Intervention (TV series): Wikis


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Intervention tvshow screencap.jpg
Genre Documentary
Created by Sam Mettler
Starring Jeff VanVonderen
Candy Finnigan
Ken Seeley
Tara Fields
Composer(s) Scott Klass
"Five Steps" (closing song)
Performed by The Davenports
Craig Marks (Theme & Incidental music, 2005 - present)
Dominic Messenger (Incidental music, 2006 - 2007)
"Breathe Me" (2008 season preview song)
Performed by Sia Furler
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 97 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Colleen Conway (A&E)
Robert Sharenow (A&E)
Sam Mettler (GRB Entertainment)
Dan Partland (GRB Entertainment)
Location(s) United States
Camera setup Multi-Camera
Handheld HDV cameras
Running time 43 minutes
Original channel A&E Network
Picture format NTSC (480i)
HDTV (1080i)
Audio format Stereo
Original run March 6, 2005 (2005-03-06) – present
External links
Official website

Intervention is an American television program about the realities facing addicts of many kinds.

Each program follows one or two participants, each of whom has an addiction or other mentally and/or physically damaging problem and believes that they are being filmed for a documentary on their problem. Their situations are actually being documented in anticipation of an intervention by family and/or friends. Each participant has a choice: go into rehabilitation immediately, or risk losing contact, income, or other privileges from the loved ones who instigated the intervention. Often, other tactics are used to persuade the addicted person into treatment, which vary depending on the situation; some of these include threats to invoke outstanding arrest warrants, applying for custody of the addict's children, foreclosing on the addict's property, and break-up of marriages or other relationships. The producers usually follow up months later to monitor the addicted person's progress and film it for "follow-up" episodes of the series or for shorter "web updates" available on the show's website.


Show description

The addict(s) featured on the show receive an offer of a 90-day treatment plan at one of a number of rehabilitation facilities featured on the series. As in real life, not all interventions featured on Intervention end well. Some addicts have walked out of the intervention and refused to go to the treatment facility; others have agreed to get treatment only to leave treatment early due to rule violations, behavior problems, or a general desire not to be in attendance any more. Some addicts who leave early go to prison or enter another facility to continue treatment; many do not.

Occasionally, during the filming of an episode, the plight of another addict in the featured addict's circle becomes apparent, and the show often makes additional plans to help the other addict find treatment as well. The success rate of these mini-interventions parallels the main interventions' success rates.

In situations where the family/friends/other members of the addict's circle have become co-dependents or are otherwise traumatized by the addict's behavior, the interventionist usually recommends that the entire family seek some form of counseling to enable them to move on with their own lives. This has led to some very happy family reunions (Coley, a serious meth addict, got clean while his family went through counseling, and his marriage to wife Francine was saved by the intervention), but has also led to complete dissolution of relationships (Leslie, a suburban housewife alcoholic, went through court-ordered rehab while her family received counseling at the Betty Ford Clinic; after both treatment programs ended, Leslie and her husband finalized their divorce).

Each episode ends with a series of black screens, upon which appear a short narrative discussing the addicts and their progress since the intervention (including a sobriety date, if known), followed by a screen that invites viewers to find out more information on addiction and recovery at the show's official website, The black screens are updated with new information each time the show is re-aired on A&E, and some video updates are made available on the show's official website. Occasionally, a black screen update documents an outreach to the addict from fans of the series. The black screen update for drug addicted siblings Brooks and Ian's follow-up episode that re-aired in early 2008 indicated that Brooks had met and married a fan of the show in 2007. At the end of the original episode featuring alcoholic banker and bar brawler Jacob, he stated that he was planning to enroll in college for the upcoming semester; the black screen update for his episode that re-aired in early 2008 indicated that a fan of the series had contacted the producers after the show's airing and offered to pay for Jacob's college education.

In conjunction with interventions that involve strong drug addictions where sudden withdrawal of the drug can be dangerous, a nurse travels with the addict to the rehab center, providing medical assistance to keep the addict from suffering during the journey. Patients with addictions that could cause serious risk to their health upon cessation of the substance abuse will usually spend 1–2 weeks in a detox facility before entering the rehab phase of their recovery.


The "cast" for each episode is primarily the addict and their family members, circle of friends and others. The other regular cast member in each episode is the interventionist, whose job it is to conduct the intervention. The show regularly features four specialists, with a fifth having appeared in 2 episodes:

  • Jeff VanVonderen: A former pastor and alcoholic who became a full-time interventionist to help families through their moral and social issues involved with addiction.
  • Candy Finnigan: A former addict who became an interventionist to help families work through their issues and problems.
  • Ken Seeley: A former meth addict who founded Intervention-911, a service specializing not just in interventions but also in finding appropriate treatment centers for each kind of addict.
  • Tara Fields, PhD: Also a licensed marriage counselor and family therapist. She made an appearance in Episode 9 and Episode 19.
  • Jenn Berman, PsyD: made a single appearance in Episode 22; she was the interventionist for Annie, who had an eating disorder.

Celebrity subjects

Most episodes feature "everyday" people struggling with their addictions, but entertainment professionals have also been featured.

  • Chuckie Negron, the son of Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron, was featured in a Season Two episode as he battled heroin addiction.
  • Vanessa Marquez, a supporting actress on the first three seasons of ER, appeared in a Season One episode due to a compulsive shopping disorder.
  • Travis Meeks, lead singer of the Alternative rock band Days of the New, appeared in a Season One episode focusing on his methamphetamine addiction.
  • Antwahn Nance, a 6'10" former NBA power forward for the LA Clippers, was featured in Season Two as he ended up homeless due to his crack cocaine addiction.
  • Tressa Thompson, a women's shot put champion whose Olympic dreams were crushed by her methamphetamine drug abuse, was featured in Season Four.
  • Chad Gerlach[1], a member of the Postal Service Pro Cycling Team who ended up living on the streets and smoking crack cocaine after his dismissal from the team, was featured in Season Five.
  • Aaron Brink aka Dick Delaware, a porn star and successful mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who lost both careers due to his methamphetamine addiction.


Addictions covered by the show have included:



  • 2009 Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Program


Matthew Gilbert (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.[2]

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.


On August 27, 2008, Kristin Chenoweth and released the video "Intervention with Kristin Chenoweth",[3] where Chenoweth gave a gay crystal meth addict a cheerful, Broadway-style singing intervention. More recently, the site released a sketch called "Intervention Intervention," [4] featuring Fred Armisen playing a character addicted to the television show Intervention.

Toronto-based television station CFTO-TV aired a spoof commercial in early 2009 in which local weather personality Dave Devall would "assist" families in performing a "wintervention", confronting family members ill-dressed for Canadian winters.


External links

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