'Dr. Phil' is ending after 21 seasons, but it's not the last we'll see of Phil McGraw
Published in Entertainment News
After 21 seasons, "Dr. Phil" is coming to an end so that the daytime TV host can expand his audience with another planned venture.
In a Wednesday statement, CBS Media Ventures and host Dr. Phil McGraw said that the daytime TV star wants to expand his audience in a new venture, as he has "grave concerns for the American family."
"I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television," McGraw, 72, said in the statement. "With this show, we have helped thousands of guests and millions of viewers through everything from addiction and marriage to mental wellness and raising children. This has been an incredible chapter of my life and career, but while I'm moving on from daytime, there is so much more I wish to do."
The syndicated daytime show made its way into the cultural zeitgeist by inviting guests on the hourlong program to break down various concerns including addiction, relationship, health and behavioral issues. "Dr. Phil" will air original episodes through the current 2022-23 television season, with a final episode planned for the spring. McGraw plans to announce a strategic prime-time partnership, scheduled for an early 2024 launch. The partnership "will expand his reach and increase his impact on television and viewers."
"I am compelled to enage [sic] with a broader audience because I have grave concerns for the American family, and I am determined to help restore a clarity of purpose as well as our core values," McGraw said.
"Phil is a valued partner and member of the CBS/King World family, and while his show may be ending after 21 years, I'm happy to say our relationship is not," said Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures. "Phil changed the daytime landscape as the force behind one of the most popular talk shows ever on daytime TV. We plan to be in the 'Dr. Phil' business with the library for years to come and welcome opportunities to work together in the future."
CBS Media Ventures will offer TV stations library episodes of "Dr. Phil" for the 2023-24 season and beyond, the statement said. Classic library episodes will include new content such as wrap-arounds and intros by McGraw, as well as guest updates.
CBS sources emphasized to Variety that the host made the call to end production on his series. He has been a producer of scripted prime-time programming in recent years, including the CBS crime drama "Bull," which is based on his life. He also hosts two podcasts.
The popular TV doctor, who has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and is a licensed psychologist, began his TV career with a featured segment on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in the late 1990s. McGraw, who also participated in a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology, practiced in Texas until he moved to California to launch his show.
"Dr. Phil" debuted in 2002. Since then McGraw has sat down with scores of guests and aired many controversial interviews. According to CBS Media Ventures, the Emmy-nominated program maintained a top spot in its television genre for the 21 years it aired despite major declines in linear TV viewership. The show is the highest-rated daytime talk show behind Disney's "Live With Kelly and Ryan," Variety said.
The cancellation comes on the heels of a legal battle fought by the host and parent company Viacom CBS. In October 2021, a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted at a Utah ranch sued McGraw and ViacomCBS for negligence, claiming that the popular TV doctor recommended she be treated at the facility on the day she appeared on his show. The case was dismissed last August. Then in October, McGraw and CBS asked a judge to award them more than $400,000 in legal costs for defending the lawsuit.
(Los Angeles Times staff writer Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.)
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