A new chapter in Dr. Phil's publicity crisis was written over the weekend, and some sources close to the show wonder whether his show will survive.
NOTE: Cross your fingers that it won't!
Already having the year from hell, the shrink and daytime talk show host is under some intense scrutiny for posting $30,000 bail for Mercades Nichols, one of eight teens arrested for severely beating another teenager in Florida.
The Dr. Phil show has issued a statement saying that "certain staff members went beyond our guidelines (re: the bail being paid)," but a source close to the show's production fears that this incident could be the final straw.
"It's getting desperate behind the scenes. Dr. Phil is so demanding, and there's a feeling anyone will do anything for the get. But it creates chaos. I don't know how much longer everyone can take it," a source told MSNBC.
Dr. Phil just wants to help... by meddling and trying to cash in.
The talk-show shrink earlier this year came under fire for spreading word that he'd visited Britney Spears at Cedar-Sinai at the request of the family, and was going to be the one to save the troubled pop star.
Later on, however, with the recovering pop singer still in the hospital, a doubt began to emerge as to whether the self-serving hack sought the publicity from getting involved, rather than the Spears family really requesting his services.
Thus, credibility concerns are front and center right now.
"People don't trust him like they used to," a source revealed. "The Britney Spears incident was beyond embarrassing. How do you bounce back from this?"
Does that mean Dr. Phil's days with the show are numbered?
Rumors about Oprah Winfrey's Harpo productions cutting ties with Dr. Phil have been circulating for months, but even if Harpo did pull out, it's still CBS TV that handles the day-to-day production of the show. Stay tuned.