Harvey Syndication Project Gains Momentum

Aug 27, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Two weeks after announcing his talk show pilot with Twentieth Television, details are emerging from the pilot taping of Steve Harvey’s upcoming strip being developed for the 2008 season.
The distributor landed the deal with Mr. Harvey in recent weeks and already shot a pilot for the potential series, multiple sources said. A number of station executives, including Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations Group, attended the pilot taping, the sources said, an unusual move for a station executive.
Mr. Abernethy’s attendance and positive early buzz from sources who saw the pilot could bode well for the future of the series being picked up for the syndication marketplace.
The Monday-through-Friday strip would be based at the set of Mr. Harvey’s radio program “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” with cameras capturing the humor and celebrity visits a la Howard Stern’s former series at E!.
A Twentieth spokesperson declined to comment.
TelevisionWeek broke the story of Mr. Harvey’s potential entry into first run syndication in May. At least two distributors were interested in the show at that time.
On the radio — as well as on the potential syndicated television program — Mr. Harvey is joined by Shirley Strawberry, Carla Ferrell and Mr. Harvey’s nephew Tommy. Mr. Harvey previously hosted “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” and starred in the comedy series “The Steve Harvey Show” on the WB from 1996 to 2002, which went into off-network syndication.
“Steve Harvey has a proven track record in both radio and television, with a loyal audience that clearly boosts his urban appeal to stations,” said Katz Media VP and director of programming Mr. Carroll when news broke of Mr. Harvey’s interest in a talk show.
If the show is picked up from pilot, the series is expected to be a good match for Fox’s MyNetwork affiliates although it remains to be seen whether the strip would move forward as predominantly a daytime or late-night show.
Mr. Harvey’s project is among several being developed for first-run syndication in the 2008 season. Twentieth already has a series in development with Reveille called “The Mom Show,” which will aim to bring celebrities and parenting authorities together to examine family topics.
Other first-run series under development include NBC Universal’s daytime version of “Deal or No Deal” with Howie Mandel. In the works at Telepictures is a reality series “The Dump Truck,” a talk show with Bonnie Hunt and a court show. In addition, CBS signed Judge Larry Seidlin, best known for presiding over the Anna Nicole Smith paternity case, for a possible series.

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