‘Dr. Phil’ Waves Goodbye to Daytime Television After 21 Seasons
Dr. Phil, a fixture among daytime television talk shows, will end its run of original episodes this spring after airing 21 seasons, Variety reports.
CBS sources emphasized that host, Dr. Phil McGraw, 72, made the call to stop producing new episodes at the end of the current 2022-2023 season, per the report.
Distributor CBS Media Ventures hopes to keep the syndicated Dr. Phil on the air with a package of repeats through at least the 2023-24 season. During the pandemic, Dr. Phil drew criticism for arguing in favor of ending state lockdowns in order to stimulate the economy, and comparing COVID-19 deaths to car crash fatalities and swimming pool drownings in the process.
In recent years, there has been a steady decline in television audiences. Americans who say they watch television via cable or satellite plunged from 76 percent in 2015 to 56 percent in 2021, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults. Some 71 percent of those who didn’t use cable or satellite services said it was because they could access the content they want online. This year saw the announcement of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, Maury, and Dr. Oz all ending within the past 12 months.
Still, Dr. Phil managed to hang onto an average of about 2 million viewers per episode, per Variety, making it the second highest-rated daytime talk show behind Disney’s “Live With Kelly and Ryan.”
Like Dr. Oz, McGraw got his start as a regular guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the late nineties, eventually leading to his own series in 2002.
“I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television,” said McGraw in a 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.”