A&E’s “Intervention,” recently aired its 200th episode, isn’t just an extremely successful show format — but it’s also earned itself a stellar record for having its subjects remain clean after the cameras stop rolling.
“It’s just brutally honest in its portrayal of addiction,” showrunner Jeff Weaver of GRB Entertainment said of the show’s appeal. “I think our viewers can really sense that and respond to it favorably. And as hard as it is to watch, it’s also very hard to turn away from.”
Have you ever wondered what happened beyond that moment the subjects step into the rehabilitation program? How successful is the show really?
Business Insider worked with the producers of A&E’s “Intervention,” which has an Emmy win in its pocket and is currently nominated again, to get the statistics on the show’s subjects. What they reported back was impressive.
- Out of a total 276 interventions, 27o subjects (or 98.7%) agreed to go into treatment.
- Over the life of the show, only six subjects have turned down further treatment.
- Of the 270 subjects that went on to treatment, 151 (or 55%) remain clean and sober.
Weaver and his team are proud of their record for success.
Success rates for treatment centers are hard to ascertain as there’s very little legal requirement for centers to report that data. But NPR reports that there’s a substantial amount of information regarding AA programs that place their success rate between just 5% to 10%.
“I think we get to send a lot of them off to treatment with a little bit of a head start on evaluating themselves and their lives and what’s led them to this low point,” the producer said.
The process of the making a TV show definitely adds another layer of self-examination, with frequent interviews with the subject, his family and friends, and omnipresent cameras.
“When our subjects say yes to treatment, they’ve just undergone an intense documentary process where they’re asked hard hitting, deeply personal questions about every aspect of their lives,” Weaver said.
The success rate of “Intervention” would make it the golden ticket for addicts looking to really beat their illness. That’s a double-sided sword for the “Intervention” team.
At any given time, the show will have between 300 to 900 requests to be on the show. Picking subjects is a team effort between GRB Entertainment and A&E staff and executives.
“It’s painful, because we know out of the thousands of submissions we get, only a handful will get selected,” Weaver said. “It’s very tough for us to be the ones that have to make that decision.”
For those who do get one of those spots, Weaver revealed what probably got them chosen.
“We strive to pick subjects that will be as brutally honest with us as we are direct about our questions,” he offered.
“Intervention” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on A&E.