It's My First Day of School
One thing I’ve noticed about life is that it moves to a rhythm. There’s a rhythm to the change of the seasons, the time for vacations, the annual rituals of your family with birthdays and such. And for all of us, there was a rhythm with the beginning and ending of the school year.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for the end of school — to go rushing out that school door like in the movie Grease, to spend three glorious months sleeping late, hanging at the community pool and having fun. Even the summer job didn’t dampen the spirit because we didn’t have to study and sit still! But by the end of the summer, I was always getting bored with my “freedom” and secretly wanted to get back to school, and friends, and football and all the activities that went with it. Cracking the the books would be endured in exchange for the good parts!
I had gotten away from that rhythm for many years, except vicariously through our boys, but now what with doing the Dr. Phil show, I am kind of back to that school year rhythm. Our shooting schedule pretty much follows the school year. We’re in production from September to May, then we have the summer off, and then it’s back to “school.”
So today, I’m headed back to the studio for the first time this season, taping a show that will run very soon. (Our very first show, the first one you will see, will actually be live from New York City on September 14.) And I have to say, as I head in to Paramount Studios today, I have those same butterflies of excitement in my stomach that I did when I was a kid going back to school after a long summer break.
I swear, even though this is the eighth season of Dr. Phil, I feel this morning as excited as I did when I was 5 years old, walking into school for the first time in life. That might sound strange, given that this is our eighth season, but this year especially is different. This year is so different, because things are changing so much, that I don’t really look at this year as number eight. I look at it more as the first year of a new era of the Dr. Phil show. I say that because the world has changed so dramatically in the last year or so, and we have decided to change with it in order to meet you, our viewers, where you are in your life and times.
The times have changed, and your challenges and issues have changed with them. Everything from the economic challenges we face to marital pressures from money to kids finding new ways to get in harm’s way, it is a new world out there. We’ve even got divorced couples trying to learn to live under one roof, because in this economy, they can’t afford for one of them to leave. Every day, there seems to be some new problem and challenge. In years past, we have dealt with problems. This year, we will focus on solutions. And that is substantive change, not just semantics, as you will quickly see.
Your needs and interests definitely are changing, so the Dr. Phil show is changing, too. My staff and I have spent the summer talking to so many of you, interviewing you, trying to find out what’s happening with your families and your kids. And I want to keep hearing from you. Let me know what you want us to address that we haven’t talked about yet, and check out some of the shows we’re already working on!
OK, I’ve got to calm down and get ready to go back to school — to walk into that studio today and talk to you. It’s such an exciting time — a time to make a difference. I cannot wait for you to see what we’re going to do. I’m loading up the dog and heading off to the studio, and if I don’t quit typing, I’ll be late, so goodbye!