Exclusive: CTD’s ‘Face the Truth’ Is a Firm Go for Fall

Face the Truth, a new talk panel strip from Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw’s Stage 29 Productions, is a firm go for fall 2018, said Paul Franklin, president of CBS Television Distribution.

That makes it the second first-run show to get the go ahead for next season, joining Debmar-Mercury’s judge show, Caught in Providence. Another first-run series that was being shopped around — Last Laugh with Jane Lynch by Warner Bros. — is not going forward.

The series features hosts Vivica A. Fox and Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer and a panel of experts including attorney Areva Martin, psychologist Dr. Judy Ho and life coach Rosie Mercado. They will talk to real people about their various challenges with friends, family, parents, children, partners and so forth and help to solve them.

Face the Truth is a traditional talk show that deals with conflict and will provide people with a usable takeaway,” said creator and executive producer McGraw. “It’s a combination of TheDoctors and The Dr. Phil Show. It’s not as intense or serious as Dr. Phil can be. We’ll resolve conflict, but it’s not a conflict show in the vein of Maury or JerrySpringer and it’s not an informational show like Dr. Phil is.”

It took some time to secure clearances for Face the Truth because CTD, led by Franklin, was working to find space for it while keeping another McGraw show, The Doctors, on the air for its 11th season and beyond.

The launch group for Face the Truth is the CBS Television Stations, which has duopolies in major markets New York and Los Angeles. The show will air on Weigel’s WCIU in Chicago, said Franklin.

“Is it easy to clear a show in quality time periods? No. Quite frankly, I think that’s one of the things I’m most proud of about this show,” said McGraw. “We worked the problem and we got it done. I believe in this show and you can’t win the race if you aren’t on the racetrack."

The Doctors will continue to air as well, running on CBS duopoly stations, such as WLNY New York, in some cases. In the week ended March 18, The Doctors remained at its season-low 0.8 in households, according to Nielsen Media Research, for the third straight week.

The Doctors has become a legacy show,” said McGraw. “The daytime landscape has changed and those shows that have stayed around have done so for a reason.”

Another CTD series, Hot Bench, created by Judge Judy Sheindlin and typically the third-highest rated show in daytime in its fifth season, will stay in place on the CBS-owned stations. For example, Hot Bench airs at 9 a.m. on WCBS New York, coming out of CBS This MorningHot Bench turned in a 4.0 on Wednesday, March 21, up 33% from its lead in and up 90% from year ago, the station’s best showing in the time period since 2010. In the week ended March 18, Hot Bench averaged a 2.4 national household average, behind only Judge Judy and Dr. Phil in daytime.

And DailyMailTV, which McGraw and his team launched last fall, is getting upgrades in several markets, including on Tribune's KTLA Los Angeles and in Boston, where it's moving to NBC-owned WBTS, Franklin said.

“Where we’ve succeeded in a lot of ways is by creating a new genre of television. DailyMailTV reinvented the entertainment news magazine. We’re not going to junkets or just talking about entertainment and celebrity. I think that Face the Truth will create a new category again. It takes some of the elements of daytime TV that people have liked and have worked and combined them all to create a new category,” said McGraw.

McGraw, Carla Pennington, Patricia Ciano and Dr. Phil McGraw are executive producers of Face the Truth, with Ciano running the show's day-to-day operations. Stage 29 Production also produces The Doctors, DailyMailTV and CBS’ primetime series, Bull

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997 - September 2002.