Hot List: Jay McGraw
Executive producer, “The Doctors”; president and CEO, Stage 29 Productions
After a number of best-selling books and network series, Jay McGraw has turned his attention to the syndication realm.
The executive producer of upcoming daytime strip “The Doctors” scored a deal with CBS Television Distribution last year to bring the medically driven series to stations for a fall launch.
“‘The Doctors’ is looking great right now,” said Mr. McGraw. “There have been unbelievably high expectations for this show, and so far everything we’ve accomplished has exceeded those expectations. We have a great staff on board, terrific talent and we are already signing exclusive stories right and left.”
The series features a team of five practicing medical professionals, investigating and discussing “hot-button” medical topics such as how to lose weight, what not to feed your child and why some vaccines can be dangerous. Mr. McGraw said “The Doctors” will aim to bust medical myths and answer burning questions viewers are too embarrassed or afraid to ask their own doctor.
The series is hosted by ER doctor Travis Stork (best known for his stint on “The Bachelor”). Other experts making the rounds are Dr. Lisa Masterson, an obstetrician/gynecologist; Dr. Andrew Ordon, a plastic surgeon; Dr. Tara Fields, a licensed marriage and family therapist; and Dr. Jim Sears, a pediatrician.
One resource that helped Mr. McGraw through the process was a longtime mentor—his father, Dr. Phil McGraw, whose “Dr. Phil” ranks as one of syndication’s top 10 shows.
“I’ve learned a lot about the business from my father, including a life lesson in that you are only as good as the team you’ve put together,” he said. “I’ve also learned a work ethic from him, in that the best standard you have to set is the one you put on yourself.”
Mr. McGraw, Carla Pennington and Dr. McGraw are executive producers for “The Doctors,” with Andrew Scher as co-executive producer and George Davilas and Jeff Hudson as supervising producers of the one-hour syndie daytime talk show, which bows Sept. 8.
Mr. McGraw is president and CEO of Stage 29 Productions, which was formed by his father. He previously was a producer for “Decision House,” which just ended its run on MyNetworkTV, as well as a number of “Dr. Phil” prime-time specials. He also appeared on “Renovate My Family,” which aired on Fox.
“For a young producer, Jay brings such a clear vision to every project he does,” said Terry Wood, president of creative affairs and development, CBS Television Distribution. “I know firsthand what it takes to launch a syndicated property, and I’m so impressed with his smarts, creativity, passion and his laser focus on delivering quality television.”
Mr. McGraw earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University and a B.S. in psychology at the University of Texas. He says he knew in school that TV was a calling he could not ignore.
Even with his attention on “The Doctors,” Mr. McGraw is formulating the next move in his producing career.
“Good ideas are first and foremost the key to making a good television show,” he said. “This next show I am really excited about and can become a good use of an hour of television. As I look ahead, I truly couldn’t be happier, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.”