Another daytime fixture, Dr. Phil McGraw, is leaving after more than two decades as one of television’s most popular talk show hosts. His syndicated daytime show, Dr. Phil, will end its run of original episodes with the current 2022-2023 television season, the show’s 21st.
McGraw’s decision comes as his most recent contract is coming to an end. Dr. Phil received a five-season renewal in 2018 as part of a mega-deal extension with CBS Media Ventures, taking it through its current season.
It’s been a transformational year in the increasingly challenging daytime talk show landscape, with stalwarts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, Maury, Dr. Oz as well as The Real all ending within the past 12 months.
CBS Media Ventures will offer stations library episodes of Dr. Phil for the 2023-24 season and beyond. They will include new content such as wrap-arounds and intros by McGraw, as well as guest updates.
I hear the distributor is aiming to keep Dr. Phil’s primetime periods for the repeats at the same or similar price, which is facing some initial resistance from stations. CBS Media Ventures did this successfully with Judge Judy after the 2021 end of the hit court show. Repeats are airing in the same time periods in most major markets, with Judge Judy as the No. 4 most-watched syndicated program currently, with little ratings erosion.
McGraw, the current doyen of daytime, began his TV career on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late ’90s before headlining his own spinoff, produced by Winfrey’s Harpo Studios. Launching in September 2002, Dr. Phil was an instant hit, second in ratings only to Oprah. Following Winfrey’s departure from daytime in 2011, Dr. Phil took the crown as the most watched daytime syndicated talk show, which it kept for the past decade, only recently slipping to No. 2 behind Live with Kelly & Ryan. Amid across-the-board decline in linear ratings, Dr. Phill still draws about 2 million viewers.
“I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television,” McGraw said. “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.”
(Excerpt) Read more in: Deadline