|Charlie Sheen can still draw a crowd, on press tour and on TV|
The Canadian network scooped the series despite rival Rogers' deal with FX for FX Canada. Anger Management is distributed internationally by Sony, so CTV made a separate side deal for Sheen.
Then CTV announced they were going to sit out FX's summer run on Anger and wait until September to launch the series in Canada.
The risk is that Sheen's show could be cancelled by then. FX has this unusual deal with the Anger producers to automatically order a further 90-episodes of the series should the first 10 maintain a high ratings level.
FX president John Landgraf told reporters last week that, so far, Sheen is drawing more than enough for renewal. "Anger Management has been the No. 1 scripted comedy in cable, season-to-date, and it's averaging 13.8 million total viewers and 7.1 million adults 18-49 per week," he says.
Landgraf revealed that ratings results for the first two episodes were thrown out. Sheen's "Winning" and "warlock blood" ravings during his lost year guaranteed he'd get a huge early sample, tilting the odds.
Episodes 3 through 6 "have exceeded the ratings threshold that's required for a back 90 renewal," he said. Episode 7 airs tonight at 9:30 p.m. on FX. Landgraf says there is every indication the series will get picked up, although no decision will be made until all 10 from the initial order have aired.
One hiccup ahead: tonight and next week, Anger Management must battle NBC's Olympic coverage for U.S. viewers, which could put a dent in FX's momentum.
|EP Bruce Helford (left) and Sheen. Nice shorts|
Landgraf also announced that Charlie's dad Martin Sheen (The West Wing) will become a series regular (he guests on Episode 9). He'll play Charlie's dad, which shouldn't be a stretch. Charlie's character, by the way, is named "Charlie Goodson."
A clip was shown of Sheen and Sheen on the set, with Senior doing his spot-on Brando impersonation from Apocalypse Now. Charlie previously worked with his dad on Spin City and Two and a Half Men. Also in the clip as a bartender was Brett Butler, the stand-up comedienne fired from her own series Grace Under Fire. Sheen's EP, Bruce Helford, survived previous showrunning stints with Norm Macdonald and Roseanne. He's now just Cybill Shepherd away from winning the Nobel Peace prize.
As for his own career freak out last year, Sheen said, "my life's different now that I'm not insane anymore. Pretty accountable most of the time. Right Bruce?"