TV Daily

Tuesday: PBS airs Frontline's harrowing "The Medicated Child." Plus: What did you think of "American Gladiators" on Monday?


Salon Staff
January 8, 2008 4:00PM (UTC)

Prime Pick

Photo: PBS

Frontline's "The Medicated Child" (9 p.m. EST on PBS, check listings) is about as harrowing a look at the burgeoning use of drugs to treat psychological conditions in children as you can imagine. Take DJ, a 4-year-old who we learn is being treated for bipolar disorder with Focalin, Clonidine and Risperdal. After hearing about how impossible DJ's tantrums are, we watch him eating his lunch: a corn dog and a big bottle of blue Gatorade. If most of us ate like that every meal, we'd be killing each other with our bare hands. But does DJ's doctor address his nutritional needs, or even discuss how to handle his emotional state? No, instead he throws in new drugs or increases the poor kid's dosage of the drugs he's already taking, visit after visit. Doctors admit that they don't understand the impact these drugs have on developing bodies -- some of the kids profiled develop tics that don't go away even after they're off the medication. And since most of the studies of the drugs on children are funded by pharmaceutical companies, it's difficult to get a clear picture of how effective they are. While some doctors believe that drugs can actually prevent children from developing bipolar disorder as adults, others are advocating extreme caution while scrambling to increase the sharing of information between doctors so that there's less uncertainty about the long-term health implications for these young patients.

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Also…

When you're not following the returns in the New Hampshire Primary (coverage begins at 4 p.m. EST on CNN), ABC's Candid Camera-like "Just for Laughs" returns for a second season at 8 p.m. EST and Queen Latifah hosts "People's Choice Awards" at 9 p.m. EST on CBS. Then you'll have to choose between parking attendant reality show (Yes, you heard that right!) "Parking Wars" (premieres at 10 p.m. EST on A&E) and Independent Lens documentary "Today's Man" about Nicky Gottlieb, a 21-year-old man living with Asperger syndrome (10 p.m. EST on PBS, check listings).

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Last night

What did you think of "American Gladiators" on Monday? Go here to discuss.

On the talk shows

Regis and Kelly

ABC, 9 a.m. EST

Lisa Rinna, Chad Michael Murray, guest co-host Pat Sajak

The View

ABC, 11 a.m. EST

Jo Frost, Dr. Michael Baden

Ellen DeGeneres

Syndicated, check local listings

Tim Gunn, 6-year-old piano prodigy Emily Bear

Oprah Winfrey

Syndicated, check local listings

Sarah Jessica Parker

Charlie Rose

PBS, check local listings

Live Coverage of the New Hampshire Primary

Larry King

CNN, 9 p.m. EST

Karl Rove

Jon Stewart

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST

David Frum

Stephen Colbert

Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST

Michael Pollan

David Letterman

CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST

Lucy Liu, MGMT, Bill Medley

Jay Leno

NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST

TBA

Tavis Smiley

PBS, check local listings

Denzel Washington

Jimmy Kimmel

ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST

TBA

Conan O'Brien

NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST

TBA

Craig Ferguson

CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST

Marion Cotillard, Dr. Kevin from Animal Planet, Rogue Wave

Contributors: Megan Doll, Heather Havrilesky, Amy Reiter


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