Talk Back

The Next Oprah Is Here…It’s Steve Harvey

The media, entertainment industry and the public has been looking for the new Oprah Winfrey ever since her show went off the air in May of 2011. Who, and what is the new Oprah supposed to be? A daytime talk show host who appeals the broadest audience possible, while being relatively inoffensive, who can also make a studio a ton of money, that’s who.

For a minute, it looked like it might be Queen Latifah, but her daytime show didn’t last long. For a few years now, a strong case could’ve been made for Ellen DeGeneres. Her talk show does very well in the ratings, and she has the sense of compassion that Oprah had. Ellen entertains and uplifts, which is not only right from the Oprah playbook, it is the Oprah playbook. So, if anyone thought that Ellen had grabbed the Daytime Talk Show Mantle, they would’ve been correct in doing so.


Not so fast.

For the past few years, there’s been another person who has their own daytime talk show. They have a series of books. They host a game show. They host a variety show. This person’s career since 2009 has been the result of a bold second act. The person in question re-invented themselves as an entertainer with a spiritual bent, ready to help the public whenever they can. In the process of producing self-help media for women, and later on everyone else, this person has become arguably the most loved person in American entertainment.

I’m talking about Steve Harvey. Steve Harvey is the new Oprah.

Think about it. At Oprah’s peak, she was not only highly successful, but was also one of the most beloved figures in America. Check, and check again for Harvey. Not only is he accomplished, he may be arguably one of the most trusted figures in American media. Ask a Black woman. Hell, ask any woman regardless of race. Harvey’s talk show isn’t nearly as big a hit as Oprah’s (no daytime talk show will ever be that big again), but it’s been a steady performer for four years.

The similarities between Oprah and Steve continue. Both of them have not only built media empires, but they’ve done so with spiritual, feel good content. Oprah’s talk show, network, and magazine, and Harvey with his talk show, books, variety shows, and other hosting duties.

If I may digress for a bit, Harvey is not only the Kang of media, he’s also a…”G.” His debacle at the Miss Universe pageant this past December might have ended most entertainer’s careers, or at least seriously hurt them. Not Steve. He deftly and expertly handled it with the right amount of grace and humor. (He had both contestants as guests on his talk show. Both episodes had huge ratings). So much so that it can be argued that the Miss Universe controversy made him even a bigger, more beloved star.

The bigwigs at studios (television, radio, and movie) should stop looking for the next Oprah Winfrey. The next, across the board, down to earth media star with a monster Q-Rating isn’t a woman. It’s a man. And, he’s’ been right here in front of us, all along.

Just wait until he starts giving away cars on his show.

You can follow and contact Greg Simms Jr. on Twitter and Facebook.

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