“Dr. Phil” is stepping down from daytime television.
Phil McGraw, the TV psychologist who’s made the drama of therapy a daily staple for viewers for more than 20 years, is going off the air at the end of this season, CBS Media Ventures announced Tuesday.
But he’s probably coming back soon — possibly in prime time.
In a statement, CBS Media Ventures said McGraw “will focus on prime-time programming and plans to announce a strategic prime-time partnership, scheduled for an early 2024 launch.”
McGraw himself said it was time to move on.
“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,” he said, according to CBS.
“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’s television career began with his appearances on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” in the late 1990s. As Variety reported, he launched his own “Dr. Phil” syndicated show in 2002, produced by Winfrey’s Harpo productions and distributed by King World Productions, owned by CBS.
Despite his apparently even-keeled temperament and a generally soothing public demeanor, “Dr. Phil” has courted his share of controversy, much of which made him a lightning rod for the left.
Just last month, he confronted a “defund the police” activist with the reality that a civilized society needs “guardrails” to maintain law and order.
In the fall, after then-Senate candidate now Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman turned in an embarrassing debate performance that put his stroke-induced cognitive disabilities on full display, McGraw called it “painful to watch.”
“Let’s say you were getting on an airplane, and the airline pilot had a similar cognitive impairment,” he told podcaster Joe Rogan. “Would you get on? Well, hell no.”
In October, he hosted a show on the topic of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill (the one slandered as “don’t say gay” by leftists and their mouthpieces in the establishment media).
He generated headlines when he hit Jody Amour, a USC Gould School of Law professor who was opposed to the law, with a solid question about parents’ powers over their children’s education in matters of sex.
“And my question to you is: What makes you think you know better than a parent about what should happen to a child when they have a life-determining decision about whether they’re going to make a decision about gender or anything else?” he asked.
Parents everywhere cheered.
Back in 2020, as The Week reports, McGraw issued a public apology after an appearance on Fox News’ “The Laura Ingraham Show” where he compared deaths from COVID-19 to accidental deaths and deaths from preventable causes like smoking.
But he hasn’t gone quiet about the pandemic.
In an October show, as Fox reported, he predicted the COVID school lockdowns that took place throughout the country, supported by teachers unions, are going to be damaging the country for years to come.
“I said that the way they’re doing this and shutting this down is going to create more problems than the virus itself,” he said. “I think those problems are just starting to unfold. I think we’re going to be paying a very high price for decades to come.”
All that has made him a sneering target for the left — NPR’s report on McGraw leaving daytime TV is a barely veiled, lengthy attack — but could make for viewing attractive to a primetime audience.
“Phil is a valued partner and member of the CBS/King World family,” Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, said in a statement, “and while his show may be ending after 21 years, I’m happy to say our relationship is not.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.