Remember when George Burns and Gracie Allen used to plug Carnation Evaporated Milk in live TV ads during their 1950s TV series The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show? Of course you don’t! But live ads using show cast members, in character and on set, did not used to be “news” — much less a scoop in the New York Times‘ business section. And, 60 years from now, when a future generation is watching on their glasses a live broadcast of some happy-zombie-family comedy starring some Hollywood It Couple, replete with product promotions by the happy zombies, they will think back to today’s NYT report (“Commercials to Go Live With Show Cast Members”) about the airing of two whole live ads during the live season debuts of TV Land‘s Hot In Cleveland and The Soul Man, and think “How quaint.”
Here’s a case of Viacom siblings playing nice. When the third-season premiere of The Soul Man airs live March 26 on TV Land, sister channels BET and Centric will simulcast it. After that, Centric will run new episodes of the Hot In Cleveland spinoff on Saturdays, 10 days after they bow on TV Land. The live season opener is a first for Soul Man, which stars Cedric the Entertainer as an R&B superstar-turned-minister who relocates from Las Vegas to St. Louis with his wife. TV Land said in January that Soul Man and Hot In Cleveland will have their season premieres back-to-back. It will be the second consecutive live season bow for the sitcom starring Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves.
Betty White and Cedric the Entertainer will appear on both shows when the sitcoms return with back-to-back episodes on March 26. The Season 5 opener will mark the second consecutive live premiere for Hot In Cleveland, in which White stars with Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves. It’ll be followed by the live Season 3 bow of The Soul Man, a Cleveland spinoff that stars Cedric as R&B superstar-turned-minister Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine, who relocates from Las Vegas to St. Louis with his wife. The cable net also said today that Hot In Cleveland will do an animated episode this coming season. Ani studio Titmouse Inc. will toon up the show, in which the four main characters embark on an around-the-world adventure. The women go on a psychedelic romp through pop culture history, including scenes with homages to Frankenstein, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, and The Walking Dead.
EXCLUSIVE: TV Land‘s The Soul Man will return for a third season. The network has given the 8-episode order more than three months after Season 2 of the show, starring Cedric “The Entertainer,” Niecy Nash and Wesley Jonathan, ended its run. Comedy veteran Ric Swartzlander (Cougar Town), who quietly joined the show at the beginning of Season 2, will be back as showrunner.
Like with the second season pickup, I hear a key renewal factor was the show’s strong showing among Black viewers. Over the first two seasons, The Soul Man averaged a potent 3.7 rating among African-American Women 25-54 and a 3.0 rating with African-American Adults 25-54. Season 2 of the series posted gains of +103% among A25-54 and +111% among W25-54 (L+7) versus channel prime average. “We’re so proud to have this show in our portfolio of sitcoms,” said TV Land president Larry W. Jones. “Fans of The Soul Man’ are the drivers behind the success of the series. Because of their passion, we are able to continuously bring new viewers to the channel.” The Soul Man, from Hazy Mills Prods., follows R&B superstar-turned-minister Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine (Cedric) after he relocated from Las Vegas to St. Louis with his wife Lolli (Nash). While learning to adjust to their new humble life, Boyce has to deal with his brother Stamps (Jonathan), who seems to have taken up permanent residence in their house – …
EXCLUSIVE: TV Land has closed the deal for a second season pickup of The Soul Man starring Cedric “The Entertainer” and Niecy Nash and has ordered a third season of The Exes. As part of The Soul Man renewal, the Hot In Cleveland spinoff is changing showrunners, with Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single) replacing Phoef Sutton. The deal had been in the works for awhile, with Cedric pulling the trigger on the renewal news prematurely a month ago.
The Soul Man premiered in June as TV Land’s second highest rated series debut behind Hot In Cleveland among Adults 25-54 (1.0 rating) and Women 25-54. In total viewers, the series debuted to 1.9 million, behind Cleveland (4.8 million) and Happily Divorced (2.4 million). By the end of its 12-episode freshman run, The Soul Man lost its ratings momentum from the premiere but has done well among African Americans, posting a 3.6 rating in Adults 25-54 and averaging 1.4 million total viewers per week (in Live+7). The Exes, which averaged 1.2 million total viewers per week in Season 2, stars Donald Faison, Wayne Knight, David Alan Basche, Kelly Stables and Kristen Johnston. Both shows will return in June 2013 with 10 new episodes each. “We are so proud of these series and passionate about the characters,” said Larry W. Jones, president …
UPDATE THURSDAY 11:50 AM: It’s not quite there yet, but TV Land is working on a renewal for freshman comedy The Soul Man. Pickup chatter started two days ago when star Cedric the Entertainer tweeted that the show has been renewed. “We are looking forward to sharing good news about the second season of The Soul Man very soon,” the network said today in a statement. Season One of the Hot In Cleveland spinoff averaged a .7 rating for Adults 25-54 and 1.4 million total viewers in Live+7.
PREVIOUS TUESDAY 11 PM: TV Land has renewed freshman comedy The Soul Man for a second season, according to series star Cedric The Entertainer. “Just got word #TheSoulMan has been picked up for season #2,” Cedric tweeted tonight. “Thank all of you who wrote in and/or just watched me @niecynash bout to Turn Up!
Two new cable comedy series, ABC Family’s Baby Daddy and TV Land’s The Soul Man opened solidly last night. Baby Daddy at 8:30 PM drew 1.7 million viewers and ranked as ABC Family’s No.2 comedy premiere in Total Viewers and all key demos, including Adults 18-34 (619,000) and Adults 18-49 (935,000). It built onto its Melissa & Joey lead-in by 13% in Total Viewers and 6% in persons 12-34. The debut of Baby Daddy also boosted Melissa & Joey, which set Season 2 highs in Total Viewers (1.5 million) and all key demos.
TV Land’s newest original sitcom, The Soul Man, a spinoff from the network’s flagship comedy Hot In Cleveland, also posted its network’s second highest rated series premiere. It was No.2 behind Hot In Cleveland among Adults 25-54 (1.0 rating) and Women 25-54. In total viewers, the series starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash which was marketed primarily to African Americans, averaged 1.9 million, behind Cleveland (4.8 million) and Happily Divorced (2.4 million)
For the first time since the launch of the network 16 years ago, TV Land is changing its look with the introduction of a new logo. Additionally, the network is adding a second night of original sitcoms to the schedule this summer. The two are related — the old logo with a classic TV screen and retro style symbolized TV Land’s long-time identity as a destination only for reruns of classic sitcoms. With the addition of a growing slate of original comedies over the past couple of years, the network also has shifted its target demographic from baby boomers to Generation X, or 25-54 year-olds, and it says the more contemporary logo reflects that. The re-design was spearheaded by TV Land’s head of marketing Kim Rosenblum, with Trollbäck + Company designing the new logo. TV Land is the third cable network to unveil a new look and logo in the past couple of weeks, following similar moves by E! and Lifetime.
As for TV Land’s original programming expansion, the channel is opening a second night of originals on Tuesdays this summer with the second season of Retired At 35, which will premiere June 26 and run alongside repeats of the network’s flagship series Hot In Cleveland. TV Land’s regular Wednesday night originals block will feature The Soul Man, the new Hot In Cleveland spinoff starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash, and the second …