Melissa McCarthy has been named host of NBC’s unscripted series “Little Big Shots,” replacing Steve Harvey as emcee of the talent competition for kids.
Harvey hosted the previous three seasons of the show, which hails from Warner Horizon Television and Ellen DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production banner.
“Little Big Shots” last aired on NBC in July 2018. NBC executives said the show was in for a “brand refresh” as McCarthy takes over. “Little Big Shots” is scheduled to return to NBC’s Sunday 8 p.m. berth after the end of football season next winter.
“Melissa’s just an incredible performer and incredible comedian,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC’s co-chairman of entertainment alongside George Cheeks. “She will bring a completely fresh perspective to it.”
Harvey’s departure from “Little Big Shots” comes on the heels of end of his NBCUniversal-distributed syndicated daytime talk show, “Steve,” which taped its final episode on Thursday.
There was no love lost between Harvey and the Peacock when the host opted in 2017 to cut a new deal for a new iteration of his daytime talk show that shifted ownership from Endemol Shine North America and NBCU to IMG Original Content and Harvey. It’s also understood that Harvey’s deal with “Little Big Shots” called for him to receive a hefty raise for a fourth season.
Telegdy did not reference the tussle with Harvey in discussing the host change with reporters on Sunday as NBC unveiled its 2019-2020 programming plans ahead of Monday’s upfront presentation at Radio City Music hall. Telegdy emphasized that McCarthy would bring her own comedic stamp to the show.
“Melissa is a strong creative force with her own ideas,” Telegdy said. “Changes will be apparent.”