×

Steve Harvey Daytime Talk Show to End After Battle Between NBCUniversal and IMG

Steve Harvey’s syndicated daytime talk show “Steve” will end its run in June.

The writing was on the wall for the show last September year when NBC cut a deal with Kelly Clarkson for a talk-variety hour to launch in the fall. “The Kelly Clarkson Show” will move into the prime daytime slots occupied on NBC O&Os by Harvey’s show for the past seven seasons.

“Steve” taped its final episode on Thursday. Originals will air through June and the show will remain on the air in reruns through September.

The demise of “Steve” raises the question of whether Harvey’s show was a casualty of animosity between NBCUniversal and Endeavor’s IMG Original Content over IMG’s takeover of the show two seasons ago.

Harvey’s entry into the daytime talk arena began in 2012 with “The Steve Harvey Show,” co-produced by Endemol Shine North America and NBCUniversal and distributed by NBCUniversal Television Domestic Television Distribution. That show was taped in Chicago and featured Harvey more in the Oprah Winfrey/Phil Donahue host mode, albeit with his signature humor. The show was one of the few new entries in daytime to deliver solid, if not spectacular, ratings. This season, it has averaged about 1.8 million viewers a week, putting it at No. 5 among syndicated talk shows behind “Dr. Phil,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Live with Kelly and Ryan” and “Maury.”

After his initial five-year deal with Endemol ended, Harvey in 2016 opted to cut a deal with IMG Original Content to produce a new version of the show, renamed “Steve,” that relocated to Los Angeles starting with season six in fall 2017. The new show put more emphasis on celebrity guests and comedic segments. IMG offered Harvey a much larger ownership stake in the show, a higher salary and more creative control over the production. The deal commanded attention in the industry because IMG is a corporate sibling of WME, which represents Harvey, raising the specter of conflict of interest as IMG became Harvey’s production partner.

NBCUniversal executives were furious at losing their stake in Harvey’s show after the transition to IMG, even though it remained the distributor of “Steve.” The new version of the show also remained in its time slots on the NBC O&Os in crucial major markets, but it was no surprise when NBC moved to develop a high-profile new show to replace “Steve.”

A rep for Endeavor, the corporate parent of IMG, declined to comment. A rep for Harvey could not immediately be reached for comment. A source close to the situation asserted that Harvey has no regrets about making the shift to IMG. “Steve took a shot,” the source said. “He still made more money than he would have under the old deal.” An industry observer unconnected to the show noted that the tussle reflected the strain between talent with clout trying to exert more control, with help from nontraditional partners such as agency-affiliated production entities and private equity backers, and the renewed focused by the largest media conglomerates on owning the vast majority of the content carried on their networks.

IMG spent the past few months looking for new stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major markets to keep Harvey on the air in syndication. “Steve” was also shopped to cable and digital buyers. The show has ramped up the production of digital content in recent months, and there’s chatter that Harvey may establish a digital platform, possibly with Facebook, to showcase the kind of comedic and topical segments that have proven popular on the daytime show.

Despite the demise of “Steve,” Harvey will continue to be a regular presence on TV. He’s the host of syndicated game show “Family Feud,” from Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, and he is in demand as an emcee for numerous specials including the annual Miss Universe pageant and Fox’s “New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square.”

POPULAR THIS WEEK: 

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content