Dr. Phil House in Los Angeles Shut Down
Kathy Hutchins/Hutchins photo
Los Angeles city officials have forced the Dr. Phil Show to stop filming at a house where neighbors complained about loud, unruly boarders.
After reviewing a petition by 76 neighbors, city officials concluded that the producers of the weekly "The Dr. Phil House" segment (its motto: "To move on… You've Got to MOVE IN!!!) were violating city ordinances by conducting business in a residential neighborhood. The show, on which therapist Dr. Phil McGraw helps people dealing with a myriad of issues, had purchased the house last June and remodeled it to include dozens of cameras.
Next-door neighbor Tom Griep, one of the petition organizers, said vulgar and loud residents at the house created "chaos" that spilled into the front and back yards.
"The volume was a problem," Griep tells PEOPLE. "There were so many people so much of the time – and the people were the least favorite kind you'd like to have as neighbors."
The Dr. Phil web site describes a couple going through a "marriage meltdown," who move into a Dr. Phil House to help resolve their problems. "Their last resort is to move into The Dr. Phil House, where cameras monitor their every move – and every explosive fight."
A Dr. Phil spokeswoman said the show obtained all of the permits requested by the L.A. Film Commission, and tried to be a respectful neighbor. "There has not been any exterior taping in front of the house and production vehicles did not park on the street," the spokeswoman said, adding that the show "made many improvements and upgrades to the home and provided 24-hour security" around the house.
According to Steve MacDonald, president of FilmL.A., a Building and Safety Department inspector who looked at the property as a result of the complaints said the home seemed more like a permanent sound stage than a temporary film scene. "To the inspector, this looked like a long-term use," said MacDonald.
The Dr. Phil spokeswoman emphasized that the show had ceased production in only that location, and "the Dr. Phil House will continue to be prominent part of The Dr. Phil Show."
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