After weeks of heavy pitching to television networks and cable outlets, the Charlie Sheen-led adaptation of Adam Sandler’s 2003 film Anger Management has finally found a home at FX, with an initial order of ten episodes that are scheduled to premiere during the summer of 2012.
The term ‘loosely based’ has been thrown around quite a bit in regards to this new adaptation’s relation to the original film. The basic premise of an unorthodox anger management therapist will remain intact, with Sheen operating essentially as the Jack Nicholson character in the series. The difference being, the character will be modeled on the more current, seemingly humble and self-aware incarnation of Sheen, and less the devil-may-care guy who spawned tiger-blood and warlock memes.
The character Sheen is playing is said to be well-aware of his personal demons, and is constantly working to keep them in check – an aspect which reportedly helped sway FX’s decision in picking up the series.
Now that Anger Management has a place to set up shop, veteran writer and producer Bruce Helford (The Drew Carey Show) can begin work writing the ten episodes that will make up the first season. Under the deal, if the initial ten-episode season performs well, FX will purchase 90 more episodes of the series that will be eligible for syndication broadcast on other networks as early as the fall of 2014.
If it works out, Anger Management could prove to be a great business move by all involved. For Sheen, the property (which he has a considerable stake in) affords him more creative control and presumably frees the actor from a entering into a situation like the one with Chuck Lorre and Two And A Half Men. Meanwhile, FX, which invested heavily in airing reruns of Sheen’s former sitcom, may be able to use the star’s return vehicle in such a way that will be mutually beneficial to the ratings of Anger Management and syndicated episodes of Two And A Half Men.
FX President John Landgraf said in a statement regarding the new series:
“We think that Bruce Helford, Joe Roth and Charlie Sheen have come up with a wonderful, hilarious vehicle for Charlie’s acting talents—and a character we are very much looking forward to seeing him play. Two and a Half Men has been an outstanding component of FX’s schedule for the past 14 months, and we have every confidence that Anger Management will soon be as well.”
On the flipside, however, the potential for catastrophe looms large for the series and the network – which must have anxiously weighed the pros against the cons, and found the promise of dollar signs triumphant over any possible debacle that may arise with the actor. Even though Sheen has been on his best behavior – appearing calm and even remorseful in recent television appearances – the star has had periods like this before, that were mostly undone by a maelstrom of headline-grabbing antics.
Still, as noted by Screen Rant’s Anthony Ocasio, other than garnering the wrong kind of attention, Sheen’s extracurricular activities technically never interfered with his work on Two And A Half Men. So, by that rationale, as long as FX is catering to Sheen fans (and they certainly will), Anger Management may provide the cable network with a lucrative double-dose of Charlie Sheen.
Look for Charlie Sheen in Anger Management to premiere on FX in the summer of 2012.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter