Daytime talk show “Dr. Phil” will end in the spring after an incredible 21-season run, Variety reports.
Dr. Phil McGraw, 72, decided to pull the plug on the show, long a pop cultural touchstone and lightning rod for controversy.
He said in a statement, “I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television. 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.”
He also alluded to a “strategic primetime partnership.” He went on, “I feel 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.”
No new episodes of the series, which averages 2 million viewers per episode, will be produced after the close of the current season, but thanks to reruns, the show will likely remain on the air into 2024.
McGraw has been moving into producing (“So Help Me Todd”), and also hosts a pair of podcasts (“Mystery & Murder: Analysis by Dr. Phil” and “Phil in the Blanks”).
Still, in spite of McGraw’s expanding horizons, the news is a shocker for many who are used to Dr. Phil’s unique presence, first introduced by Oprah Winfrey in the ’90s. The show has scored praise along with condemnation, earning over 30 Daytime Emmy nominations along the way.
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Perhaps the show’s most memorable moment came in 2016, when “out-of-control teen” Danielle Bregioli appeared with McGraw, launching the catchphrase “Cash Me Outside” and a lucrative music and, later, OnlyFans career under the moniker Bhad Bhabie.
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