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"I Won't Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom" on MTV

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PREMIERING SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21ST AT 10PM ET/PT to offer an Exclusive Discussion with Mario After the Special, Provide Viewers with Resources and Information on Substance Abuse & More

MTV’s News & Docs' "I Won't Love You To Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom" presents an intimate look into the life of Grammy-nominated R&B singer Mario as he courageously opens up about his personal battle with his mother’s heroin addiction. This documentary will present the extremes that are so much a part of Mario’s everyday life – from the highs of fame to the lows of drug addiction -- and provide an intimate portrait of a tortured son trying to save his mother while still continuing to pursue the dreams he’s longed for since childhood. Viewers will go along on this difficult and emotional journey with Mario in hopes that in the end his mother Shawn will be free to experience life without drugs. “I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom” is set to air on MTV on Sunday, October 21st at 10pm (ET/PT).

Mario is known for selling millions of hit records in addition to his starring movie roles but with all his successes, few might guess that a dark family secret has tormented him since childhood. In this hour long special, MTV’s cameras captured Mario's personal battle with his mother's addiction through his point-of-view. Coming close to death from multiple drug overdoses, Shawn was incapable of raising Mario for most of his young life. Growing up, Mario has struggled with trying to find a way to cope with and change his mother’s troubled life. At the age of 20, Mario found himself acting as a parent to his own mother by providing a home for her and paying her expenses. Constantly questioning where the money is going, Mario is at a crossroads to determine whether he’s really the doing the best thing for her. With the help of an interventionist, Shawn’s boyfriend and a close family friend; Mario prepares for one of the toughest days of his life as he finally confronts his mom on camera and offers her the gift of rehab. -- a new online community where young people, their friends and some of the biggest names in pop culture are uniting to effect positive social change -- will host an exclusive discussion with Mario right after the show ends, multimedia features on substance abuse and an in-depth Mario profile. By providing content and resources about substance abuse and rehabilitation, the Think Community will help viewers cope with issues featured on the series, educate them about drug abuse and connect them to the necessary help.

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, actor Mario is best known for his hit singles "Just a Friend (2002)" and “Let Me Love You,” which won him two Billboard awards, as well as for appearing in the films Step Up and Freedom Writers. His latest album, Go will be released on November 27, 2007 on J Records and includes collaborations with Akon, The Neptunes, Ne-Yo, Scott Storch, Timbaland, Nelly, Stargate, Mr. Collipark, Polow Da Don and many more. The Baltimore native has described his new album as "more personal... more passionate," which can be heard and felt on his current single “Crying Out For Me,” which is climbing up the charts. Another standout track from the album which will be featured on the MTV documentary special is the sincere “Do Right” where Mario speaks about his mom and her drug addiction. is a dynamic, multimedia-driven and enables youth to easily learn more about the issues that matter to them most, share their opinions – via uploaded online videos, podcasts and blogs – and connect with others to make a difference. The site is one of the only to reward members for positive actions taken online or off, serving up chances to hang out with socially conscious celebs, access to exclusive MTV events, exposure on MTV and other national media outlets, as well as grants, scholarships and more. was built with the help of financial support and expertise from founding partners the Case Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldhirsh Foundation and MCJ Amelior Foundation. For more information or to build a profile and become involved, visit

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 137 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services – MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, with all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 260 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

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Updated 10/16/07  


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