Dr. Drew is no more, but the armchair doctor didn’t lose his TV gig over comments he made about Hillary Clinton. An HLN insider told The Wrap that the decision to cancel Dr. Drew Pinsky’s show, Dr. Drew On Call, was made “weeks” before he made headlines for evaluating Clinton’s medical records during an ABC radio interview. The source reiterated that HLN does not cancel shows hastily and that many people lost their jobs due to the network’s decision.
According to Deadline, HLN will focus on a straight news format with new shows hosted by CNN’s Erica Hill, Michaela Pereira and Ashleigh Banfield. While Dr. Drew’s show will end next month, Pinsky will remain a contributor for CNN Worldwide.
In a statement about Pinsky’s departure, CNN EVP Ken Jautz said the doctor’s last TV telecast will be in late September.
“Dr. Drew and his team have delivered more than five years of creative shows, and I want to thank them for their hard work and distinctive programming.”
Pinsky also released a statement, thanking the network that has employed him since 2011.
“It has been a privilege working at HLN. My executive producer Burt Dubrow and our outstanding staff and contributors were consistently exceptional. I am very excited to stay within the CNN Worldwide family as a contributor.”
Dr. Drew survived HLN’s previous re-branding two years ago when the network aimed to become “the first TV network for the social media generation” with programming “driven by what’s trending, being shared and going viral across all screens.” But now, it’s Dr. Drew’s last call.
Dr. Drew Pinsky made headlines last week when expressed concerns about Hillary Clinton’s health and the health care she has been receiving.
In the KABC radio interview, which you can listen to below, Pinsky revealed that he and his friend Dr. Robert Huizenga dissected the medical records that Clinton released to the public and became “gravely concerned” about the care she has been receiving. Dr. Drew criticized the Democratic nominee’s treatment after two episodes of deep venous thrombosis, as well as her use of Armour Thyroid for hypothyroidism, and he accused her doctors of providing her “a 1950s level of care.” Dr. Drew also said that the prism glasses Clinton wore after her 2012 concussion indicate she is suffering from brain damage.
Dr. Drew said the medical decisions made by Clinton’s doctors are “bizarre” and “very unconventional.”
“If we were providing the care that she was receiving, we’d be ashamed to show up in a doctors’ lounge,” Dr. Drew said. “We would be laughed out.”
Many people criticized Dr. Drew’s diagnosis of Clinton without personally evaluating her. One of Pinsky’s most vocal critics was music icon Cher, who called him a “media whore.”
Dr. Drew Pinsky is an internist and addiction specialist. Pinsky previously hosted the relationship-themed talk show Loveline before hosting Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew. In 2013, Dr. Drew came under fire after his Celebrity Rehab clients reached a 13 percent mortality rate.
Dr. Drew’s dead patients include Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who died in 2001 of a prescription-drug overdose. In addition, Grease star Jeff Conaway, Real World cast member Joey Kovar, and country music singer Mindy McCready also passed away within a few years of seeking TV treatment for their issues. One year after celeb client Rodney King was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool, Pinsky pulled the plug on Celebrity Rehab.
“It’s very stressful and very intense for me,” Pinsky said of the deaths, according to CBS News. “To have people questioning my motives and taking aim at me because people get sick and die because they have a life-threatening disease, and I take the blame? Rodney King has a heart attack and I take blame for that?”
More recently, Pinsky’s TV patient Joanie Laurer, aka wrestling legend Chyna, died of an overdose earlier this year.
The final episode of Dr. Drew On Call will air Sept. 22 on HLN.
You can hear Dr. Drew Pinsky’s comments about Clinton in the KABC radio interview below.
[Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images]