Steve Harvey is thrilled to bring "Family Feud" to South Africa for a locally-formated version to be produced by Rapid Blue. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Steve Harvey is thrilled to bring "Family Feud" to South Africa for a locally-formated version to be produced by Rapid Blue. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Steve Harvey 'thrilled' to bring 'Family Feud' to SA

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Aug 26, 2019

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Steve Harvey is bringing "Family Feud", a popular American game show, to South Africa. 

The well-known author, actor, comedian, radio personality, television host and producer, said: “This was all my idea. I have great partners with Freemantle, who is the production company of 'Family Feud' that’s gone digital, globally. 

"I was in Botswana last November and Africa has been on my vision board for eight to nine years now. I wanted to come home and do something in my homeland. 

“Yes, America is my home and I have a great family there, great friends and great relationships. That’s home but it’s not my homeland. Africa is my homeland. I’ve always wanted to come here and own land. Do something meaningful. And since 'Family Feud' was so popular, I thought, you know what would be great: ‘If African families played against African families and I hosted that'.”

Harvey added: “Eventually my goal is to have South Africa play against Ghana, Joburg against Durban... My goal is to have it that way. And to have it so massive, almost like a soccer game.”

Steve Harvey is thrilled to bring Family Feud to South Africa for a locally-formatted version to be produced by Rapid Blue. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

How would it work in a country with 11 official languages?

He says, “Here’s the rule that has to happen. You have to have at least one or two family members that speak English. The other three don’t have to. That’s even more comedy for me because if I have to refer back to your captain every time I come to you for an answer and you give me an answer I don’t understand, that’s instant comedy for me. It’s great entertainment. We don’t have a problem with the diversity part of it at all. 

"Families will be selected just as we do with regular 'Family Feud'. The only requirement to get on to 'Family Feud' is your family has to be exciting. It has nothing to do with anything else. It is just that. This isn’t 'Jeopardy', you ain't gotta know nothing. 

"If you college-educated, you probably don’t play 'Family Feud' very well anyway.  If you look at the show in the States, there’s no practice. It's all improv. None of it is scripted when I’m on stage. Not a single word of it.”

Harvey continued: “I’m working with Duncan (Irvine)  from Rapid Blue, a great company man that really gets it and knows how it is done and has a massive footprint here in the continent. He has been more than helpful in guiding us through the maze. So together, we will come up with the perfect way to get it done.”

And he is confident of the show's success, more so after the Miss Universe debacle. 

“Steve Harvey, the businessman, the entertainer’s global reach is good all because of a Miss Universe mistake made me pretty famous, really fast, you know.”

He laughed, “It’s a funny thing man, how God works. I have been asking God to increase my global brand and persona and I had no idea how he was going to do it. When I said the wrong name in Miss Universe, within 48 hours, my name had been googled 4 billion times. I was the most googled person on Planet Earth for the year and I became globally known. 

“I was very honest that day. They told me, in my earpiece, they said, ‘We will straighten it out in the newspaper tomorrow. I said, ‘No I’m going to go out here now and do it’. I took a risk but it paid off. I went through a lot of pain behind that. 

"It was a horrible mistake. But it wasn’t my fault. I took it for a lot of people. I read what was in the teleprompter and I did what was told in my ear. I did exactly what they told me. Two minutes later, they realised they had given me the wrong information. It all fell on my shoulders but I’m a big boy. It’s also been a great blessing, too.”

Production will get under way in under two months. 

He revealed, “We start producing in the fourth quarter of this year. I come back here in late October. We tape all through November, part December and the first quarter of next year.”

Will there be a celebrity edition?

“We will see,” he responded. “Why not, we did it over there (in the US), we should do it over here. I got to meet everybody (first) and learn the market. I’m new here. But I’m a good candidate to bridge the gap because a lot of people know me here.”

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