Dr. Mehmet Oz announced on Tuesday that he is running for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat, as a Republican — thus calling into question the future of his daytime-TV program.
In September 2020, The Dr. Oz Show was renewed for Seasons 13 and 14, taking it into Spring 2023.
Reps for Sony Pictures Television, which co-produces The Dr. Oz Show, had no comment, but sources tell us that the studio is reviewing its options and discussing with broadcast partners how to possibly move forward. This much is known, however: what used to be the daytime show’s online hub, DoctorOz.com, abruptly shifted gears on Tuesday, erasing any and all show/tune-in information and replacing it with news of Oz’s campaign launch and a “Why I’m Running” explainer.
Touting himself as “THE RIGHT MEDICINE,” Oz writes (with a full embracing of any and all medical puns), “Today, America’s heartbeat is in a code red in need of a defibrillator to shock it back to life. Many of us feel like we’re in the adjacent operating room, armed with insights and already scrubbed up but reluctant to leave our quiet, serene setting for the chaos next door. But for me, stepping into the political arena is the right thing to do.”
Many paragraphs later, he says in closing, “I’m running for U.S. Senate to reignite our divine spark, bravely fight for freedom, and will tell it like it is.”
Oz formally announced his Senate bid via an op-ed in Tuesday’s Washington Examiner, followed by a video posted to Twitter. A longtime New Jersey resident who as of late has been registered to vote in Pennsylvania, Oz and his name recognition enters what is considered to be a wide-open race now that Sean Parnell, the contender backed by former President Donald Trump, has bowed out amid some controversy.
Of course, Oz himself is no stranger to causing a commotion. In August 2020, to cite one example, he supported the idea that while “any life is a life lost,” a “2% to 3% mortality rate” resulting from the reopening of schools during the pandemic “might be a tradeoff some folks would consider.”
After several years of being a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oz in 2009 launched his eponymous program, which is co-produced by Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures Television.