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Steve Harvey on Little Big Shots

The Real Reason Steve Harvey Left 'Little Big Shots'

Gettyimages | NBC
By Mark Evans

The fourth season of "Little Big Shots" is getting ready to premiere on March 1st. It will have many of the same popular features that the first three seasons had including super-talented kids. The one thing that will be missing is...Steve Harvey, the host. Harvey will be replaced by a new host, comedian and actor Melissa McCarthy. If you wonder why Harvey will be absent and why NBC tapped McCarthy, read on to find out exactly how this all went down.

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Steve Harvey on Little Big Shots
Gettyimages | NBC

Harvey's full deal with NBC included three seasons of the popular children's talent show and a total of 7 seasons of his syndicated daytime talk show. The announcement of the deal ending officially came in May 2019. NBCU announced that Melissa McCarthy would take over as Harvey’s host for Little Big Shots and The Kelly Clarkson Show would take over his talk show afternoon slot. But Harvey knew his relationship with the network was done way back in January of 2019.

Steve Harvey on Little Big Shots
Gettyimages | NBC

It was in January, at the Variety Entertainment Summit that he told reporters that he thought he was going to stay with NBCUniversal “until they made an announcement a couple weeks ago that they wanted to give Kelly Clarkson the [NBC] O&O networks — that’s my slot. … I thought it would have been nice of them to come to me — as the only dude who’s survived [in daytime TV] for seven years — about it.” NBCU was working to replace Harvey because he opted to cut a deal with IMG Original Content to produce a new version of his talk show to start in fall 2017. This came right after Harvey’s initial five-year contract with Endemol Shine North America ended.

Steve Harvey on Little Big Shots
Gettyimages | NBC

NBCUniversal lost its stake in the show when it made its move to IMG, even though NBCU was still the distributor. The company started looking for a new show to replace Steve because its executives were reportedly “furious” about losing their stake in the talk show. The turmoil over Harvey’s talk show is likely the reason that led to NBC ending his Little Big Shots hosting job. Variety also reported that Harvey was going to receive a large salary raise if he hosted a fourth season of the show.

Steve Harvey on Little Big Shots
Gettyimages | NBC

NBC announced that McCarthy would be taking over for Harvey on the show, and the network executives called it a “brand refresh.” “Melissa’s just an incredible performer and incredible comedian,” said NBC co-chairman of entertainment Paul Telegdy. “She will bring a completely fresh perspective to it.” He also said that McCarthy is a “strong creative force” who would bring “her own ideas” to the show and there “changes will be apparent” when she takes over. “One of the many remarkable things that we get to witness on Little Big Shots is all of these kids being exactly who they are,” says McCarthy. “[They’re] doing things differently and absolutely just being the best versions of themselves. It is absolutely an inspiration.” Little Big Shots airs Sundays at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.

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