Yesterday's news that Oprah is developing a talk show featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz — who's been a regular on her show for some time now — comes as a slap in the face to that other guy who used to be known as "Oprah's Doctor": Dr. Phil McGraw.
The New York Post's Don Kaplan reports that the Dr. Oz show will be in direct competition to a show Dr. Phil is currently developing:
But the new show - slated to debut in the fall of 2009 - appears to be a direct rival to "The Doctors," a new syndicated show slated for next fall that will be produced by the McGraws.
McGraw, was, of course, discovered and groomed by Oprah in 2002 for his own show in exactly the same fashion as Oz is being prepped this year for daytime TV stardom.
Further, Kaplan reports that even though it appears that Oprah has been grooming Dr. Oz for a show of his own (especially given that she recently purchased the Discovery Health Network), TV industry professional were surprised by the aggressiveness of the move:
"It's mystifying," said MediaWeek's Marc Berman yesterday. "This certainly can be seen as diluting the audience for 'The Doctors.'
"But Oprah has clout," he said. "If she wants to put a show on TV, she will."
Dr. Phil's afternoon show is part-owned by Oprah - but "The Doctors" is being made totally by McGraw's own production company without the help or profit participation of Harpo.