The McLaughlin Group to End 34-Year Run, Following Host's Death

The McLaughlin Group is saying “bye-bye” this weekend, wrapping its more than 34-year run.

The decision comes just days after the passing of John McLaughlin, who hosted the syndicated public affairs program since its debut on Jan. 1, 1982.

“This long-running political commentary and discussion show was consistently an audience favorite,” WTTW CCO Dan Soles said Thursday in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “and we will miss this important contribution to our political coverage. WTTW is proud to have brought the series, and Dr. McLaughlin, to the PBS system.”

McLaughlin died on Tuesday at age 89, not long after sitting out hosting his eponymous program for the first time ever. Longtime panelist Pat Buchanan stepped in as host for last weekend’s episode.

McLaughlin had moderated The McLaughlin Group, a weekly round-table discussion of political issues, since Day 1, but had actively participated in the conversation less frequently in recent months, due to health issues and a wavering voice.

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80 Comments
  1. David4 says:

    He lived a life, sad to see him go but completely understandable that the show must not go on.

  2. ViktoryaC says:

    I spent many a time in front of my tv set learning from and enjoying the knowledge and banter shared by the mclaughlin groups host and guests. Rip john. You were an inspiration!

  3. Michael Summerset says:

    I’m getting the impression that it was McLaughlin that was keeping the show going. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar show replaced it. And considering how every network seems to have their own version of The View, it could have an all female cast.

  4. TV Gord says:

    It’s better to end it now that try to bring someone like Ted McGinley in to keep it chugging past its prime.

    • Michael Bacon says:

      Ted claims he saved Happy Days because it kept going, but we know it was Henry Winkler. But Ted did help keep Married with Children going. He was hilarious in that show.

  5. Danno says:

    My immediate thought running is that the show should end, with a special one hour to 90 minute program retrospective, featuring all prior panelists, should be planned. John was a one of a kind original, and I cannot fathom anyone else at the moment who who could deliver the pizzazz to the show as he had. Although a new program utilizing the same formula and format will surely be developed, I’d really like to see the original panelists still participate in the two – part end of year retrospective and predictions show!

  6. Ann Windebank says:

    My sincerest sympathy to Mr. McLaughlin’s family, friends, coworkers, and followers. While I did not agree with Mr. McLaughlin’s views on so many things, I deeply respected his willingness to bring together unlike opinions in a civil, highly intellectual, and respectful arena so that everyone could consider all sides of an issue. I hope that there will be a similar program in the future that can accomplish what Mr. McLaughlin did. My Friday evenings will be somewhat emptier for viewing worthwhile TV.

  7. Marcia Storey says:

    Just want to know why there was no mention of his death on on the PBS News Hour!

  8. Roy Reno says:

    It proves the old adage, ‘ The only constant is change’. I will truly miss the show and all the participants. It was great entertainment, and intellectually stimulating. My condolences go out to his family. Roy Reno

  9. Jon says:

    Keep it on!!!!!!! We need honest, even discussion.

  10. ronan donohoe says:

    Tonight’s “tribute” is the most stupid thing that could be imagined. What a shame!

  11. Jbrown says:

    Will miss “Issue 1”

  12. Nero tTVFiddler says:

    So sad to hear the news that Mr. McLaughlin had passed away earlier this week, and I assumed that his show would not continue. Apparently, indeed, it will not. I did some reading this evening on John’s career, and was reminded that he had another show called ‘One on One’, which aired for many years alongside it’s more famous sibling show.

    I think when someone like John, who was in our living rooms via PBS television each week for over thirty years, passes away, we not only mourn his passing, but also are reminded of our own longevity and the passage of time.

    It is a sad time, but also a time to reflect on the impact people can have on our lives. I felt the same way when PBS’ Wall Street Week Louis Rukeyser died in 2006. Weekly television over the course of many decades can have that kind of impact on people’s lives.

    I think that is something John (and Lou) would be very proud of – making a mark on the industry and having great impact on their viewer’s lives. I guess you can’t ask for much more than that. And thus, we look back with gratitude for having these television talents in our living rooms for all these many years.

    RIP John.

    RIP ‘The McLaughlin Group’… there will never be another one like it:

    ‘Issue One!’
    ‘Political firestorm brewing in the White House’
    ‘Freddy the beetle Barnes’
    ‘Wrong!!’
    ‘Eleanor, gee I think you’re swell-anor.’
    ‘Jack Germo-oond’
    ‘It’s the year end McLaughlin Group Awards!’ (cue the circus theme song)
    ‘Tony, your award for best political meltdown of the year?’
    ‘And now my prediction…’
    ‘Carnac needs his envelope – Tom, the envelope please.’
    ‘Clarence, you do remember Carnac?’
    ‘Morto-ooon Kondracke’
    ‘Pat, did you recall how my prediction was spot on last week?’
    ‘Ha Ha – who has more money than you, Mort Zuckerman?’
    ‘Wrong!!’
    ‘Predictions, Pat!’
    ‘Bye-Bye!’

    Woof!! (thank you Oliver)

  13. Everett Bower says:

    God bless you John, although we never met, I have been watching you for more than 30 years! Since my teen years (imagine that!), and you will be missed more than you could know. RIP

    I do beg the producers to figure out a way to continue his legacy – for him, and for us! We need it. I would love to see Pat take the moderating job, or Clarence, or maybe get someone we don’t expect, like Rice! I have DVR’d this show for years now and wouldn’t miss it.

    Please continue The McLaughlin Group!

    • Everett Bower says:

      God bless you John, although we never met, I have been watching you for more than 30 years! Since my teen years (imagine that!), and you will be missed more than you could know. RIP

      I do beg the producers to figure out a way to continue his legacy – for him, and for us! We need it. I would love to see Pat take the moderating job, or Clarence, or maybe get someone we don’t expect, like Rice! I have DVR’d this show for years now and wouldn’t miss it.

      Please continue The McLaughlin Group!

      To dear Dr. John McLaughlin – Issue one, Bye-Bye. My prediction is that he may be gone, but he will never be forgotten – not as long as I live.

  14. Linda Novak says:

    I will miss this show very much! It has been my favorite political show for years, with the most intelligent panelists always. Rest in peace, John.

  15. Carlos Trivinos says:

    There were always 4 individuals with strong, educated, most of the tome very intellectual opinions…many time opposing each other substantially. John was an artist in conducting them.
    By far, very, very far the best political analisis weekly.
    I will miss him and the show. Such smart show.

  16. May John McLaughlin rest in peace;
    May his memory be eternal.

  17. Bald Rob says:

    RIP John!! For more than two decades I made it a point to watch the show. So much more refreshing than CNN and FOX talking heads. You will be missed…. BYE BYE!

  18. August Koster van Groos says:

    The Mclaughlin Group will be sorely missed. However, the program did lose a lot of its freshness that was present 30 years ago, as evidenced by the show of 1984, given as a memorial tribute. I would love to see a show with a similar format at the same time slot. There are most certainly journalists/columnist of statue that could do this. My preference would be that international politics, issues, etc would become the focus of at least 50% of the time.

  19. Jorge Santis says:

    I was very upset and appalled about the way that PBS handled McLaughlin’s death. At my station in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, they decided to recycle a 1983 show. How embarrassing and thoughtless. One would think, that after 34 years of broadcasting, they would make a more suitable effort. I thought that they would invite a couple of his weekly panelists and have them comment about their personal experiences with Mr. McLaughlin and his contribution to the media. I am truly outraged that PBS’s management would be so insensitive to his legacy and his fans. Shame on them…

  20. Mary Wildey says:

    What a loss…my husband and I will greatly miss the program. We will especially miss Pat Buchanan and Eleanor Clift. Bravo! Rest in peace Dr. McLaughlin.

  21. Gin says:

    I watched his show every week. Thanks you Pat for stepping up. John will be greatly missed.

  22. Peter Eisen says:

    Cancelling the show is a mistake certainly someone like Pat Buchanan could take over the show as moderator Network TV needs more shows of this kind rather than less to replace it with a garbage reality show would be typical 4 a network such as CBS quality programming seems to be going down the drain rather than being enhanced

    • Dr Gringo says:

      I don’t expect to see The McLaughlin Group replaced by something similar. That would involve both sides being represented equally and no way will PBS allow that. They may come up with another panel show, but it’d be the usual three liberals (plus liberal host) and one nominally conservative panelist to imply “balance” that you see on every other panel show except FOX New Sunday, which is the only 2-on-2 show I can think of.

  23. S B Hierholzer says:

    No! We want everyone else back on the show we so loved. John Maclaughlin will be greatly missed, but there is such a need for this commentary show. Please reconsider and bring the Maclaughlin Group back.

  24. Marie gerrard says:

    Dr. Mclauglin’s passing will create a void in analysis of current events. I will greatly miss watching him on Sunday morning.

  25. barbara schaeffer says:

    i always watched the show every sunday. enjoyed the show. will the show continue under someone else’s direction.? i hope so

  26. Michael says:

    Ever since the combative “Crossfire” show this type of program has interested the American viewing public. This show has been copied but all the major news organizations. Fox News has their political panel. Face the Nation has their political panel. PBS has numerous political panel shows. McLaughlin Group became the leader in this group of shows. It would be in the best interests of PBS and America to resurrect this show in some format. Washington Weekly doesn’t generate the same interest.

  27. Mark Bausch says:

    My favorite Sunday morning political show. Watched it for many years. Going to miss it.

  28. I will greatly miss Dr. John McLaughlin and his Group. My Sunday will never be the same.

  29. Michael says:

    I have to agree a better tribute to McLaughlin show should be produced. I would suggest a look at all his predictions. I’ve always wanted to see his prediction statistics. Possibility hosted by Pat Buchanan or Tom Rogan. PBS needs to find a news vehicle for the charismatic Tom Rogan.

    • RC says:

      I can’t stand Tom Rogan. He talks about “us” and “my generation is getting screwed out of Social Security benefits” and “we must cut back on entitlements”, etc. Why is this over-bearing Limey in this country ? He has nothing but criticism for our system so why doesn’t he go back home to the U.K. ? Maybe he could be of some use to the Royal Household.

  30. Steve says:

    I would like to watch the last episode again is there any chance that it will be shown again or put online. I accidentally missed the last show

  31. Belita Gray-Nichols says:

    So sorry for losing John Mclaughlin, watched since 1988. But losing the whole show makes this a double loss.

  32. Robert A says:

    Enjoyed the open and frank conversations that he promoted. He help me understand that I had a lot of Leanings , that could not be labeled with the sample liberal conservative monikers. Thanks John for expanding my horizons

  33. Steve Jump says:

    At last, Lawrence Welk can expand to 90 minutes.

  34. iris agar says:

    Why can’t this wonderful show continue with another host? Why can’t Patrick Buchanan
    continue as the host. Their is no reason to let this great show go. I’m not happy at all.

  35. C louderback says:

    My Friday night won’t be the same. The man was most articulate especially when correctly speaking the English language. I’ll miss the way he called mort &Eleanor and hearing the r sound.

  36. Paul Rengh says:

    Issue One – There will never be a John McLaughlin. On a scale of 1 to 10, a definite 10! We know this with metaphysical certitude. Bye bye John – you will be missed but always remembered.

  37. Joy M. says:

    I miss this show. My Friday evenings are not the same without my “McLaughlin” friends. How extraordinary that John missed only one program–the last one–in all those 30+ years. Condolences to all those who loved him.

  38. David O'Reilly says:

    Saddest news of the year. I will miss John and his brilliant mind. His loss creates a gap in our culture.

  39. marje says:

    Sad that the show is over. I thought Pat would take the place of John. I know no one can really take his place, but Pat would do a great job. Rest in peace Mr. Mclaughlin.

  40. Mike says:

    No one will ever be able to replace John’s lovable, entertaining hosting style, but the show was about far more than the host. It was a national treasure to have this format and high IQ with passionate, balanced discussion covering all angles. Instead of covering the news moment by moment, they always made sure to zoom out and analyze issues of great importance, even if it wasn’t being discussed elsewhere.

    PLEASE CONTINUE THE SHOW! OUR DISCOURSE WILL DECLINE WITHOUT THE WISDOM OF THE PANELISTS.

  41. M Jordan says:

    The McLaughlin Group was the first political panelist show I ever watched. His engagement and candor helped me to develop an interest in politics.

    RIP – one of the greatest…

  42. Brenda says:

    Condolences to his family. The show wouldn’t be the same though, so it’s best it ends when he ends. God Bless!

  43. Lois Farnworth says:

    John will truly be missed. Definitely one of the best political commentary shows on TV. They should consider bringing the show back for sure. Pat Buchanan would be a great host. The McLaughlin panelists should return — all were great! RIP, John, and THANK YOU for all those wonderful years and your magnificent wisdom!
    Lois F.

  44. Claudia says:

    My husband and I are so very sorry to see the show is ending. It seems quite a waste. We enjoyed each panel discussion and learned so very much. Maybe these panelist could find a way to continue via another similar show.

  45. Vasa Dodenc says:

    R.I.P. John – i enjoyed and learned a lot from your program
    i hope Pat will take over

    Vasa

  46. Bob Robinson says:

    I will miss the show and hope that it will be replaced with something similar. What is Pat Buchanan’s advice concerning the shows replacement?

  47. Jeff Smith. Phx. Az. 602.692.0702 says:

    DON’T END!!! PUT PAT AS HOST AND ADD ME TO THE PANEL!

  48. Kay T. says:

    I enjoyed the show and am very disappointed that it has been canceled. It was smart, high energy, at times bombastic, but always enjoyable and entertaining. There is nothing like it on television today. Couldn’t someone step into the shoes of John McLaughlin??

  49. Willa Douglas says:

    The show was one of the few informative and educational. I think a new moderator should be hired and the show should continue under another name. In this political era, it is invaluable as an information tool to many.

  50. Michele Bartels says:

    So sorry to see this show end. It was a bright spot on Saturday morning in our area. Thank you to all who made the show happen.