- (Photo:TV LAND)
In a world where reality television shows have taken over for family series like "The Cosby Show" and "The Hughleys," Cedric the Entertainer has teamed up with TV Land to bring a new brand of Christian comedy in the form of "The Soul Man."
Cedric the Entertainer serves as one of the executive producers in the sitcom where he also stars as Reverend Boyce "The Voice" Ballentine, a preacher who is dealing with a transition from an old school R&B sensation to a saver of souls. Niecy Nash, comedian and actress most known for her role on "Reno 911" plays Cedric's wife Lolli who is trying to adjust to life as a preacher's wife amid some tension from other women in her husband's newly appointed congregation.
Audiences will follow the couple as they adapt to their calling to lead the St. Louis church after living off of the reverend's 1980's hit in Las Vegas. Cedric the Entertainer manages to tackle tough issues like raising a pastor's child, getting the women in his congregation to accept his wife and accepting what he was called to do in a comedic way.
As the live audience laughs along with the antics taking place in the reverend's home, audiences may be surprised that they can relate to the preacher who is working to impress his father after taking over the family church. Although conservative audiences may raise their eyebrows upon hearing that Reverend Boyce's 1980s hit is titled, "Sex Wichoo," Christians may be happy to hear a Scripture tossed around once or twice by one of the show's characters.
While the themes in the sitcom may draw Christian audiences to tune in on Wednesday nights, Cedric the Entertainer and the supporting cast give those with less faith reasons to laugh at the relatable dilemmas they deal with.
Keith Cox, executive vice president of original programming at TV LAND, expressed his excitement about bringing the unique show to the network.
"We are beyond thrilled to have Cedric, Niecy and the whole cast become part of the ever-growing TV Land family,"Cox said in a statement. "We know that Cedric and Niecy's chemistry coupled with a top-notch comedic cast will definitely make this sitcom pop."
Along with Cedric and Nash, John Beasley of "Everwood" serves as Boyce's stern father who is watching painfully as his son takes over the church; Wesley Jonathan plays Boyce's boisterous brother Stamps who has yet to devote himself to the church; and Raycole, known for her stint in "My Wife and Kids" plays the reverend's 16-year-old daughter Lyric who is having trouble adjusting to life as a preacher's kid.
The sitcom, which promises guest appearances from the Braxton sisters, comedian Anthony Anderson, Kim Coles, Robert Forster and Sherri Shepherd premieres on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. for a 12-episode run.