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'The Dr. Phil Show'

An Overview


'The Dr. Phil Show'

Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw greets his audience.

Getty Images

Title: The Dr. Phil Show

Host: Dr. Phil

Theme music: Current theme composed by Jordan McGraw. Originally Shine, by Meredith Brooks.

Personalities: Robin McGraw, Dr. Phil’s spouse, and their two sons Jay McGraw and Jordan McGraw.

Format: One-hour, daytime talk show format

Network: Syndicated

Broadcasts: Weekdays, check local listings.

Tapes: Weekday afternoons

Premiere Date: September 16, 2002

Originating From: Paramount Studios in Los Angeles


The Dr. Phil Show is the first spin-off of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and its style is reminiscent of that program. As host, Dr. Phil welcomes guests to an open-air set with minimal props – usually nothing more than a small grouping of high-backed chairs.

Typically, Dr. Phil, a clinical psychologist, opens his show discussing the day’s theme and then proceeds to discuss the topic with his guest (or guests), who suffer from some form of the theme, for the better part of the hour. Later seasons have showcased field episodes, in which Dr. Phil conducts one-on-one therapy, for lack of a better description in what is usually a group setting (such as the “Dr. Phil House” episodes).

Dr. Phil covers a range of topics, including weight loss, finances , parenting, addiction, mental illness, couples, and so forth. Topics in later seasons have become much more taboo, or prurient, and critics have pointed this out. Dr. Phil has also found himself the subject of controversy for taking part – and commenting on – personal matters, such as that of Britney Spears’ mental condition. Popular Segments:

Dr. Phil House: In reality show style, guests live in a house canvassed with cameras and microphones and try to sort out their problems over the course of their stay. When necessary, Dr. Phil steps in to provide guidance and offer suggestions. The house was original in a suburban neighborhood, but complaints forced the production team to build a house in a backstage lot.

Dr. Phil Family: In which Dr. Phil invites previous guests back to the program to discuss how their situation has progressed.

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