'Ricki' Tackles Tough Teen Topics During the Month of November

Gang Violence, Drug Addiction and Unwanted Pregnancies Take Center Stage As 'Ricki' Reaches Out to Guests and Viewers to Make a Difference


"The Ricki Lake Show" takes on several tough teen issues throughout the month of November, taking talk to the extreme. From tough talking teenage gang-bangers, to harrowing horror stories of heroin use and pubescent pregnancies, "Ricki" addresses the topics that trouble today's youth. With the help of friends and several experts in the field, "Ricki" makes a difference in a few troubled teens' lives.

"Nearly one million young women, between the ages of 12 and 34, tune in to 'The Ricki Lake Show,' each day," commented Executive Producer Gail Steinberg. She continued, "We know who our audience is, and the impact Ricki has is tremendous. Daytime talk may not focus on saving humanity, but we can't deny its voice. We have decided to use that voice to reach some of our nation's troubled teenagers, by addressing some hard-hitting issues and letting them know that they are not alone."

Beginning the second week in November, "Ricki" enlists the help of Chicago's Slick Boys, two former gang members who dedicate their efforts to helping teens get out of gangs. On November 9, Ricki welcomes a handful of die-hard gang-bangers and their families, who are sick with concern for their loved one's welfare. During an intense hour, these teens make it clear that their gang is their family and they have no intention of throwing down their colors. At the end of the show, Ricki sends her guests out with The Slick Boys for a life-altering reality check, on the streets. On November 10, viewers find out whether or not the time spent with the Slick Boys, putting names and faces to the anonymous victims of violent gang crimes, has an impact on the young gang members. For one guest, meeting a boy whose gang affiliation resulted in the deaths of his five younger siblings, is enough to make him re-think the way he has been living.

Ricki explores another epidemic taking the teen population by storm -- heroin addiction. Statistics show that last year, 2.3% of eighth graders said they had tried heroin. On November 15, four of those "statistics" join Ricki to talk about their ongoing relationship with the highly addictive drug. Three young women and one young man give viewers a glimpse of a day in the life of a heroin addict, allowing "Ricki's" cameras into their homes, to capture their daily drug-induced routines. All agree that they started using heroin to get high but are currently using the destructive drug to "stay well." With the help of an intensive detox clinic in Tampa, Florida, Ricki's guests receive a reprieve from their continuous battle. On November 16, three of the four teens return to "Ricki," with a new lease on life. Their visit to the rapid detox clinic rid their bodies of the potentially lethal drug, and continued counseling programs give them the incentive to remain clean. One former "Ricki" guest shares her success story, crediting the show, which sent her to an intensive detox program, with facilitating her road to recovery.

Rounding out November, "Ricki" addresses the growing number of unplanned and unwanted teen pregnancies in the United States. Teens have made national headlines by abandoning their unwelcome infants, leaving them to die in dumpsters or in the bathroom at their high school prom. Statistics show that four in 10 teenage girls become pregnant, at least once, by the age of 20. During an upcoming episode of "Ricki," young women face their fears and tell their families that they have been hiding their pregnancies. One guest credits "Ricki" for saving her baby's life; she called the Project Cuddle hotline after seeing the program's founder on "Ricki." "The Ricki Lake Show" continues to work closely with Project Cuddle, the baby rescue program that provides 24-hour-a-day support for women contemplating abandoning their babies. Project Cuddle has rescued 280 babies from abandonment, and 77 of those babies were as a result of "The Ricki Lake Show."

"Ricki Lake" is produced by the Garth Ancier Company in association with Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. Gail Steinberg is the Executive Producer and co-creator with Garth Ancier who also serves as executive consultant.

Columbia TriStar Television Distribution is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a division of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution, television production and distribution, worldwide channel investments, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment products, services and technologies, and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web (http://www.spe.sony.com/).

For further information, please contact Beth Jaffe of The Ricki Lake Show, 212-352-3322, ext. 232; or Chris Albert of Columbia TriStar Television Distribution, 310-244-6467.

SOURCE: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution

Contact: Beth Jaffe of The Ricki Lake Show, 212-352-3322, ext. 232; or
Chris Albert of Columbia TriStar Television Distribution, 310-244-6467

Website: http://www.spe.sony.com/