Show host and former stand-up comedian Steve Harvey revealed that it has always been his dream to hold a gavel on TV and play a judge.
“I came up with this idea 12 years ago and I just never told anybody,” Harvey told media persons at the Television Critics Association virtual winter press tour.
Harvey said ABC executives had a Zoom discussion with him earlier about a potential sitcom but he was not interested in it. The “Miss Universe” host had already starred in a WB sitcom, titled “The Steve Harvey Show,” which ran for six seasons before it ended in 2002. Harvey was yearning to do a different kind of show. Then he mentioned his courtroom comedy idea in the Zoom meeting. The Zoom call went quiet but Harvey played his cards well.
“I told them, I wanted it to be funny. I wanted to be insightful,” he said. “I wanted it to not be about the verdict, but about the story — and the next day, they greenlit it.”
ABC approved his idea for the courtroom comedy “Judge Steve Harvey,” which premiered on the network on Jan. 4.
The show is now entering its third week and has seen mediating all sorts of small-claim cases, including neighbors suing one another over the issue of fallen trees and sisters quarreling over misappropriated funeral funds.
Harvey also took up the case of a frontline essential worker who sued an event planner for misleading her about a raffle-ticket prize for a VIP hotel stay in Atlantic City in New Jersey. The planner had returned some of the plaintiff’s money, which led Harvey to make a less severe judgment. He also treated the plaintiff and two of her friends to an all-expense-paid trip to Las Vegas.
The show’s executive producer Myeshia Mizuno said it was a perfect match for Harvey because of his varied life experiences.
“It’s a natural progression to have Mr. Harvey as a judge. From his standup to the radio to his talk show to his sitcom, this is a natural progression. Him being able to speak on so many things and being able to relate to all types of people is why we know this show is going to be a success,” Mizuno said.
Harvey celebrated his 65th birthday onboard a yacht Monday. He took to Instagram the same day and thanked his well-wishers who sent greetings on his special day.
“Woke up BLESSED!!!! #65___I appreciate all the birthday shoutouts!,” he captioned his post.
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