After losing the barely-watched Rosie Show to New York City, Chicago gained a new syndicated talk show on Monday with NBCUniversal’s and Endemol USA’s announcement that the upcoming Steve Harvey will tape in a new, high-definition facility at the NBC Tower.
In addition, three-time Emmy-winning producer winner Alex Duda has been named executive producer of Steve Harvey’s new show. Duda’s credentials include executive producing The Tyra Banks Show, and is currently executive producer of Jerseylicious and Glam Girls, both of which currently air on Style.
Harvey’s new show, which debuts in September, is the first talk show to tape at NBC Tower since NBCUniversal pulled both Jerry Springer and The Steve Wilkos Show from the facility back in 2009 and moved both series to Stamford, Connecticut to take advantage of tax credits provided by the state.
Steve Harvey has been cleared on NBC’s ten owned-and-operated stations, including a 2 p.m. slot at WMAQ-TV here in Chicago, which is based at the NBC Tower. Harvey has cleared 90 percent of the country for this fall, including WCVB-TV in Boston, WFTV in Orlando, and KPTV in Portland, Ore.
Steve Harvey also remains as host of Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which is also syndicated – he is credited for boosting the show’s ratings, and Feud has been renewed through 2015. The last time anyone hosted two syndicated shows at the same time from different companies was Chuck Woolery, who simultaneously held down gigs on Warner Bros.’ Love Connection and his own Group W-syndicated talk show in the fall of 1991 (The Chuck Woolery Show was canceled on November 22, 1991.) Harvey was named Family Feud host in January 2010.
The announcement comes as speculation was ramped up last week about OWN’s The Rosie Show moving out of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios in Chicago and to New York. Rosie O’Donnell put her Lakeview neighborhood home up for sale (and it sold in two days!) Despite several format revamps – including recently eliminating the studio audience to make it a straight-forward interview show (a la 1992’s The Whoopi Goldberg Show), Rosie averaged just 200,000 viewers a night on the struggling OWN network.
The arrival of Harvey’s show is certainly great news for the city – one hundred jobs are expected to be created, according to a press release released by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Other entities (such as restaurants, merchandising, and lodging) would also benefit.
This is also a homecoming for Harvey – the comedian, who is a member of The Original Kings Of Comedy, starred in two prime-time series in the 1990’s, and hosted It’s Showtime At The Apollo, held down morning drive at WGCI-FM in 1996, but had to step down due to a grueling work schedule. Harvey returned to the morning shift in WGCI in 2007 with his syndicated radio show (replacing “Crazy” Howard McGee), but was moved to WVAZ-FM in March 2009 as Harvey’s show – whose target is adults 25-54 – was a better fit for WVAZ (V103) rather than the more younger skewing WGCI. Harvey plans to continue with his syndicated radio show.
Steve Harvey Show joins Judge Mathis and Brandmeier (which is not syndicated) as television productions taped at NBC Tower. In addition to Springer and Wilkos, shows that were formerly taped at NBC Tower include Judge Jeanne Pirro, late-night comedy game show Kwik Witz, and long-running talker Jenny Jones.
(Updated at 10:49 on 2012-03-13 – wrong ABC station/market was used in article – now corrected)