NBC5 studios home to ‘Steve Harvey’ show this fall

Steve Harvey, TV, radio host, comedian and author

NBC studios have been vacant for all too long, since the departure of Jerry Springer, will come to life this fall with a new syndicated daytime talk show, hosted by veteran TV personality and comedian Steve Harvey,

The “Steve Harvey” show is being produced at the new HD Ch. 5 studios in the NBC Tower by Edemol USA (“Big Brother,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and  distributed nationally by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution and will air locally on NBC 6.

The hourlong weekday show airing at 2 p.m. will focus on “relationship themes,” including romance, marriage, parenting, navigating today’s workplace and also will incorporate Harvey’s comedy roots.

“We are thrilled to host and launch the new ‘Steve Harvey’ show,” Larry Wert, president and general manager of NBC 5 Chicago, said in a statement.

“This production will create new jobs and a destination for studio audiences here in Chicago. As we welcome ‘Steve Harvey,’ NBC 5 will be unveiling our new best-in-class HD studio facility, which will further Illinois’ efforts to bring new film projects to the state.”

Gov. Pat Quinn chimed in, saying, “We welcome Steve Harvey to the great state of Illinois and look forward to a long-lasting relationship with the show, NBC Universal and Edemol, USA.”

Springer’s syndicated TV show left here in 2009

The last daytime show NBC 5 produced here was almost three years was “The Jerry Springer Show”.   After being a well-entrenched institution and audience magnet here for 17 years NBC Universal abruptly yanked it from  Chicago in July, 2009 and resettled it in new specially-built studios in Stamford, Connecticut that fall. 

The show was resettled when the producers were unable to obtain Illinois tax credits, that had been promised them and approved by the state legislature.  But in the end, it was decreed that  the film tax credits do not apply to “talk shows,” although the case can be made that talk shows, especially like Harvey’s upcoming format, are actually “entertainment shows.”

The so-called logic excluding talk shows, when the tax bill was originally constructed, was that they, like news shows, are deemed “local productions.” 

Sources tell the Reel that “Steve Harvey” is eligible for the Illinois 30% tax credit since the TV show been rightfully categorized as an “entertainment show.”  This accommodation should further encourage similar productions to make centrally-located Chicago their point of origination.    

The good news about the Harvey show

NBC Universal estimates that “Steve Harvey” could bring an audience of  approximately 35,000 each year to Chicago, which  NBC Universal’ president, Barry Wallach, calls “an outstanding, multicultural city that offers access to talented production crews, the best audiences in the country and is the perfect home for ‘Steve Harvey’.”

The production is expected to create approximately 100 Illinois-based jobs and generate more than $25 million in “trickle down” revenue in the general economy.

The show already has been sold to station groups representing more than 90 percent of the country, including all 10 NBC-owned television stations.

Harvey a TV, movie, radio star and author

A West Virginia native who grew up in Cleveland, Harvey started his career as a standup comedian in the early ‘90s leading to a long running show, “Showtime at the Apollo.”  He had a starring role  in “Me and the Boys” in 1994 and had his own series, ”The Steve Harvey Show, .”  earning four NAACP awards for best actor in comedy series.   In 2010 he took over as host of “Family Feud.”

His best-known role probably was as one of four comedians featured in Spike Lee’s film, “The Original Kings of Comedy.”

In 2009 Harvey became a bestselling author of comedic relationship advice books, “At Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” followed by “Straight Talk, No Chaser.”