Steve Harvey is the centerpiece of an expensive new entry into the daytime sweepstakes — one named after him, just like his ongoing syndicated radio show ( The Steve Harvey Morning Show) and his WB sitcom ( The Steve Harvey Show).
Shooting on a lavish new set in NBC Tower studio, where chairs and vitriol used to fly until Jerry Springer was lured away to Connecticut, Harvey joins Katie Couric, Ricki Lake and Survivor’s Jeff Probst in trying to win a place on the agendas of people who are home weekday afternoons and still missing Oprah. The Harvey TV show runs on the stations NBC owns plus enough others to cover 98 percent of the country.
The dream of late-night has been put away with, to hear Harvey tell it now, other childish notions.
“The problem is, I messed around and kind of grew up,” he said. “I kind of matured a lot. I really got into family. I really got into my wife. I really, you know, got in touch with my faith again and just started going, ‘OK, man, what’s this all about?’ And next thing you know, after the success of the book” — Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, an advice book he wrote to his daughters — “and the success of Family Feud” — he has improved the ratings as the new host of the venerable game show — “I looked up and I really wasn’t suited for nighttime anymore. I became a daytime TV player. I didn’t plan it like that, but I’ll take it.”
A straight man hosting daytime TV — as Harvey put it, “a man’s man” — is not the ordinary thing: The audience is still predominantly women, and the vibe that works tends to be coffee klatch. But Harvey’s stand-up roots show in his ease with the studio audience. His life as the father of seven and the author of best-selling advice books showed in his willingness to draw from his own experience and give counsel.
Harvey’s goal, he said, is to find space to be funny, be himself, but also to give people something valuable they can apply to their own lives.
“When you tune in to Steve Harvey starting Sept. 4, it’s going to be inspirational, it’s going to be uplifting and it is going to be funny,” he said. “That’s the take-away from it. You know, daytime TV, I can’t reinvent the wheel here. There are themes on daytime TV that are like must-haves.”
The Chicago Tribune