Complete Coverage: 2017 TCA Summer Press Tour
Come Sept. 5, Steve Harvey will premiere the new version of his talk show, Steve, after a move to Los Angeles and a switch in focus to more comedy and celebrity. The new show is produced by IMG-WME and distributed by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution.
“I created a concept with [Executive Producer] Shane [Farley],” said Harvey during a panel at the 2017 TCA summer press tour. “I wanted to bring late night TV to daytime. I think that’s what’s missing. After doing daytime for five years, no one watches daytime for takeaway anymore. They need to just laugh in the middle of the day, I’ve been restricted on that in the past five years. People need to have a place to go to laugh instead of waiting until 11 p.m. at night.”
Off the bat, Harvey addressed a harsh memo he sent to the staff of his Chicago-based talk show at the start of last season.
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“I learned two things from that email. Number one, I can’t write and I should never write. I wrote that email a year ago. Somebody didn’t get a job in L.A., so they sent it to [Robert] Feder in Chicago. I knew I was in trouble when I saw it [reported] on CNN,” Harvey said. “I thought it was cute, you all didn’t.”
That said, Harvey is bringing 10 staffers with him from Chicago to his new show being shot on the Universal Studios lot in Burbank, Calif., to help fill out a staff of about 60, said Farley.
The new show will have a “late-night in the daytime” feel, with an emphasis on comedy.
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“Late-night was my dream,” said Harvey. “From Johnny Carson on, I always wanted to do late-night. It wasn’t in the cards so I did a daytime show.”
The show will open with a monologue and then move over to the desk, where Harvey, who also hosts top-rated Family Feud and Celebrity Family Feud, will host a game segment.
“On the Chicago show, it was information first and comedy second. This show will be comedy first, but human interest will still be on this show. It’s a simple flip,” said Farley. “The word late-night comes up because there will be Steve’s comedy all throughout.”
“A huge reason we put a game in the show is because he’s a triple threat – he’s an interviewer, he’s hysterical, and he’s a game show host. That’s actually a thing that a lot of people can’t do,” said Farley.
The show also will have celebrities on each day as well as human-interest segments, field pieces and bands and musical performances.
“There are two things this show has to do,” said Harvey. “When you tune in to see this new show in the middle of the day it will be so funny. Ellen [DeGeneres] needs a friend, someone to go with her and have that type of show. We’re already friends – she needs company, so I decided that this was the place to do it.”
On many NBC-owned stations and affiliates, Steve will air prior to Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres. The two hosts are also friends and production partners, working together on the Harvey-hosted Little Big Shots on NBC.
Harvey, who will also continue to do his other radio and TV shows while doing his daytime show, says the past five years of doing The Steve Harvey Show in Chicago has kept him close to women and what they want to watch.
“I have championed women on my show the whole five years I’ve been there – talking about dating and relationships, giving advice, discussing how powerful they are,” Harvey said.
While Harvey will continue with all of this other projects, including his drive-time radio program and Steve Harvey’s Funderdome on ABC, he says his daytime show is his top priority.
“I met with Steve to show him renderings of the set,” said Farley. “When we were finished with the meeting, he looked at me and said ‘this show is really important to me. My whole career took me to this point and I’ve been dreaming about this show since I was a little kid. This is a dream that’s come true. Everything since then has made this show possible.’”
“I wish I could tell you that I mapped it out this way but I didn’t,” said Harvey, who is outspoken about his faith. “What’s happened in my life right now is just a lot of God’s grace. No one can sit up and say I’m going to do seven shows and I’m going to make six of those shows number one every time it airs. If I knew I could do that, I would have done it when I was 32. I didn’t plan it. I never thought I would have this much success on TV. The reason it’s humbling for me is because I get it. It’s not because I’m all that. You have to have some grace in your life to get to this level. I’m just a product of a lot of grace.”
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