Jay McGraw and Dr. Phil McGraw are executive producers on The Marriage Test, a 90-minute special that explores the troubled relationships of four couples who agree to live together under one roof for seven days of in-depth counseling to try to save their marriages. A&E Network will premiere the special1 at 10 PM September 2 as a backdoor pilot. Led by husband-and-wife marriage coaches Will Craig and Laurie Gerber, the couples take part in a series of exercises that include individual and group therapy sessions all aimed at salvaging their troubled unions. At the end of the week, each twosome will have to decide whether recommit and stay together and or break up and go their separate ways. Marriage Test is produced for A&E Networks by Ghost Mountain Prods and Bienstock Young Media. Executive producers are the McGraws, Carla Pennington, Eugene Young and Jay Bienstock; Drew Tappon serves as exec producer for A&E.
UPDATE, 9 AM: The downside, if you’re Dr. Phil and you decline to appear on CNN last night to defend your show’s quickly deleted controversial tweet, is that the program may book Jerry Springer as your stand-in. That said, it went surprisingly well for Dr. Phil. “[Dr. Phil McGraw] does a serious talk show. I do a circus. It would be different on my show and maybe not appropriate,” Springer told CNN’s Erin Burnett last night about the tweet, which had been put up to collect string for an upcoming episode of the Dr Phil syndicated talker that will be tied to breaking news events. This was the tweet: “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her?” The tweet was deleted when outrage erupted and McGraw issued a statement of apology. “In his show, it is a serious issue,” Springer said. “For them to raise it as a subject on their show, I don’t see what the problem is. It should be discussed. I don’t know why they took it down.”
PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY AM: Is it OK for a daytime talk show that trades in the discussion of hot-button topics to collect string for an upcoming episode by tweeting a provocative question to the show host’s 1.2 million followers? The Dr. Phil show and its host found themselves on the receiving end of a lot of snark and outrage this week after a staffer on the syndicated series tweeted in his Twitter account (1.2 million followers): “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil.” The tweet included the hashtag “#teensaccused,” by way of making it clear the question was being asked about a recent news story. An orgy of outrage ensued (which included a selection of The Reporters Who Cover Television, some of whom did not mention the tweet, if grievously worded, was fairly standard operating procedure at talk shows collecting string these days) – and the tweet was deleted. Read More »
Dr. Phil claims that Gawker caused his ratings to drop by lifting video from his show and he’s going after them for it. The copyright infringement suit is over the TV shrink’s interview with the man who says he fooled Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o into thinking he was his fake dead girlfriend. In an 8-page complaint (read it here) filed today in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, Dr. Phil Show copyright holders Peteski Productions sent notice to Gawker Media and its sports website Deadspin that they want unspecified damages and a jury trial. “Gawker deliberately set out to get ‘the jump’ on the rest of the country and ‘scoop’ Dr. Phil with his own content. They did not earn that right, they stole it. They did not conduct the interview, they stole it. They did not ask permission, they blatantly and knowingly infringed the copyright of the content owner and did so in a way that furthered their interest to the maximum and undercut the rightful owner of the protected material,” claims the complaint. The whole thing revolves around two episodes of the syndicated Dr. Phil Show that aired on January 31 and February 1 where the TV psychologist exclusively spoke to girlfriend impersonator and Te’o acquaintance Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
Related: ‘Dr. Phil’ Renewed Through 2016-17 Season
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Top rated daytime syndication talk show Dr. Phil has been renewed through the 2016-2017 season when it will mark its 15-year anniversary. The three-year extension to Dr. Phil‘s current station deals covers 77% of the country, including the show’s core CBS Television Stations Group, and includes upgrades. Currently in its 11th season, Dr. Phil averages 4.2 million viewers a week. It succeeded Oprah, where Dr. Phil McGraw got his start, as the highest-rated daytime syndicated talk show. “Stations have really sat up and taken notice of the fact that Dr. Phil is the best news lead-in in the marketplace today,” said Joe DiSalvo, President of Sales at CBS Television Distribution. Dr. Phil was created by Oprah’s Harpo Prods. and is produced by Peteski Prods in association with CBS TV Distribution and is distributed by CBSTD. McGraw is host and executive producer. Carla Pennington is executive producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Phil McGraw has signed with WME. This is the first time the top daytime talk show host has been represented by an agency. Since its launch a decade ago, McGraw’s Dr. Phil had been the No. 2 daytime talker behind The Oprah Winfrey Show, where McGraw got his start in television. Following the end of Oprah in May 2011, Dr. Phil established itself as the new ratings king in the daytime talk show arena. This past season, it led the pack with a 2.9 household rating average, up 7% from the 2010-11 season. Dr. Phil‘s 11th season was slated to premiere today but it has been pushed to tomorrow because of CBS’ coverage of the U.S. Open men’s tennis championship. Read More »
UPDATE, 2:45 PM: Despite the strong 3Q earnings, some investors are concerned about the lower-than-expected revenues and a slowdown in ad-sales growth from 2Q. But that didn’t stop CEO Les Moonves from his usual cheerleading in his quarterly conference call with analysts: With more digital and retransmission consent deals ahead, as well as polticial ads, “the company is set up for a record-breaking 2012,” he says. He’s confident about the ad market despite signs that the economy might weaken. “It is business as usual,” he says. “Very few people are cancelling us because they know they’ll have to pay more” next year. Moonves says the recent online streaming deal that CW cut with Hulu does not mean that CBS might join Comcast, News Corp, and Disney at the online video venture. CBS co-owns CW with Time Warner, but “CW is a different animal. It appeals to a younger demographic.” Moonves adds that the most important takeaway is that “we got paid a chunk of money. There was no advertising split, which is something we refuse to do.” Read More »