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Cedric The Entertainer's 'Soul Man' Is TV Land's 2nd Highest-Rated Original Series Debut Ever

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 21, 2012 7:05 PM
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Despite the entire pilot episode of this new Cedric the Entertainer original scripted sit-com for TV Land being made available on the web a full week before its official TV debut, last night's premiere of The Soul Man still managed to pull in 1.9 million viewers during its 10pm time slot (1 million viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic), to make it TV Land's second highest-rated original series debut ever, behind the June 2010 season premiere of Hot in Cleveland.

The series is a spinoff of Hot in Cleveland, and stars Cedric as Rev. Boyce "The Voice" Ballantine, a former R & B singer turned minister, who takes over his father's church.

In the series Niecy Nash plays his wife, Jazz Raycole plays his daughter Lyric, John Beasley as Boyce’s father, Barton, and Wesley Jonathan as his brother, Stamps.

The Soul Man was reportedly heavily marketed to African American audiences, with the intent being to attract new audiences to the network.

Looks like it worked.

The new series airs Wednesdays 10/9c on TV Land.

And if you weren't 1 of the 1.9 million who tuned in to watch episode 1 last night, you can watch it in full below:

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  • jeni | June 22, 2012 9:19 PMReply

    Caught it VOD. Trite, didn't keep my attention, and what first lady would go to church with her cleavage out like that? I know that's the point, but it was overboard...

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 22, 2012 7:37 PMReply

    I liked it -- period. It wasn't original but it also wasn't coonish and/or buffoonish. Talkin' to you, Winston Jerome.

  • Akimbo | June 22, 2012 1:45 PMReply

    The cast is far superior to the actual show, which is apparently the TV Land formula. Create a cliche, cheesy sitcom, then pack it with TV stars who have been on awesome shows in the past. I caught an episode of The Exes and WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK are they making Donald Faison (Scrubs, Clueless), Kristen Johnson (3rd Rock from the Sun), Wayne Knight (Seinfeld, 3rd Rock, Freaking Jurassic Park) and some other dude do over there? Every time I catch an original TV Land show, it's always the worst, derivative retread of hacky sitcom material. They should be embarrassed for the sins they continue to commit upon TV stars of not that long ago. RETIRED AT 35 (awful) has the mom from Arrested Development and the boss from Just Shoot Me. HOT IN CLEVELAND has the former stars of Just Shoot Me, Golden Girls, Frasier, whatever show made Valerie Bertinelli hot back in the day. HAPPILY DIVORCED has fucking Tichina Arnold, Fran Drescher, John Michael Higgins (who is in every other REAL comedy), and (no lie) Rita Moreno. I used to think that CBS was where careers went to die, and maybe it is for dramatic actors, but TV Land is where comedic careers meet the slowest, cruelest, inhumane deaths. The network is a travesty and this show is another example. Rant over. Safe to say, I didn't like the show.

  • ChgoSista | June 22, 2012 1:53 PM

    Note to self: "Brace yourself before reading any of Akimbo's posts." OMG I am CTFU!! "WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK" and "whatever show made Valerie Bertinelli hot back in the day"-->LOL

  • Emmett Period | June 22, 2012 12:35 PMReply

    Dear "The Soul Man", 1990 called and they want their sitcom back. I really tried to watch seems really dated.

  • James Evans from the Cabrini-Green | June 22, 2012 6:45 AMReply

    Well, the first thing I thought of when I saw the above picture was "The chick in the fur coat ain't wearing pants". So mission accomplished, publicist. Overall, glad to see Niecy back on the screen and anything with John Beasley is elevated by default. So I'll probably give this a try. But do I have TVLand? Checking......

  • Ivory Jeff Clinton | June 21, 2012 8:33 PMReply

    Glad to hear this! I didn't think I'd like it because it looked kinda unremarkable and lamely written from the previews, but the premise seemed interesting and the cast is talentend, so I gave it a chance. And I really ended up enjoying it. Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash as the Rev. Boyce Ballentine and wife Lolli were fun together. Nash's loudness and often over-the-top Tasha Mack-from-The Game-esque sistagirlness on screen annoys me at times (see Not Easily Broken), but it wasn't excessive or obnoxious to me in last night's premiere episode. Wesley Jonathan had me laughing as the overgrown kid of a kid brother to CTE's character. Nice to see Jazz Raycole, the original Claire from My Wife and Kids, as a series regular again, and John Beasley was funny as the reverend's grouchy father. Best of luck to the cast and all involved in keeping the show going. Peace, IJC ... My tweet on this comment:

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