People listen when Steve Harvey doles out advice on his namesake talk show, whether it's about courtship, marriage, divorce, child-rearing, or — that touchiest topic of all — money. So what words of wisdom does he have for this fall's new talk-show hosts? We asked. He delivered.
TV Guide Magazine: You, Katie Couric, Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake all debuted talk shows in 2012, but you're the only one still standing, and your ratings keep going up. What's your survival secret?
Steve Harvey: Speaking my mind. People get a kick out of a guy who does that, even if his comments aren't the most popular. I'm different from Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. They're professionals with a lot of education behind what they say. [Laughs] I can't compete with that! All I've got to offer is common sense.
TV Guide Magazine: And it sure doesn't hurt that you frequently side with women, right?
Harvey: I am the father of four daughters who are swimming in treacherous waters. Men are sharks! But not all of them are wild. You can train them how to treat you.
TV Guide Magazine: Meredith Vieira and the women of The Real will have talk shows this fall, with Tyra Banks coming in 2015. Help them out a little here!
Harvey: One word of advice: authenticity. The audience is very bright and very picky and can spot a fake, so be your unique self. Don't try to be imitating so-and-so. If you do, chances are you'll end up canceled. Fast.
TV Guide Magazine: Even Oprah Winfrey wants your help these days. You're her guest on the two-part season premiere of Oprah's Lifeclass (Sunday, Sept. 7 and 14 at 9/8c on OWN). How surreal is that?
Harvey: It's nuts. I started this journey as a stand-up comedian, and for me to be sitting down with Oprah, who gave us 25 years of the best advice ever, is absolutely crazy. I'd be excited, but first I'd have to believe it.
TV Guide Magazine: Your new book, Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success, arrives Sept. 9, and in it you claim we all have a unique gift from God. What if we can't find ours?
Harvey: I will show you how. And don't blow it! That gift, that talent, is like a parachute, and the majority of people are standing on the cliff of life with that parachute on, but few ever open it. They will die without ever jumping and soaring.
TV Guide Magazine: What's new in Season 3 of your show?
Harvey: Our season premiere [airing Monday, Sept. 8] is a great big block party with Pitbull, and it's going to be wild. We'll also be much more inspirational and motivational this season with guests like Joel Osteen and Tony Robbins. And for the first time, I'll let cameras into my home down in Atlanta. I really fought against it — I only wanted them to show me outside barbecuing — but the producers insisted, because every time the wife and kids come on the show the numbers are big. You'll get to meet my new granddaughter, Rose, my first.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the problem — that we'll think you live too lavishly?
Harvey: Well, yeah. I don't want people getting the wrong impression. When people see the way you live, they start thinking things. But, hey, I take no handouts in life. I've worked hard for this lifestyle. So, yeah, I'm really dreading that episode. [Laughs] I may need two parachutes to get through it.
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