Steve Harvey Talker on Tap

Jan 12, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Telepictures is looking at extending its relationship with Steve Harvey.
A full-season slate of The WB’s prime-time series “Steve Harvey’s Big Time” could soon be just the tip of the iceberg for producer Telepictures now that the studio is exploring a possible talk show for the entertainer. The series could launch as early as fall 2004, and though the series would likely be targeted for daytime audiences, sources said late-night remains a possibility as well.
“Big Time” will likely return for another season, according to some industry analysts. It has been joined by “The Jamie Kennedy Show” in The WB’s Thursday night lineup. The series received a full-season order in November.
Mr. Harvey is, of course, no stranger to the syndicated ranks, having hosted “Showtime at the Apollo,” a weekly first-run series. Off-network runs of “The Steve Harvey Show” continue to air, most recently earning a 1.2 household rating.
Telepictures executives have been busy preparing for the new season, recently renewing “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” with the NBC owned-and-operated stations. However, the future of freshman talk show “The Sharon Osbourne Show” is still up in the air, and sources said the distributor is mulling backup plans in case the series is not picked up. This may or may not affect the decision to move forward with any of the contenders for new series next season. Mr. Harvey’s project will join at least two others the syndicator is said to be seriously considering, including vehicles for motivational speaker Jessica Weiner and former “Moral Court” host Larry Elder.
Ms. Weiner is an author, speaker and performer who has written books, including “A Very Hungry Girl: How I Filled Up on Life and How You Can, Too.” In addition, she is founder of the Act Out Ensemble, a national touring theater company based in Indianapolis. She is the author of numerous social issue plays covering topics such as eating disorders, relationships, school violence, date rape and hate crimes, according to her bio.
On her talk show, from producer Media-Savvy, she would help guests deal with social and emotional problems.
Meanwhile, the Larry Elder project is said to have a lot of backing from top Telepictures brass. Mr. Elder was host of Telepictures’ “Moral Court” several years ago and continues to host a national syndicated radio show. He has authored such books as “The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America.” Telepictures has shot a pilot featuring Mr. Elder in a talk show setting.
A Telepictures spokesman would not comment on shows in development.
Already cleared for the fall are NBC Enterprises’ “The Jane Pauley Show,” Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” spinoff “The Insider” and Twentieth’s reality strip “Ambush Makeover.” A series from Buena Vista hosted by Tony Danza, Sony’s “Life and Style” and “Pat Croce: Moving In” and Universal’s Lynda Lopez project are still looking for homes.