‘Little Big Shots’ Gives NBC Its Biggest Hit In Years, And Brings Steve Harvey To A New Career Peak

Little Big Shots has given NBC and the multi-talented host Steve Harvey a mega-hit, and now after just three weeks the show is already slated for a second season.

The hour-long show, hosted by Steve Harvey, showcases children with exceptional talents, from dancing to spelling to basketball. Within just three weeks the show has shot to the top of the ratings chart, drawing in the most total viewers last week (though finishing just behind The Big Bang Theory in terms of ratings due to the way it’s calculated).

Yahoo TV described Little Big Shots as “just a pint-sized version of America’s Got Talent without the judges,” but its appeal cuts much deeper. It comes from executive producer Ellen DeGeneres, one of the biggest cultivators of young talent on television with an eye for kids who play great on television. And it calls on Steve Harvey, who despite a misstep in the Miss Universe pageant is at the apex of his popularity.

Even three weeks in, the show is already setting records for NBC. The show premiered earlier this month to more than 12 million viewers, the highest ratings for NBC since the December finale of The Voice and the highest-rated opening episode of an alternative series in the coveted 18-49 demographic since The X-Factor in 2011.

Now three weeks into its run, the NBC talent showcase has been able to hold onto its audience, drawing 13.2 million viewers for this week’s episode. As the Hollywood Reporter noted, Little Big Shots was even able to top 60 Minutes on Sunday, which had an incredibly strong lead-in with the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

“Viewers continue to take a shining to Little Big Shots. NBC’s latest alternative series topped Sunday night, losing little ground in its third episode, besting all of the night’s other broadcast offerings — including Fox’s live staging of The Passion.

Little Big Shots was off only two-tenths of a point from the previous week, averaging a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 13.2 million viewers. That big audience haul put it ahead of even 60 Minutes, which delivered 10.2 million viewers and a strong 1.7 rating in the key demo for CBS after NCAA basketball overrun.”

Judging by the level of talent, it’s easy to see the appeal.

In another clip, 8-year-old Artyon showcases his incredible dancing and gymnastics skills in a performance worthy of So You Think You Can Dance.

Steve Harvey himself is one of the biggest parts of the show’s appeal, Yahoo TV noted.

“For all this [appeal], there’s very little of the huckster in Harvey — to use his own terminology, he has the ‘gift’ of communicating sincerity without a trace of piety,” noted critic Ken Tucker. “He makes whatever he’s doing at the moment seem fun, and invites the audience to share his delight or puzzlement or wonder at whatever odd or humorous thing a guest or contestant may say. It’s a rare quality few entertainers can pull off, and why he appeals to such a wide, diverse audience.”

The show has now given Steve Harvey what could end up being his biggest hit ever, helping to take him beyond the more limited audiences of daytime syndicated television.


The success of Little Big Shots is even more important for NBC given the failure of its last attempt at a variety show, Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. Despite some good reviews the show struggled to find viewers, ultimately leading to its cancellation.

But Little Big Shots and Steve Harvey have already been guaranteed a return to television. Last week NBC announced that the show would be back next year for a second season.

[Image via YouTube/NBC]