The Cedric the Entertainer starrer brought in 1.9 million viewers in its 10 p.m. premiere, including a healthy 1 million viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic.
The cabler marketed the show heavily to African American auds with the intent of bringing new viewers to the channel. Including two encores on Wednesday and early Thursday, “Soul Man” cumed 3.5 million viewers.
“Soul Man” ranks as TV Land’s second highest-rated original series debut, behind the June 2010 bow of “Hot in Cleveland.” The minister character played by Cedric in “Soul Man” was introduced last season on “Hot in Cleveland.”
TV Land execs were also encouraged by “Soul Man’s” strong showing in social media. Title was a top trending topic in Twitter during the premiere period.
Series stars Cedric as an R&B star-turned-minister who returns home to St. Louis to preach in his father’s church. “Cleveland” creator Suzanne Martin and Cedric developed the series and exec produce with showrunner Phoef Sutton, Lynda Obst and TV Land’s Keith Cox and Larry Jones. Stan Lathan directed the pilot.