1:57pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Soul Man's' Live Season Premiere Gets Multi-Network Simulcast (Exclusive)
Viacom is making the most of TV Land's live season-three premiere of The Soul Man.
Fellow Viacom-owned cable networks BET and Centric will also simulcast the March 26 live episode at 10:30 p.m.
Centric will begin to showcase the series, starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash (Getting On) starting April 5 with marathons of seasons one and two, with repeat broadcasts of season-three episodes airing Saturday at 10 p.m. Original season-three episodes will begin airing 10 days after they debut on TV Land, with all subsequent episodes airing Saturdays at 9 p.m.
The deal is similar to the pact BET inked for repeats of ABC's Scandal, with current episodes from the Shonda Rhimes political thriller airing no sooner than eight days after original first-run episodes are televised.
"We are so proud of The Soul Man and its appeal to all audiences," TV Land president Larry W. Jones said. "BET has been a fantastic partner on this series, and with Centric now coming on board, we're thrilled that even more viewers will have the opportunity to see the show across multiple Viacom properties. Going live on one network is big enough, but going live on three networks is a true programming event."
"We are excited to have worked alongside our sister network, TV Land, to bring a great show like The Soul Man to Centric as it's a perfect fit for us, especially given our rich history with Cedric the Entertainer," Centric GM and executive vp Paxton Baker said. "We look forward to sharing more great content within Viacom Networks and continuously finding cross-platform opportunities to bring to our audiences."
Live programming has seen an increase of late as networks look to lure in viewers in an increasingly competitive era of DVR viewing. NBC achieved a blockbuster ratings hit with its live performance of The Sound of Music and is prepping Peter Pan as a follow-up. Other scripted TV series to tackle live episodes include TV Land's Hot in Cleveland, NBC's 30 Rock and ER, among others.