Syndie 'Doctors' on call for fall

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CBS Television Distribution said Wednesday that it will launch a spinoff of its hit daytime talk show "Dr. Phil" as a strip for fall 2008. The first-run hour has been sold in 50% of the country, including all of the top 10 markets.

Tentatively titled "The Doctors," the show was shopped to stations several weeks ago (HR 10/8).

Phil McGraw's son, Jay McGraw, who is executive producing "Doctors," describes it as "a medical version of 'Dr. Phil.' " It features a team of five doctors — including a plastic surgeon, an OB/GYN and a therapist — who will discuss such hot-button medical topics as painkillers, obesity and weight loss and will answer questions viewers are too embarrassed or afraid to ask their own doctors.

"Whenever people meet a doctor, nine times out of 10 they start asking questions about their own health," Phil McGraw said. "That's why Jay's concept of bringing together a panel of experts is right on."

"Doctors," from Stage 29 Prods. and CTD, is hosted by ER doctor Travis Stork ("The Bachelor"). Its panel of doctors includes Lisa Masterson, an obstetrician/ gynecologist; Andrew Ordon, a plastic surgeon; Tara Fields, a marriage and family therapist; and Jim Sears, a pediatrician. They all will appear this season on "Dr. Phil."

"This is one of the most exciting launches we've had since 'Dr. Phil,' " CBS TV Distribution CEO Roger King said. "Every major broadcast group in the country has been talking about it."

Major stations that have picked up "Doctors" include CBS O&Os WCBS New York, KCBS/KCAL Los Angeles, KYW Philadelphia, KTVT/KTXA Dallas and WFOR Miami, along with Gannett's WUSA Washington, Cox's KTVU San Francisco and WSB Atlanta and Belo's KHOU Houston.
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