'Dr. Phil' to End After 21 Seasons

Phil McGraw, America’s Tv Shrink, Will End “Dr. Phil” After 21 Seasons

Phil McGraw, the contentious TV therapist of America, is ending as the king of daytime television. Dr. Phil will stop creating new shows after its 2023 season, CBS Media Ventures announced on Tuesday, following 21 years of dominating the ratings.

McGraw won’t, however, stray too far. According to the press release, the 72-year-old has plans to reveal a “strategic, prime-time relationship [with CBS Media Ventures], set for an early 2024 launch, which will strengthen his impact on television and audiences.”

McGraw said he has “grave worries about the American family” and is “motivated to assist restore a clarity of purpose as well as our core values,” which is why he feels obligated to reach a wider audience.

‘Dr. Phil’ has attracted criticism for exploiting mental illness.

Since the show’s debut in September 2002, Dr. Phil has offered sarcastic, direct counsel to many guests, including bickering couples, addicted individuals, grieving celebrities, and dangerous felons. The shock factor of the program has generated a constant stream of debates, which are frequently framed by the idea that Dr. Phil exploits mental illness for cheap TV pleasures.

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McGraw had numerous interviews with a woman who claimed to be both the baby Jesus’s mother and the rapper Eminem’s daughter. A 2016 guest teen who tried to create a brawl with the audience (“Catch me outside, how about that?”) became a meme and used her fame to launch a lucrative rap career.

The strategy is effective at retaining viewers’ interest in television. The hour-long programs, which air in the middle of the day from Monday to Friday, draw over 2 million people, making Dr. Phil the second-most watched daytime program on television. 31 Daytime Emmy nominations have been made for the show and its host.

McGraw has a doctorate in clinical psychology, but he no longer has his license in good standing due to his frequent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s. His lack of current psychological credentials gained attention in 2016 after Dr. Phil aired an interview with Shelley Duvall, who played the title character in The Shining and appeared to be having mental issues.

According to an investigation by Buzzfeed News, several Dr. Phil employees said guests are frequently coerced into a vulnerable position to make for dramatic television. In one instance, a staff member was told to deny a visitor access to her prescription medication so that she would appear unsteady in front of the cameras.

When McGraw appeared on Fox News in April 2020 and asserted—without providing any supporting data—that COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns would be more deadly than the virus itself, his lack of medical knowledge was also exposed.

According to CBS, the show’s older episodes will still be broadcast along with fresh wraparound material.

Dr. Phil gave visitors off-camera access to more than $35 million in free health and wellness services, according to a press release from CBS Media Ventures announcing the end of the show. According to CBS, McGraw has received recognition from the American Psychological Association for his work in promoting mental health issues, and the show has earned five PRISM awards for its “accurate representation of drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and addiction.”

McGraw, who was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, has grown his media brand by starting two podcasts and writing nine books. So Help Me, Todd, a judicial drama based on his early work as a forensic psychologist, was another project he executive produced. Reruns of Dr. Phil will still be available on CBS Media Ventures’ stations, along with fresh material like McGraw’s introductions and guest updates.

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According to Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, “Phil is a valuable partner and member of the CBS/King World family, and while his show may end after 21 years, I’m delighted to say our connection is not.” We intend to continue our Dr. Phil partnership with the library for years to come and look forward to future opportunities for collaboration.

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