Steve Harvey has brought Family Feud newfound daytime ratings success, which may have some entertainment industry heads looking for more black frontmen to helm earlier show slots, a strategy that Steve Harvey is very familiar with.
In the waning years of the WB Network and his hit sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show, Harvey was told by a WB executive that “new networks invest in shows starring African-Americans because they bring a guaranteed audience, says The Hollywood Reporter. And “as they build the network and get more eyeballs, they slowly start phasing them out,” explains Harvey, and the networks try to “woo higher-income brackets with a less diverse slate of programming that is perceived as more palatable to the mainstream.”
The Hollywood Reporter article also divulged some vexing statistics on the amount of time Americans spend watching television, statistics that have much greater implications than some media mogul’s ratings scheme.
“The average African-American spends close to 47 hours a week watching live TV, more than the U.S. average (34 hours), Hispanics (28 hours) and Asians (21 hours), according to Nielsen.”
Bottom line: when you realize that Asians watch the least amount of TV, is it any wonder Asian kids dominate test scores and elite college enrollments? It’s not rocket science: less time on TV means more time to spend on homework and learning.
Whether or not Steve Harvey is playing some weird race-based ratings game with the entertainment industry is debatable. But what isn’t debatable is the fact that T.V. watching plays a large role in an ever expanding, and daunting racial divide in academic achievement in America.