Little Big Shots is a big hit for NBC, with host Steve Harvey shining the lights on the real talent — America’s youth. Co-executive producer Ellen DeGeneres came up with the idea for Little Big Shots and she knew right away Steve Harvey was her man. After all, Harvey has seven kids, and he communicates wonderfully with his face — something kids are very attuned to. He’s perfect for the show. But DeGeneres had more than just the right host in mind. She had the formula for Little Big Shots — and the sensitivity to strike the balance that lets the kids show their talents in a judgement-free environment.
The key? Little Big Shots is not a talent competition. DeGeneres says, “I don’t want any kids getting their dreams squashed by a judge. And I’m also not necessarily encouraging them to do this for the rest of their lives. Some of them are just talented kids, and whatever they end up doing, that’s great.” DeGeneres works Hollywood like millennials do cause marketing: she has given herself a mandate to do only a certain kind of programming. She wants to proceed with integrity. Even the name of her company, A Very Good Production Company, strikes the chord — the “good” in the name stands for both high quality and good qualities. Little Big Shots wants to show the “nation’s most extraordinarily talented, quirky and fun kids.” And to have them do their thing without being judged. DeGeneres has a very keen sense of what an audience wants: we want to see the kids displaying their talent and pride in their accomplishments. We don’t want to see kids being judged. They have the rest of their lives for that.