Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Having achieved nationwide fame as a frequent guest on Oprah Winfrey's daily chatfest, professional "life strategist" Dr. Phil McGraw inevitably graduated to his own Monday-through-Friday talk show, produced by Winfrey's Harpo Productions and syndicated by Paramount Television. In an engagingly offhand, down-to-earth fashion, the balding, Southern-accented Dr. Phil dispensed advice on all sorts of moral, legal, and personal issues, counseling warring families and other such domestic combatants with a combination of harsh nagging, pragmatism, and an abundance of hugs and tears. Basically, Oprah's favorite "self-help guru" put forth a positive message, though there were some problems that even he found insurmountable (and he admitted it). Taped in the studio where Solid Gold and The Arsenio Hall Show had once been produced, Dr. Phil began its run on September 16, 2002.