Habit-forming TV 

Want an even higher dose of reality from your TV? Producers from Los Angeles-based Daring Productions are presently seeking individuals in Montana and other states (through ads in the Independent and elsewhere) who are in the midst of a “personal crisis,” such as addiction or compulsion, for a new reality show called “Habits TV.”

The reality angle: “It’s a fly-on-the-wall look at someone’s life and how addiction affects their career, their emotions, their physical health, their relationships and family life,” says the show’s producer, Sam, of the weekly series set to begin broadcasting in March on a national cable network (Sam withheld his last name and the channel the show will broadcast on, citing a confidentiality agreement with the network).

So far producers have filmed five hour-long episodes and profiled 10 people struggling with drug addiction, alcoholism, compulsive gambling and eating disorders. But according to an ad, the producers are also searching for people dealing with more uncommon obsessions like steroid use, video games, plastic surgery, sex, self-mutilation or love.

Sam says respondents cite several reasons for contacting him. One: they want to help people: “Many of these folks want to tell a cautionary tale,” he says, and want their story to be a kind of this-is-what-happened-to-me, don’t-let-it-happen-to-you deterrent. And two: they want their voices heard. “A lot of folks who are addicts feel like nobody really understands them, and this is a very good opportunity to tell their story,” he says. “Many are not ready to give up their addiction.”

When asked what he’s learned so far from producing the show, Sam says it’s that addiction doesn’t discriminate. “Addiction hits every economic, every religious, every ethnic sect, whether it’s urban or rural.”

Participants in Habits TV must be willing to be filmed, willing to have family and friends interviewed, and have a desire to express the emotions that come with addiction and compulsion. More information about “Habits TV” is available at www.habitstv.com.

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