Soap operas aren’t the only daytime television where sometimes there’s more drama behind the camera than in front. Variety is reporting that the end of Steve Harvey’s talk show Steve may be the victim of a feud between NBCUniversal and Endeavor’s IMG Original Content.
Reportedly, NBCUniversal was upset when Harvey opted to cut a deal with IMG Original in 2016 that gave him a larger ownership stake in the re-titled show Steve than his original platform The Steve Harvey Show. Steve kept the same time slots on NBCUniversal stations, but instead of owning a stake in the show NBCUniversal was relegated to just distributing it.
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.
Losing the ownership stake in the syndicated show, which ranked No. 5 among the big names in daytime talk, sent NBCUniversal looking for more financially rewarding alternatives for the time slot occupied by Steve.
Enter beloved pop singer Kelly Clarkson, who just so happens to be a regular judge on NBC’s The Voice and recently hosted the Billboard Music Awards. NBCUniversal will be replacing Steve with her upcoming talk-variety hour program The Kelly Clarkson Show in the fall.
The Steve Harvey Show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host Daytime Emmy in 2017 and Outstanding Talk Show Informative in 2014 and 2015.