Steve Harvey is out as host of NBC's Little Big Shots, which came as a shock to viewers. The reason for his abrupt exit from the show isn't as dramatic as previously suspected, however.
According to Variety's Cynthia Littleton, the network felt Harvey — who hosted the adorable game show and Family Feud — "had too many outside obligations" to maintain his NBC hosting jobs. Littleton revealed in a tweet that the network's response to his firing was to perform a Family Feud skit, which Saturday Night Live star Keenan Thompson filling in as Harvey, during an upfront panel.
"It turns out I got a medical condition that prevents me from saying 'no,'" Thompson, acting as Harvey, said during the performance. "I gotta wrap this up because I'm driving an Uber-pool in 20 minutes."
There's backstory here between Harvey and NBC -- look it up -- but one point is that network felt Harvey had too many outside obligations outside of his NBC gigs, which is why he no longer has any NBC gigs. So there's a lot of inside baseball in this sketch but also ...— Cynthia Littleton (@Variety_Cynthia) May 13, 2019
On Sunday, PEOPLE reported that Harvey would be replaced by Melissa McCarthy as Little Big Shots host. At the time, he'd been hosting the show through its first three seasons. NBC's co-chairman of entertainment, Paul Telegdy, addressed the news in a statement to the magazine.
"Melissa's just an incredible performer and incredible comedian," Telegdy said, adding that the 48-year-old comedic actress "will bring a completely fresh perspective to it."
"Melissa is a strong creative force with her own ideas. Changes will be apparent," he continued.
The hosting change was announced not long after NBC confirmed that Harvey's daytime talk show, Steve, had been canceled after seven years on the network. The show taped its final episode on Thursday, and will air through June. Variety reported that reruns of Steve will show through September. Kelly Clarkson's new daytime show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, will replace Steve. Harvey, 62, expressed uncertainty about his show's fate after it was announced that NBC would be giving Clarkson her own daytime TV show, according to the outlet.
"I thought I was until they made an announcement a couple weeks ago that they wanted to give Kelly Clarkson the owned and operated NBC Networks, and that's my slot," he said at the time. "I'm an honorable guy and I'm just an old school guy and I just thought that you're supposed to talk to people and go, 'Look, you've been good business for us. This is what we're thinking of doing. Are you OK with that?' No, you don't just put something in the paper and say, 'I'm gonna make this move right here' because it's crazy."
An exact date for the show's Season 4 return hasn't yet been set. The network has confirmed, however, that the show will air Sunday nights after the end of football season next winter.