‘Dr. Phil’ show ending after more than two decades on air
By Lianne Kolirin
(CNN) – Popular daytime TV show “Dr. Phil” is coming to an end after more than two decades on air.
Its host, former psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw, has said he is stepping back from the daytime slot because “there is so much more I wish to do.”
McGraw, who began his TV career on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the late 1990s, said in a statement issued by CBS Media Ventures that he had been “blessed” with a career in daytime television spanning more than 25 years.
He added: “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.”
While the 72-year-old did not give concrete details of his plans, retirement does not appear to be in the cards.
The network said that in the immediate future he “will focus on prime-time programming and plans to announce a strategic prime-time partnership, scheduled for an early 2024 launch.”
McGraw added: “I am compelled to engage 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.”
Original episodes will continue to be shown during the 2022–2023 season, while the network plans to sell reruns for “2023-24 and beyond.” The broadcaster said the “classic library episodes will include new content such as wrap-arounds and introductions by McGraw, as well as guest updates.”
Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
The show became an immediate hit after premiering in September 2002 and has remained in the number one or two ratings spot in its genre throughout its time on air, the network said. In 2020, McGraw was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
McGraw became the subject of controversy in 2020 when he criticized measures to curtail the Covid-19 pandemic, comparing the then soaring death rates to fatalities from smoking cigarettes and drowning in swimming pools.
After a storm of criticism on social media, he later issued a video apology saying his comments had been motivated by concern about the impact of restrictions on the public’s mental health.