2009||October 19, 2009|
|8||18||November 23, 2009||May 10, 2010|
|9||9||June 28, 2010||August 22, 2010|
|10||13||December 13, 2010||March 21, 2011|
|11||12||June 20, 2011||September 12, 2011|
|12||13||January 2, 2012||April 2, 2012|
|13||21||August 13, 2012||February 4, 2013|
|14||12||June 13, 2013||December 30, 2014|
|15||29||January 6, 2015||August 30, 2015|
|16||30||March 6, 2016||January 3, 2017|
|17||9||July 31, 2017||September 18, 2017|
|18||9||January 2, 2018||February 27, 2018|
|19||8||June 5, 2018||May 21, 2019|
|20||6||August 6, 2019||September 10, 2019|
|21||8||July 20, 2020||September 14, 2020|
|22||8||March 15, 2021||April 26, 2021|
The show received the 2009 Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Program.
Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe, a critic of the show, argues that the program is exploitative and showcases individuals as they self-destruct. He also argues that the confrontation within the intervention is milked to show only the most dramatic moments and that the final results of the intervention and subsequent rehabilitation is glossed-over.
Melanie McFarland, another television critic, also laments that the show does little to educate on successful intervention and instead deceives the subjects of each episode in order to film them at their lowest point.
During early 2011, A&E aired the series Relapse, which ran for five episodes. Each episode focuses on sober coaches' work with long-time addicts who have been unable to get clean after repeated attempts at treatment. Coach Seth Jaffe became an interventionist on the main series.
Several spin-off series were launched. On September 9, 2011, Intervention Canada debuted on Slice Network. On December 28, 2012, Teen Trouble debuted on Lifetime which is executive produced by Bryn Freedman, a former Intervention producer. On March 8, 2016, Intervention: Codependent premiered on LMN.
In popular culture
There are countless television references to Intervention, including parodies of being addicted to the show.
On April 16, 2010, the video "Best Cry Ever" was posted on YouTube, featuring a clip from Season 7 episode "Rocky". The clip centers around a dramatic scene in which former professional boxer Rocky Lockridge is crying in a distinctive way. It has become an Internet phenomenon. A Saturday Night Live sketch features an Intervention parody with guest host Jon Hamm crying in a similar fashion.
- Hibberd, James (May 24, 2013). "'Intervention' cancelled". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (August 5, 2014). "Lifetime Move Network Greenlights New Season of 'Intervention'". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
- "A&E's Emmy-Award winning and critically-acclaimed docuseries, 'Intervention', returns to the network..." A&E (Press release). January 13, 2015. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- "Breaking News - A&E Network's Emmy Award-Winning Series "Intervention" Returns for a Tenth Season". TheFutonCritic.com. 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- Gilbert, Matthew (2005-03-05). "Vile 'Intervention' pulls a fast one". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- Patten, Dominic. "Staff Writer". Lifetime Orders Teen Trouble. Deadline. Retrieved 25 December 2012.