The Steve Harvey Show

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The Steve Harvey Show
Steve harvey show.jpg
Also known as Steve Harvey
Format Sitcom
Created by Winifred Hervey
Directed by Stan Lathan
Starring Steve Harvey
Cedric the Entertainer
Merlin Santana
William Lee Scott
Wendy Raquel Robinson
Terri J. Vaughn (seasons 2-6)
Lori Beth Denberg (seasons 1-6, regular; season 2, recurring)
Tracy Vilar (season 1)
Netfa Perry (season 1)
Ariyan A. Johnson (season 2)
Composer(s) Patrice Rushen
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 122 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Brad Grey
Bernie Brillstein
Winifred Hervey
Stan Lathan
(all; entire series) Jeffrey Duteil (season 2)
Walter Allen Bennett, Jr.
(seasons 3-4)
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Winifred Hervey Productions
Stan Lathan Television (entire run)
Brillstein-Grey Entertainment (1996-1999)
Brad Grey Television (1999-2002)
Universal Television (1999-2002)
Columbia TriStar Television (1996-2002)
Distributor Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
Broadcast
Original channel The WB
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run August 28, 1996 (1996-08-28) – February 17, 2002 (2002-02-17)
External links
Website

The Steve Harvey Show (also known as Steve Harvey) is an American sitcom that aired for six seasons from August 25, 1996 to February 17, 2002 on The WB Television Network. It was created by Winifred Hervey and directed by Stan Lathan.

Synopsis[edit]

Steve Hightower (Steve Harvey) is a has-been 1970s funk legend who is now a music teacher/Vice-principal at Booker T. Washington High School on Chicago's West Side. Budget cutbacks meant Steve also had to teach drama and art, much to his surprise. Cedric Robinson (Cedric the Entertainer) is a coach at the high school, and Steve's long-time best friend. The principal of Booker T. Washington High is Steve's former classmate, Regina Grier (Wendy Raquel Robinson), who Steve affectionately calls "Piggy", due to the fact that she was overweight as an adolescent.

Steve seemingly meets his match in a pair of his students: Romeo Santana (Merlin Santana), a stylish, popular, self-absorbed ladies' man, and the equally vacuous Stanley Kuznocki, nicknamed Bullethead (William Lee Scott).

In 1997, the show introduced a new character, a secretary named Lovita Jenkins (Terri J. Vaughn), a woman who is fundamentally good in nature, but nonetheless, considerably unrefined in terms of disposition. Cedric and Lovita begin dating, and eventually marry and produce a child. The show also featured a succession of young actresses who served as female foils to Romeo and Bullethead; the longest-lasting of these was Lori Beth Denberg as the overachieving, socially inept Lydia Gutman. Rapper The Lady of Rage also had a recurring role as Coretta "The Ox" Cox, a physically massive, brutish teenaged girl in romantic pursuit of Romeo. She would also call Bullethead a "broke Brad Pitt" whenever he annoyed her.

Steve was part of a fictional singing group called "Steve Hightower and the High Tops," who would temporarily reunite to perform on occasion (the spelling of "High Tops" appears on a promotional poster that hangs on Steve's wall). The members consisted of Steve, T-Bone (played by T.K. Carter, later by Don 'D.C.' Curry), Pretty Tony (played by Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers), and Clyde (played by Jonathan Slocumb). Two of their signature songs (performed several times on the show) were "When the Funk Hits the Fan," and "Break Me Off a Piece of That Funk." Though Cedric was not an original member of the group, he usually sang with them on several events.

A few other recurring characters throughout the series included Cedric's grandmother named "Grandma Puddin'" (played by Cedric the Entertainer) and Regina's boyfriend, former NFL star Warrington Steele (played by Dorien Wilson). Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell appeared in several episodes as "Junior" and "Vincent." Wayne Wilderson portrayed Byron, a "bougie" type character who was a TV producer and a member of the Onyx Club (a professional men's group that Steve and Cedric tried to join). Dwayne Adway played Jordan Maddox, a professional basketball player who was briefly married to Regina before dying during their honeymoon. Ernest Lee Thomas made a couple of appearances as the Reverend who eulogized Maddox, and who married Cedric and Lovita.

Running gags[edit]

There were a few recurrent gags throughout the series. For instance, Lovita had several relatives named after products or items (her brother's name was Duracell; she had cousins named "Kinko", "Bruschetta," "Clinique," and "Camay").

Steve also made several references to his well known hot spot "The Nasty Kitty" and his favorite working girl, Bubblicious, even though the strip club is never seen. Steve's topical humor of popular culture was also another recurring gag. One example of these jokes: "When I see that woman, I'm like Shaq doing Shakespeare- I just don't know how to act!". Another recurring gag on the show was despite being a one-time famous musician in the universe of the show, Steve was always mistaken for being other famous musicians. For example, in an episode guest starring Jerry Springer, he refers to him as "That Cop from the Village People." Another episode featured singer Teena Marie, who when Steve went to introduce himself to see if she'd remember him, answers "Oh Yes! Lionel! How are you? Give my best to the rest of The Commodores." (This was in obvious reference to singer Lionel Richie).

Though Regina blossomed into a beautiful, stylish lady, she sometimes displayed her insecurities, and was highly competitive (always displayed childlike exuberance whenever she won a trophy by yelling her signature catch phrase "Bam! In your face!", and once cheated Steve in a game of Scrabble because he played it better than she). In addition, the romantic tension between Steve and Regina eventually blossomed into a relationship, though they never kissed on the show.

A very well known gag was Cedric's story about being from Willacoochee, Georgia, where he was raised in a one bedroom shack. The story was never finished, the scene would change or someone would interrupt him. Cedric's love for decking out his Hyundai, which was never seen in the show, was another running gag, as well as offering to take Lovita out to dinner whenever he had a two-for-one coupon at the Sizzler restaurant.

Occasional gags referenced Bullethead's trailer park lifestyle, and Romeo's numerous names (he has used the names Romeo Miguel Jesus Pele Rojas Alejandro Santana). In one episode, he wrote all of his names on paper but never prepared his assignment, resulting in an "F." Lydia almost always displayed an obsession for her classmate/alleged lover, Arthur Rabinowitz (whom Steve referred to as "that polite Jewish boy that does his taxes"), and for her favorite entertainer, Barbra Streisand; however, she had total disdain for classmates "Heather the cheerleader" and "Jennifer the cheerleader". One other gag was that teachers would refer to a student (amongst themselves) due to a condition or appearance ("Helmet Boy" for wearing a special helmet in gym class; "Au Natural Girl" for having a strong body odor, and "Firestarter" for one kid who kept setting items on fire).

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Special guest appearances[edit]

Seasonal ratings in the United States[edit]

Season Network Season premiere Season finale Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 The WB August 28, 1996 May 21, 1997 #147[1] 2.7 household rating[1]
2 September 10, 1997 May 13, 1998 #144[2] 3.4 household rating[2]
3 September 18, 1998 May 21, 1999 #125[3] 4.1[3]
4 September 24, 1999 May 19, 2000 #146[4] 2.2[4]
5 October 8, 2000 May 20, 2001 #138[5] 2.1[5]
6 October 14, 2001 February 17, 2002 #141[6] 3.0[6]

Series end[edit]

In 2001, Harvey decided to pursue other projects. He wished to end the show after the fifth season, but at the insistence of the WB network, reluctantly filmed a 13-episode sixth season.[7]

The series ended with Regina mulling over a job offer to be a principal at a private school in California. Steve, who doesn't want Regina to go, acts supportive despite his feelings. Regina ends up taking the job; with encouragement from Lydia, Bullethead, and Romeo, Steve decides to go after her to reveal his true feelings. Lydia, Romeo, and Bullethead have all graduated by the series' finale. Meanwhile, Cedric and Lovita win the lottery and Lovita goes into labor (Terri J. Vaughn's real-life pregnancy was written into the show that season).

Death of Merlin Santana[edit]

On November 9, 2002, nine months after the show ended, Merlin Santana was shot in the head and killed while sitting in his friend's (Brandon Adams) car in South Los Angeles, California. He was 26 years old. The reason for his death is that the killers' girlfriend falsely stated that Santana tried to rape her. The airing of The Steve Harvey Show immediately following Santana's death was dedicated to his memory.

Syndication[edit]

The series was first distributed to syndication to WB and UPN affiliates in the United States by Columbia TriStar Television Distribution in September 2000, and remained airing in broadcast syndication in some U.S. markets on various local stations (such as WCIU and Me-TV in Chicago) as late as 2008.

The series aired on BET until March 2009, and was on TBS in the United States until September 24, 2011, UK Channel Trouble. It was broadcast on Ion Television until March 16, 2009. TBS missed most of the first inning of Game 6 of the 2008 American League Championship Series, with viewers getting a rerun of The Steve Harvey Show instead. TBS picked up the game just prior to the last out in the bottom of the first, with announcer Chip Caray apologizing to viewers for "technical difficulties." TBS acknowledged there was a problem with one of their routers used in the broadcast transmission of the relay of the telecast from Atlanta.[8][9]

DVD release[edit]

In 2003, Sony Pictures released The Best of the Steve Harvey Show, Vol. 1, on Region 1 DVD. The disc features five episodes of the series.[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1996 NCLR Bravo Awards Nominated Outstanding Individual Performance in a Comedy Series Tracy Vilar
Nominated Outstanding Individual Performance in a Comedy Series Merlin Santana
1998 ALMA Award Nominated Outstanding Comedy Series
-
Nominated Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Tracy Vilar
Nominated Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Merlin Santana
1999 Nominated Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Merlin Santana
1998 NAACP Image Awards Nominated Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Steve Harvey
Nominated Outstanding Comedy Series
-
1999 Nominated Outstanding Comedy Series
-
Won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Cedric the Entertainer
Won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Steve Harvey
2000 Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Terri J. Vaughn
Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Wendy Raquel Robinson
Won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Cedric the Entertainer
Won Outstanding Comedy Series
-
Won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Steve Harvey
2001 Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series William Lee Scott
Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Merlin Santana
Nominated Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Wendy Raquel Robinson
Won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Terri J. Vaughn
Won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Cedric the Entertainer
Won Outstanding Comedy Series
-
Won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Steve Harvey
2002 Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Merlin Santana
Nominated Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Wendy Raquel Robinson
Won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Terri J. Vaughn
Won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Cedric the Entertainer
Won Outstanding Comedy Series
-
Won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Steve Harvey
2003 Won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Terri J. Vaughn

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bibler, Frank (July 26, 2002). "Complete TV Ratings 1996–1997". 
  2. ^ a b "Final Ratings for '97–'98 TV Season". San Francisco Chronicle. May 25, 1998. 
  3. ^ a b "Final ratings for the 1998–1999 TV season". The Place. OoCities. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. 
  4. ^ a b "TV Ratings 1999-2000". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  5. ^ a b Bibler, Frank (July 26, 2002). "TV Ratings 2000–2001". 
  6. ^ a b "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. 
  7. ^ "`The Steve Harvey Show' ends after six seasons". Jet. 2002-03-18. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  8. ^ Hoch, Bryan (October 19, 2008). "Game 6 TV broadcast interrupted". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  9. ^ Sandomir, Richard (October 19, 2008). "On TBS, Long Wait for Game’s First Pitch". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "The Best of the Steve Harvey Show, Vol. 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]