It has been a banner year for comedian and radio host Steve Harvey, of "The Steve Harvey Morning Show," airing on WDAS-FM. He is having a blast as the host of the enduring game show "Family Feud," and "Think Like a Man," the feature film based on his New York Times bestseller "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," grossed $91 million at the box office. As if that were not enough, his syndicated daytime talk show, "The Steve Harvey Show," which debuted on Sept. 4 on NBC, had the strongest premiere since "Dr. Oz" in 2009. Now with the show up and running for two weeks, Harvey weighedin on its early success.
"I'm pretty blessed. That's all I can say," Harvey said during a recent interview. "It made me feel really good that people would buy into what I'm trying to do over here so quickly. That was nice, and the numbers are holding strong and everybody over here is happy, so I'm pretty comfortable."
While the numbers speak for themselves, Harvey, also an executive producer of the show, gave his personal assessment of the first two weeks on his new job, saying, "So far, so good. I'm really proud of the show. I think it's something very, very different from regular daytime TV, in that there's a very, very male perspective. It's not geared toward men, I just think that it's really great that women hear from a man on a lot of issues, because women have traded a lot of information over the years. It would be good to hear it from the male side - maybe something they can consider. And then, it’s funny, it's inspirational, has a lot of information on it, but it's funny!"
Even so, in the competitive and rapidly changing world of daytime television, Harvey, who is producing his show in Chicago where Oprah Winfrey once reigned supreme, realizes there is always room for improvement.
"Nobody's over here settling. Not by a long shot," he said. Our focus is real people. We just do real people. We don't really do celebrities. We'll have some every now and then, but that's not the focus of the show. So it's just finding the great stories to tell. Finding the stories that people can relate to. I think that's the challenge for us, since we're not going to do celebrities."
The male perspective has suddenly become much more prevalent in daytime television, and Harvey acknowledged another high-ranking newcomer to the talk TV game: former NFL great Michael Strahan, who recently made his debut as the co-host of "Live! With Kelly & Michael," taking the big chair next to the diminutive Kelly Ripa.
"I was watching him when they were trying out all those different guys," said Harvey. "I thought that Michael Strahan was hands-down, far and away the most congenial, very likeable and smart. And he looked the most comfortable. And I think it's great for daytime TV.
"Daytime TV has to look more like America," Harvey continued. "Daytime TV just can't be all white women, and daytime TV has changed where it's a little bit more inclusive, so I think the inclusion of a lot of different people in daytime is smart. I applaud him for being on that early morning show. I'm glad he's not directly up against me!"
Harvey, who recently retired from stand-up comedy after 27 years in the business, closed with a word to his fans, saying, "I really want them to watch this show. Even if you're working, DVR it, TiVo it, do whatever you can, but have your TV tuned in to NBC, Channel 10, up against 'The Talk.' Come on! Let's go! You're going to have a wonderfully good time, and if you know anybody who's not watching, have them watch and record it. This is a really, really good show, and I think you're going to see some things that you don't normally see in daytime TV."