All good things must come to an end. Dr. Phil McGraw announced that his daytime talk show will come to a close in spring 2023 after 21 seasons.
“I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television,” McGraw, 72, said in a statement to Variety on Tuesday, January 31. “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 CBS series, which began airing in September 2002, will stop producing new episodes at the end of the 2022-2023 season, per Variety. However, the network hopes to keep repeats airing through at least the following year.
Despite it’s over two-decade run, Dr. Phil is still the highest-rated daytime talk show behind Live With Kelly and Ryan and averages around two million viewers per episode Monday through Friday.
“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,” Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, told Variety on Tuesday. “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.”
News of McGraw’s departure comes less than a year after the Oklahoma native denied allegations that he and his senior TV show staffers fostered a “toxic” work environment.
In February 2022, several current and former Dr. Phil employees anonymously made claims of verbal abuse, fear and intimidation by their superiors amid a Buzzfeed news investigative report.
“It’s a clickbait story because Dr. Phil ‘sells tickets.’ BuzzFeed was offered dozens of current and former staff to talk to but when the reporter started hearing the truth which ruined their salacious narrative they declined,” McGraw’s attorney, H. Patrick Morris, told Us Weekly in a statement at the time. “Dr. Phil focuses on content for the program and doesn’t get involved in staff relations, but the staff at the program in no way use ethnic origin such as described.”
The lawyer added: “’Manipulation’ is ridiculous. These guests find a caring place, a safe space to face their challenges, even if told what they need to hear instead of what want to hear.”
While the employees noted that they never witnessed McGraw engage in controversial behavior himself, many claimed that senior staffers would yell and berate others for seemingly small mistakes, adding that they are even “encouraged to perpetuate racist stereotypes onscreen.”
Morris, however, denied the allegations of racism, noting that CBS does not “tolerate racist conduct.”