Dr. Phil McGraw is taking a page out of Oprah Winfrey’s playbook by launching his own cable network.
McGraw, whose iconic daytime talk show ended earlier this year after 21 seasons, said Monday he’s making a comeback with a new show launching on his upcoming Merit Street Media network.
The cable channel’s signature show will be Dr. Phil Primetime, which will follow a similar format as Dr. Phil — with the TV doctor taking on tough topics and dispensing “no-nonsense” advice to guests, Merit Street Media said in a press release.
The series is scheduled to premiere on Feb. 26, 2024, and will air nightly at 8 pm ET.
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“I absolutely love talking to real people about real problems. People who aren’t just complaining but are actively looking for real solutions to better their lives,” McGraw said in a statement.
“American families and our core values are under attack. I love this country, and I believe family is the backbone of our society. Together we are going to stand strong and fight for the very soul and sanity of America and get things that matter back on track,” he added.
The TV veteran has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and is a licensed psychologist.
He began his showbiz career with a featured segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the 1990s.
As his popularity grew, he left Texas and moved to Los Angeles to launch his advice show in September 2002.
The final original episode of the syndicated daytime program aired in spring 2023, when McGraw’s contract with CBS Media Ventures ended. Although repeats of Dr. Phil still air in some markets.
In a video accompanying his press release, McGraw said he left daytime TV for a “bigger platform” and “wider guardrails.”
Although the Daily Beast reported in February, “off-screen storms” and “legal battles” contributed to the show’s demise. Meanwhile a 2015 exposé published by TheWrap described the Dr. Phil show as “enmeshed in turmoil behind-the-scenes.”
Still, there’s no disputing McGraw remains popular. The TV host said in his press release he still gets thousands of requests from viewers seeking advice.
His new show and network will be headquartered in a 5 acre broadcast center currently under construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Joel Cheatwood, a veteran news and programming executive who previously worked at WCBS, CNN, and Fox News, will serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Merit Street Media. Additional network executives, show producers, cable providers, and programming will be announced in the next few months.