Long Running Controversial Talk Show Has Been Canceled

Dr. Phil is officially ending after the 2022/2023 season.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

dr phil

For many of us, it’s hard to remember a time when Dr. Phil wasn’t on the air. The doctor (and we use that term a bit loosely, seeing as he doesn’t currently have a license to practice psychology) has been a fixture on daytime television for over 20 years, but now his talk show is coming to an end with the 2022-2023 season. According to Deadline, Dr. Phil had this to say about it: “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 axing of Dr. Phil comes when many other well-known, long-running talk shows have already been falling like dominoes. The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Oz, The Real, The Wendy Williams Show, and even Maury – all staples for waiting room and stay-home-sick-from-school TV schedules – all ended within the last year, making it a dark time for daytime TV.

While Dr. Phil has always been controversial (I did mention that the host is not really a practicing doctor, right?), the “doctor’s” trademark tough-love style has resonated with audiences for decades. 

Dr. Phil McGraw started his television career on yet another now-defunct talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he was a fan-favorite guest. He was then given a spinoff produced by Oprah’s Harpo Studios, which was an immediate hit when it premiered in 2002. Once the uber-popular Oprah Winfrey Show went off the air in 2011, Dr. Phil took over the number one spot in the ratings, where it remained until just recently, when it fell to number two after Live with Kelly & Ryan.

Even now, the talk show still gets an average of 2 million viewers per episode.

dr. phil

Each episode of Dr. Phil sees the host focusing on a different topic, on which he offers his guests advice. He is so good at doling out said advice that his show has received an incredible 31 Emmy nominations in its time and has won five PRISM Awards for its true-to-life representation of alcohol, tobacco, and drug addiction and abuse. It has also received a Media Award from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, better known as MADD.

Just because his show is ending doesn’t mean Dr. Phil is going away, however. CBS Media Ventures is planning to offer library episodes of Dr. Phil to various television stations, which will include some new content like introductions and wrap-arounds featuring McGraw. Updates on past guests may also be a part of this new package.

The man himself, though, is looking to put his focus on primetime in the coming months and years. From 2016 to 2022, Dr. Phil acted as the executive producer on Bull, the successful CBS series starring NCIS’s Michael Weatherly, and another of his series, So Help Me Todd, is also bringing in fair numbers this season. He has another show slated for release in early 2024 as well. 

When asked about his move from daytime to primetime, Dr. Phil replied, “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.” Lofty goals like these may be just the thing he needs to make him a mainstay in evening programming as well.