Phil McGraw said he'll focus on prime-time programming after the end...

Phil McGraw said he'll focus on prime-time programming after the end of his daytime talk show "Dr. Phil." Credit: Getty Images / Jemal Countess

After 21 seasons, psychologist Phil McGraw announced Tuesday that he is ending his still top-rated daytime talk show. New episodes will continue to air through the end of the current TV season.

“I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television,” McGraw, 72, who went from regular guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the late 1990s to launching "Dr. Phil" on Sept. 16, 2002, said in a statement through his show's syndicator, CBS Media Ventures. His series, on which both celebrities and everyday people discuss their mental health issues, has "helped thousands of guests and millions of viewers through everything from addiction and marriage to mental wellness and raising children," he said.

"This has been an incredible chapter of my life and career," McGraw added, "but while I’m moving on from daytime, there is so much more I wish to do.”

McGraw has been an executive producer since 2006, beginning with the TV-movie "Moochers," and going on to produce the long-running daytime panel-discussion show "The Doctors." His other series include the CBS legal drama "Bull," based on his own early, highly successful career running a forensic-psychology jury consultancy for defense attorneys, and the network's new lighthearted private-detective drama "So Help Me Todd." He also hosts two podcasts.

According to industry trade journals, "Dr. Phil" remains high in viewership, averaging about 2 million viewers per episode and second only to “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”

"Phil changed the daytime landscape as the force behind one of the most popular talk shows ever on daytime TV," said Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, in a statement. "We plan to be in the ‘Dr. Phil’ business with the library for years to come and welcome opportunities to work together in the future.”

The upcoming rerun episodes will include new content such as wraparounds and introductions by McGraw, as well as guest updates, the syndicator said.

McGraw said that in the immediate future he will focus on prime-time programming. Plans include a new production partnership, scheduled to launch early next year, that he said would allow him "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.”

"Dr. Phil" has weathered criticism over the years, primarily claims of exploiting vulnerable guests — most prominently with its 2016 interview with iconic 1970s actor Shelley Duvall, who has endured significant mental health issues over decades. CBS Media Ventures has countered by saying the show has provided more than $35 million in resources for its guests off-camera.

McGraw has not commented additionally on social media.

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