Phil McGraw is saying goodbye to Dr. Phil. ET’s Kevin Frazier spoke with the 72-year-old TV personality on the heels of the announcement that his long-running daytime series will end at the conclusion of its 21st season later this year.
“I’ve been doing this for 21 years and I love it, I’m still very passionate about it, and make no mistake, I’m not moving on from television. I’m just moving on from daytime [TV],” McGraw told ET, before teasing what viewers can expect from his new primetime venture.
“I can’t talk about it yet because I’m about to close all the details of this, but I wanted to partner with a network, so I can do some things in primetime that really have significance,” he explained. [It’s] not just a show, but a whole approach to what’s going on in America right now because… I’m very concerned with what’s going on in America right now. I’m concerned that the American family’s under attack, that our values are under attack, that the very concept of truth is under attack. I wanted a bigger audience, a bigger play, a bigger platform than daytime can afford.”
McGraw added that he expects to “return to the air in January of ’24 in a really big way.”
“My commitment to helping people do what they need to in their lives, learn what they need to use in their lives, and be of service to them, that’s what I’m gonna focus [on],” he said. “I’m not getting ready to do a political show… It’s gonna be Dr. Phil — I think at my highest and best use of television — dealing with couples, dealing with families, how everything going on is impacting them, and seeing things through their eyes.”
McGraw noted that he feels “such a bond with the daytime viewers” and expressed his hope that they follow him “to the next platform.”
“They’ve been so loyal, and so good, and so true,” he said. “I’m gonna make ’em proud.”
Though the show is ending, CBS Media Ventures has announced plans to offer stations library episodes of Dr. Phil, which will include new content, much to McGraw’s delight.
“I want to stay involved, so I’m gonna be putting new information in some of those shows, I’m going to be working with their anchors and stuff to keep people apprised with what’s going on, updating guests, things like that,” McGraw told ET. “It’s not gonna be pure library [episodes], because I’m gonna be in there, freshening things up and going along every step of the way.”
As Dr. Phil prepares to say goodbye, McGraw is looking forward to his new scripted and unscripted shows. Even so, ending something that’s lasted more than two decades won’t be easy for the TV personality.
“There’s been a rhythm for 21 years of doing this… Everybody associated with the show… has been there for 21 years… People always say they’ve got the best team in television, I have the best family in television,” he said. “I’ve watched them have children, grow up, go to college. It’s been terrific and I think a lot of these folks are going to be part of the next chapter.”
“When I came out here, I didn’t know how long this was gonna last,” McGraw added. “… 21 years is a whole career for a lot of people, and I’ve made some wonderful relationships there that go way beyond the work relationships… It’s been a wonderful, wonderful experience… We’re gonna miss it, I’ll put it that way.”
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