'Dr. Phil' Canceled After Over 20 Years: What We Know

Dr. Phil's television run is coming to an end after more than two decades as one of the most-watched daytime talk shows. Host Phil McGraw is stepping away from the series after his recent contract extension ends. Dr. Phil will bow out with 21 seasons this spring and it follows other long-running daytime talkers, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, and The Dr. Oz Show, have ended in the past year.

A week after CBS Media Ventures confirmed Dr. Phil was ending, sources told the New York Post that producers considered revamping the show to bring back advertisers. The show has always been controversial, with McGraw facing accusations of exploiting celebrities like Britney Spears and Shelley Duvall, but major advertisers had only recently stopped sponsoring the show. "The advertising queue was all but dead," one insider said. "The show was relying on CBS to book ads as opposed to relying on Dr. Phil's brand."

Dr. Phil producers tried to shift the show's focus away from personal dramas to more general topics and hard news stories. Still, sources told Page Six producers struggled to get credible panelists. "Dr. Phil was trying to siphon the credibility from other doctors they're trying to book as guests … but they're struggling to get credible guests," one insider said. CBS and McGraw did not comment on The Post's report.

McGraw's show is ending alongside his contract expiring, reports Deadline. The 2022-2023 season is the last of a five-season renewal and contract extension McGraw signed with CBS Television Distribution in 2018. CBS Media Ventures plans to keep Dr. Phil on the airwaves by offering stations repeats beginning during the 2023-2024 season, with new and updated intros from McGraw and other guests.

CBS Media Ventures is hoping that Dr. Phil could continue in the same way Judge Judy has survived. Sources told Deadline the company is hoping stations will continue airing Dr. Phil repeats in the same timeslot or will continue to pay the same price as they did for new shows. This is facing some resistance, but it was a successful play with Judge Judy. Even though the last new Judge Judy episode aired in July 2021, the show is the fourth most-watched syndicated program.

McGraw became a television star thanks to The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2002, Winfrey's Harpo Studios began producing Dr. Phil, which was an immediate hit. After Oprah ended in 2011, Dr. Phil became the most-watched syndicated daytime talk show. Dr. Phil held the crown until recently when Live With Kelly & Ryan took over that title.

"I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television," McGraw said in a statement Thursday. "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."

McGraw also served as an executive producer on The Doctors and Daily Mail TV, which both ended. He also executive produced CBS' scripted drama Bull, starring Michael Weatherly, and the freshman series So Help Me Todd. In the future, McGraw plans to focus on more primetime programming with a new partnership.

"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, said in a statement. "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."