‘Dr. Phil’ Will End in 2023 After 21 Seasons — Why Was It Canceled?

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
By

Feb. 1 2023, Published 11:37 a.m. ET

Dr. Phil McGraw
Source: Getty Images

In the 1990s, Oprah Winfrey introduced her massive daytime talk show audience to Dr. Phil McGraw. Dr. Phil’s blunt advice sparked his fan base, and soon the former jury consultant landed his own show, The Dr. Phil Show.

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Like most of Oprah’s graduates, Dr. Phil’s show became one of daytime TV’s highest-rated programs. For 21 years, fans tuned in to see distressed couples, worrisome teenagers, and plenty of family drama. However, in recent years, the show has gained more attention from guests like Danielle “Cash Me Outside” Bergoli, who we now know as Bhad Bhabie, thanks to her viral appearance.

Mike Einziger, Dr. Phil McGraw, Jordan McGraw, and Zachary Merrick
Source: Getty Images
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Due to this, viewers have accused Dr. Phil of exploiting his guests’ mental illnesses and distress for ratings. So, are Dr. Phil’s onstage antics why his show is getting canceled? Here’s everything we know about Dr. Phil ending.

Why was ‘Dr. Phil’ canceled? CBS reportedly didn’t want the show to end.

In January 2023, CBS and Phil announced he would stop producing new Dr. Phil episodes in the spring after 21 seasons. Phil confirmed the news on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

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“I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television,” Dr. Phil said in a statement, per Variety. “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.”

(l-r): Robin McGraw and Phil McGraw filming an episode of 'Dr. Phil.'
Source: Getty Images

Dr. Phil and wife Robin McGraw on an episode of 'Dr. Phil'

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So why was Dr. Phil canceled? CBS sources said Phil was the one who made the call. The TV host chose to leave his popular daytime show because he wanted to continue working on other projects. Phil has juggled the show with his other passions, including two podcasts, Phil in the Blanks and Mystery & Murder: Analysis by Dr. Phll. He also produces CBS scripted shows like So Help Me Todd starring Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin.

While he likely wants to spend time fostering his podcasts and productions, Phil declared in his statement that he would continue helping his audience in other ways, with the latest rumor being a “strategic primetime partnership” with CBS.

“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,” he said.

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‘Dr. Phil’ fans will continue to see the show for at least one year after it ends.

Phil’s daytime TV reign will reportedly end on a high note. Although folks aren’t watching as much live TV these days, the show is consistently averaging roughly 2 million viewers each episode. The show's continued popularity is probably why Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, doesn’t want to let Phil’s legacy go right away.

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“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 said, per Variety. “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.”

CBS Media Ventures stated to Variety that it plans to air a package of repeat Dr. Phil episodes after it ends. The episodes will reportedly run through the 2023–2024 season and include “new wraparound material” from Phil with updates on the guests.

Check your local listings to see when to catch new episodes of Dr. Phil.

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