For the First Time in Years, Steve Harvey Won't Be Hosting Fox's New Year's Eve Special

Kayla Keegan
·3 min read

From Good Housekeeping

If you're an annual viewer of Fox's New Year's Eve special, you're probably used to watching the Times Square ball drop with Steve Harvey. But after four years of Steve, Fox has decided to switch things up.

Instead of having Steve host the program, Fox viewers will welcome in 2021 with Masked Singer judge Ken Jeong and comedian Joel McHale. The show, now rebranded as Fox's New Year's Eve Toast and Roast 2021, will feature lots of guest celebrities and performances from LeAnn Rimes, Gloria Estefan, and Doctor Elvis.

"Ken and Joel together are one of the funniest duos out there,” Rob Wade, President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials at Fox Entertainment, said in a press release in early December. "These two have been toasting and roasting each other on national television for years, so they were the perfect pair to ring in the New Year. Also, we love Ken so much, we wanted to squeeze in three more hours of him before the New Year!"

Since the announcement was made earlier this month, Steve has remained silent about it on social media.

So, where is Steve Harvey and why is he not hosting Fox's NYE special this year?

There could be a few factors contributing to Steve's departure from the New Year's Eve special. From the network's perspective, Steve's exit could have something to do with how the special has stacked up against its competitors — ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest and NBC's Toast to 2019! and New Year's Eve Special — in recent years.

Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

After last year's event, the Steve-led special landed third in the ratings race behind ABC and NBC and attracted 2.8 million viewers in total (which Deadline reports was down a tenth from the 2018 special). The year prior, Steve's New Year's Eve special came down 22% in households, according to The Hollywood Reporter (though all three networks also saw dips that year). Long story short, having Ken and Joel cohost this year's program could be Fox's way of trying to drum up better numbers.

Then again, Steve himself may have also given up on the gig himself. Back in December of 2019, he told the New York Post there were certain things he didn't like about hosting the New Year's Eve special.

"I took advantage of the offer from Fox. I thought it would be good for my brand. The first time was absolutely horrible. It was 11 below zero. Last year it rained all night," Steve recalled. "There’s nowhere to sit. It’s a rough gig. There are stretching rooms. You’re not allowed to bring trailers. I have a hotel room right there. The entire time you need some blankets and heaters."

Regardless of if it was Fox's or Steve's decision (or a combination of the two), Steve is already plenty busy hosting his Facebook Watch show Steve and Family Feud. Even though he won't be hosting NYE this year, we're sure he'll still have a great time warm and cozy with his family at home.

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