Original series Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery was ratings manna for CNN last night.

The premiere episode, and the unveiling of The Wonder List With Bill Weir that followed, both debuted at No. 1 in cable news in their respective time periods, in both total viewers and the news demo.

CNN logoAt 9 PM, the Finding Jesus (Shroud Of Turin) episode averaged 1.139 million viewers —  80% bigger than Fox News’ crowd of 634,000 and 314% better than MSNBC’s 275,000. Finding Jesus’ following in the news demo was 371,000 strong, while Fox News and MSNBC attracted 111,000 apiece, according to fast stats. Finding Jesus trails, in total viewers, The Sixties (1.39 million viewers) among CNN original series — we’ll get back to you when we figure out what that says about CNN’s audience.

In the news demo, Jesus trails only Mike Rowe’s Someone’s Got To Do It’s debut of 537,000 viewers.

At 10 PM, CNN’s unveiling of  The Wonder List With Bill Weir clocked 706,000 viewers to top cable news networks. In the news demo, Weir’s CNN series debut also ranked No. 1 among news nets, according to early stats, with 294,000, to FNC’s 148,000 and MSNBC’s 126,000. Compared to CNN’s performance in the slot the previous four weeks, The Wonder List beefed up the numbers by 122% in total viewers (compared to 318,000) and 160% in the news demo (113,000).

Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery continues next Sunday with John The Baptist, and The Wonder List goes to Galapagos.