Dr. Phil (TV series)
|Created by||Oprah Winfrey|
|Presented by||Phil McGraw|
|Opening theme||"Shine" by Meredith Brooks used from 2004-2008|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||11|
|No. of episodes||1,671|
|Camera setup||Multiple-camera setup|
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Harpo Productions(2002-2011)
Paramount Domestic Television (2002–2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)
King World Productions (2002–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
|Distributor||King World Productions (2002–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
|Original channel||First-run syndication|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||September 16, 2002– present|
|Related shows||The Oprah Winfrey Show
Dr. Phil is a talk show hosted by Phil McGraw. After McGraw's success with his segments on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil debuted on September 16, 2002. On both shows McGraw offers advice in the form of "life strategies" from his life experience as a clinical psychologist.
The show is in syndication throughout the United States and a number of other countries. Its tenth season premiered on September 12, 2011. The show is to be renewed through 2014, or twelve seasons. Occasional prime time specials have aired on CBS. The program has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award every year since 2004.
Since September 2009, Dr. Phil has been broadcast in HDTV with a revamped look and a new theme written and performed by McGraw's son, Jordan.
Originally produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions in association with Paramount Domestic Television and distributed by King World Productions, since 2007 it is produced and distributed solely by PTV's and KWP's successor, CBS Television Distribution with Peteski Productions.
Reruns of the series began broadcast on the new OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network as of January 2011.
The show covers a wide variety of topics, including weight loss, financial planning, errant children, gift suggestions, children who have been diagnosed with autism, unhappily married couples, rebellious teenagers, mothers who dress far from their age, mothers who refuse to attend weddings, children being stars and their parents' rights, the emotional benefits of controlling, dysfunctional families, mothers who refuse to give their married sons money, and support for charitable causes. Radio personality and ex-child star Danny Bonaduce, came to the show twice in a year to discuss his failing marriage (and later divorce) with Gretchen.
On several shows, children and/or adults have taken polygraph exams. The show is generally serious in tone, leavened with humor from time to time. It has its occasional tense moments and often trashy scenes, like that of The Montel Williams Show, but without melees or aggressive fights on stage, in contrast to The Jerry Springer Show, The Steve Wilkos Show or Maury Povich's program. McGraw is noted for often bringing back families for multiple shows for follow-up "therapy" sessions in his segment called "Dr. Phil Family."
Generally, the program is filmed and guests appear in studio, but in 2006, the Dr. Phil House began as an occasional series. McGraw and his production staff invite guests to a special house wired with numerous cameras and microphones. There, his staff monitor the conversations of the guests he is trying to help, and intervene as necessary to prevent physical violence. McGraw also provides on-the-spot advice and counselling to the "house guests." McGraw's wife, Robin, sits in the studio audience for almost every show, and at the end of the show, walks out of the set with him.
- In a show that aired on May 2, 2005, twin sisters Jocelyn and Crystal Potter appeared. Crystal claimed to want to "work" in the adult industry together with Jocelyn, who rejected the idea as repulsive. Brothel owner Dennis Hof was interviewed and stated that the two could make half a million dollars per year in his establishment. But the sisters's testimony proved to be less than truthful: beginning in 2002, they appeared as the "Potter Sisters" in numerous pornographic films together, and in 2003, they even appeared together with Hof in the porn film Goin' Down At The Bunny Ranch. This show received much criticism due to the perceptions of hypocrisy, as even though McGraw was an outspoken critic of pornography, his own son Jay McGraw was married to Erica Dahm, a Playboy Playmate (December 1998), who was notable for performing with her two other, identical triplet sisters.
- The Dr. Phil House was set in an actual house within the Wilshire Park neighborhood in Los Angeles. It received numerous complaints from neighbors about the disruption caused by filming crews, the guests, cables and production trucks clogging the neighborhood and the constant traffic caused by filming. After the Los Angeles City Council revoked film permits, in September 2006, Dr. Phil stopped filming there. However, "Peteski" Productions, the show's production company, which drew its name from the nickname of one of McGraw's sons, retained ownership of the house. The Dr. Phil House later moved to a studio back lot, and the interior of the house shown in the program became that of a sound stage and ceased to be that of the actual house.
- In 2006, a confidence scam was discovered, involving a psychic shop that fraudulently represented Dr. Phil. The women running the scam had set up a phone line that they claimed was run by the director of Dr. Phil. By telling customers that they could have a phone conversation with McGraw for $750 an hour, they scammed Dr. Phil's viewers out of thousands of dollars. McGraw himself disowned any connection to the scammers.
- On December 12, 2006, the show featured a segment on Bumfights and attacks on the homeless across America. But McGraw discontinued an interview, before asking any questions, with the creator and distributor of the video series, who had styled himself in a manner similar to Dr. Phil. He was forced off the set by Paramount Studios security guards as the studio audience clapped and cheered.
Dr. Phil Now
This segment of Dr. Phil features McGraw sitting down with people who are having big problems in the news in the week in which the show airs. The "Now" episodes have a set with a desk like a news centre, and opens with another type of music ("breaking news" music). It has the same dynamic. Themes have included rapists, criminals, or Hollywood stars' issues. One episode included Britney Spears and her 2008 divorce and child custody battle. The show's slogan is If it's happening now, we're going to deal with it now.
McGraw's advice and methods have drawn criticism from some fellow psychotherapists as well as from some laymen. McGraw's critics regard advice given by him to be at best simplistic, and at worst, ineffective. McGraw said in a 2001 South Florida newspaper interview that he never liked traditional one-on-one counseling, and that "I'm not the Hush-Puppies, pipe and 'Let's talk about your mother' kind of psychologist."
- Ben Widdicombe (2005). "Dr. Phil's Double Trouble". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on December 31, 2005. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Anon (2005). "How Dr. Phil became Dr. Phoney". OnlineHome.us. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Dr. Phil gets the heave-ho for filming abuses," Office of council member Tom Labonge, 4th Council District Newsletter  Last accessed 12 December 2006
- "Dr. Phil Confronts Scammers" from Break.com  Last accessed 12 December 2006
- "Dr. Phil Kicks Guest Off Show"
- Salerno, Steve (2005). SHAM; How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless. Crown Publishers. ISBN 1-4000-5409-5.
- Lavin, Cheryl. "Dr. Tell it Like it Is." South Florida Sun Sentinel, July 3, 2001, Page 1E
- Official website
- Dr. Phil at the Internet Movie Database
- Dr. Phil at TV.com
- Dr. Phil Audience Tickets