The Doctors (alternatively The Drs as seen on logo bugs and background graphics)[4] is an American syndicated talk show airing daily on television in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Sweden and Finland. It debuted on September 8, 2008.[5][7] The hour-long daytime program is produced by Phil McGraw and his son Jay McGraw and is distributed domestically and globally by CBS Television Distribution. The series is a spin-off of Dr. Phil and is the first talk show to be a third generation talk show spin-off, as Dr. Phil itself spun off of The Oprah Winfrey Show.[8]

It was announced in December 2009, during its second season, that The Doctors was cleared through the 2011-2012 season. The third season premiered September 13, 2010, in high definition.[9] As of April 2014, The Doctors had been renewed through the 2015-2016 season.[10]

Details

The concept, which originated on Dr. Phil, mostly focuses on health and medical issues, as a team of medical professionals (and sometimes celebrity guests/speakers) discuss a range of various health-related topics and answer questions from viewers who are too embarrassed to ask their own doctors.

The series is hosted by emergency room physician and former The Bachelor participant Travis Stork, a University of Virginia trained physician, who has appeared frequently on Dr. Phil, with pediatrician Jim Sears,[11] obstetrician/gynecologist Lisa Masterson, and plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon rounding out the discussion panel.[12]

On May 6, 2011, it was announced that Jillian Michaels had been added to the cast of The Doctors doing mainly segments outside the studio, along with serving as a "special correspondent" on Dr. Phil."[13] Wendy Walsh, a psychotherapist and relationship expert seen usually in pundit panels on CNN and HLN, was announced as a fifth regular panelist to the show on September 1, 2011, to start as of September 12.[14]

During the holiday break at the end of 2011, Michaels left the show to return to The Biggest Loser, with Walsh also departing the series and returning it to the original four-doctor format for the 2012 season.

Lisa Masterson did not return for the sixth season. Urologist Jennifer Berman and family medicine physician and sexologist Rachael Ross joined the series.[2]

Reception

Ratings

The show had not ranked in the top 20 syndicated programs at all during the beginning of its first season, coming in behind the syndicated version of the game show Deal or No Deal among new syndicated programs, garnering a 1.3 rating at the time of its launch.[15] Since then, it has been the only talk show to gain viewers this season, registering a 1.5 rating by the end of October, up to 1.9 by December, and 2.3 by January, surpassing Deal or No Deal; the show remains the top new talk show of the season.[16]

There is also evidence in individual markets of the show's success: for instance, in Buffalo, New York, the show is credited with increasing the lead-in for WKBW-TV's 5:00 newscasts, to the point that the station is once again competitive with other stations in the market.[17]

Quality of advice

A 2014 study in the British Medical Journal determined that "evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%" of recommendations made by the panel of doctors, and that "the public should be skeptical about recommendations made on medical talk shows."[19]

Non-US versions

In Canada, a French version called Les Docteurs airs on Radio-Canada (simultaneously with The Doctors, which airs on a different channel at that time). The show, whose format is identical to the previous seasons of the English version, features French-Canadian doctors in a similar-looking set with the same color scheme and French wording, though it did not license the theme song and goes without sound effects.[20]

In Mexico, began on September 10, 2012, called Los Doctores (Latin American version), which is broadcast on Televisa and is based on the US series.[21]

In Lebanon, an Arabic version of The Doctors is aired by MTV channel.

In Vietnam, the program is called Các Bác sĩ nói gì ? (lit Vietnamese What did the Doctors say ? )

In Portugal, is transmitted in a format rubric, inserted an afternoon talk show on channel SIC.

In Egypt, after the end of Al-Bernameg, rumors surfaced on the internet that Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef will return with a new program on Egyptian television that has no relation with satire and politics. Bassem denied the rumors. However, it was revealed in 2014 on the fifth of September that Bassem Youssef will return to television with an Egyptian version of The Doctors.