Steve Harvey, TV personality and multi-hyphenate entertainer/entrepreneur, admitted that he was surprised when NBC announced that a new show hosted by Kelly Clarkson would take over his timeslot on its owned-and-operated stations.
Harvey, a headline speaker at the Variety Entertainment Summit at CES, was asked by interviewer Variety co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein whether he going to stay with NBCUniversal. Harvey responded, “I thought I was, until they made an announcement a couple weeks ago that they wanted to give Kelly Clarkson the [NBC] O&O networks – that’s my slot.”
Insiders confirmed to Variety that NBCUniversal, which had been distributing Harvey’s daytime yakker, “Steve,” will no longer be doing so after the end of this season. IMG, which produces the show, has been shopping the show to various syndication, cable, streaming, and broadcast outlets. A source said Harvey has options on the table, and is confident “Steve” will continue elsewhere after this year.
Last September, NBC announced the pickup “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” from NBCU Domestic Television Distribution, hosted by the pop singer and slated to debut in the fall of 2019.
“I thought it would have been nice of them to come to me — as the only dude who’s survived [in daytime TV] for seven years — about it,” Harvey said, referring to the Clarkson announcement. He added, “I gotta make announcements too,” adding mischievously, “It will be something real cute.”
A year ago, NBCUniversal Domestic TV renewed “Steve” for the 2018-19 season on stations covering 90% of U.S. TV households, including NBC-owned stations. “Daytime television is dying,” Harvey said. “My show… is the only show in the last seven years in syndication that has stuck.”
Harvey launched “Steve” in 2017, replacing “The Steve Harvey Show,” another daytime talk show that had been produced by EndemolShine North America. Unlike “Steve Harvey,” Harvey owns a stake in “Steve” with IMG.
Harvey, TV personality and actor-comedian-producer-author, said about daytime TV that “it’s a very tough space right now,” noting that technology lets viewers watch shows whenever they want. He also blasted Nielsen ratings as “the most archaic thing ever created.”
Harvey said he’s looking more closely at internet-video platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, after viral social-media clips from “Family Feud” have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars. “That’s money right now. There’s no delayed gratification. That money shows up now and goes into your account,” he said, adding “I’ve just got to figure out how to have a damn dance-off everyday.”
At the same time, Harvey said he had “mixed feelings” about social media: “It’s not fun anymore… [Social media has] made the price of fame too costly,” he said. “Everyone who’s a hater has a voice now.”
Meanwhile, Ellen DeGeneres, whose “The Ellen Show” has been a daytime powerhouse, recently said she is considering ending the show in a New York Times interview. Her contract for “Ellen” runs through mid-2020.
“I don’t know what she’s going to do… I want her to do what’s best for her health,” Harvey said. “She’s the most popular person on television,” adding with a chuckle, “I’m second.”
Harvey said he’s attending CES in Las Vegas for the first time. “I didn’t even know it existed,” he quipped. “I’m 61. I just stopped writing things down on index cards.”
“Steve” features light fare including celebrity guests, comedy segments and audience games. The show, a reboot of his earlier talk show, is produced by Harvey in partnership with IMG, an affiliate of his agency WME.
The entertainer has a digital offshoot with “Harvey’s Hundreds,” a game app based on a segment of his show. He also produces “Rolling With Steve Harvey,” which presents off-camera moments that happen between commercial breaks and behind the scenes on his shows, available on SteveHarvey.com and platforms including YouTube.
Harvey has hosted numerous TV specials, including Miss Universe pageants, most recently Fox’s New Year’s Eve coverage live from Time’s Square. He joked that after his famous Miss Universe faux pas in 2015 when he announced the wrong winner, “They didn’t think I’d ever be back on that.”
He also hosts syndicated game shows “Family Feud” and spinoff “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Little Big Shots,” and radio program “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.” “I’ve already proven I’m the hardest-working man in show business,” Harvey said. “I’m working smarter.”
Earlier in this career, Harvey hosted “Showtime at the Apollo” for seven years and created and starred in sitcom “The Steve Harvey Show,” co-starring Cedric the Entertainer, on The WB Network.
Michael Schneider contributed to this report.