‘Dr. Phil’ show ending after 21 seasons
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Syndicated daytime TV show “Dr. Phil” is coming to an end after 21 seasons, ending a decades-long mainstay in the tabloid talk show genre that has become a cultural touchstone for viral “clapbacks” between its titular host and his guests, as well as popular cringe-inducing internet memes.
Phil McGraw, the show’s host, is “choosing out” for “new ventures,” a CBS Media Ventures press release said Tuesday. He added that the show will air original episodes throughout the current 2022-2023 television season and that McGraw will pursue a “strategic prime-time partnership” aimed at expanding its audience in early 2024.
“Although his show is ending after 21 years, I’m happy to say our relationship is not,” Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, said in the statement.
McGraw, 72, who began his television career appearing on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ in the 1990s, is known for interviewing high-profile guests, including a 28-year-old man engaged to a teenage girl and a woman who said she was convinced she was both rapper Eminem’s daughter and pregnant with baby Jesus. He earned a doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Texas, but stopped maintaining an active license to practice years ago.
The show’s outlandish interviews have launched several memes going viral on the internet, whether it’s the elementary school student who slapped his mother in a 2008 episode labeled “kids camp,” or the interview from 2016 with a 13-year-old “knife-wielding, twerking car thief,” whose call for a fight — “Catch me outside, how about this?” — became a viral catchphrase that has him helped launch a career as internet personality and rapper Bhad Bhabie.
The show and its host have also received significant backlash in recent years. In 2016, McGraw was charged with exploitation for interviewing “The Shining” actress Shelley Duvall when she appeared to be suffering from severe mental delusions. (Duvall later told The Hollywood Reporter, “I found out the kind of person he is the hard way.”)
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In 2020, McGraw was criticized for speaking negatively about coronavirus-related shutdowns despite his lack of related medical expertise. A year later, a Colorado woman also filed a lawsuit against ViacomCBS and McGraw, claiming he berated and pressured her family to send her to a facility for troubled teens, where she had been sexually assaulted. The lawsuit claimed McGraw’s team failed to disclose prior public allegations against the establishment, but the case was later dismissed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, according to the LA Times.
Since its first on-air appearance in September 2002, the show has been nominated for 31 Daytime Emmys and won five PRISM Awards for “accurate portrayal of drug, alcohol, and substance use and addiction.” tobacco,” the CBS press release read. He added that the show provided more than $35 million in resources for guests after they appeared on stage.
Representatives for “Dr. Phil” and McGraw did not immediately respond to interview requests.