Dr. Phil McGraw is returning to TV less than a year after announcing the end of his long-running daytime talk show
Dr. Phil is coming back — and this time, he’ll be in primetime.
Less than half a year after Dr. Phil McGraw ended his long-running daytime talk show after 21 seasons, the TV personality has announced that he’ll be returning to viewer’s screens on a daily basis — and this time, his show will air at 8 p.m. ET.
“I’m coming back in primetime on a whole new network that’s called Merit Street Media,” McGraw, 73, said in a video announcement posted Monday on X (formerly known as Twitter). “It’s my new network, but I’ve got some news that I want to share with you about that. This is actually not my network, this is our network. This is something that’s going to be focused entirely on what’s important to you. What you want to talk about, what you want to do and Dr. Phil is going to be on in primetime.”
Dr. Phil Primetime will premiere Feb. 26, according to a press release from Merit Street Media, which is described as “a new cable TV network dedicated to bringing viewers essential news and entertainment.”
The network will be anchored by McGraw’s forthcoming show, which will be filmed in front of a live audience at a newly constructed studio in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.
In a statement, the host said of the new show, “As always, the audience will dictate our content because they are our content, and I want my viewer’s help in building Merit Street. I continue my pledge to help individuals, couples, and families have the tough conversations, face the hard realities, and get real answers for the most positive and effective outcome.”
McGraw continued, "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.”
The program will follow the same format as McGraw’s previous talkshow. "It all begins and ends with real people dealing with these issues for real, using common sense, fact-based information, and action plans to create results," he said.
The final episode of McGraw’s long-running daytime talk show aired on May 25, four months after he announced the series would end.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE at the time, McGraw said, "I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television. 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 continued, “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.”
A shift to primetime was mentioned in his initial statement, with CBS Media Ventures sharing that he would be embarking on a “strategic primetime partnership” to help “increase his impact on television and viewers.”
Of his desire to shift to a primetime show, McGraw said at the time, “I am compelled 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.”
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McGraw’s television career skyrocketed after several appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the 1990s.
He launched his own show in 2002, and an average of 2 million people tuned in to the nearly 4,000 episodes daily. At its conclusion, it was the second highest-rated talk show.
"It's just been really important to me, every year to stop, sit down and write her a letter, and say, 'Thank you for the impact you've had on me and my family,' " he told Clarkson, 41, on an episode of her show. "And I've done it every year for 25 or 26 years."
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