FX is picking up the huge back-90 order for “Anger Management,” putting star Charlie Sheen in a position for what could turn out to be an even bigger payday than he had in store had he survived on the CBS hit “Two and a Half Men.”
The cable network committed early in the process to picking up an additional 90 episodes provided that episodes 2 through 10 met a certain ratings threshold. Deadline.com notes that the premiere, which aired June 28, turned out to be the most-watched scripted prime-time comedy series premiere in cable history.
FX says the series is the highest-rated new comedy series on cable this year, averaging 4.53 million total viewers (cumed) and 2.5 million in the key 18-49 demo, Deadline notes.
TMZ.com adds that Sheen’s arrangement for the show — in which he receives a generous cut of the profits — could push his cut north of $100 million.
TMZ adds: “What’s interesting … the deal was structured so Charlie will be working non-stop for the next 2 years, and Network suits wanted it that way so Charlie didn’t have a lot of free time to get into trouble.”
Chuck Saftler, EVP of FX Networks, quoted in the Deadline piece, says: “We set a very high ratings bar that included some additional hurdles for ‘Anger Management’ to earn its back-90 order and the series met and exceeded those metrics. [Creator and executive producer] Bruce Helford has created a sitcom that works extremely well in our pre-10 p.m. programming lineup. Charlie Sheen and the entire cast did an amazing job in the first ten episodes, which were produced in a very tight window. I have no doubt that the producers and cast will be able to pull off the Herculean task of producing 90 episodes over the next two years.”
Deadline adds: “Sheen’s father, Martin Sheen will join the cast of ‘Anger Management’ in a recurring role for the back 90 episodes, playing Martin Goodson, Charlie’s father.”
Lionsgate, the producer of “Anger Management,” and its subsidiary Debmar-Mercury are reportedly preparing to shop the series to stations for a fall 2014 syndication rollout.