As “Anger Management” Has Shattered FX’s Expectations
By DiMarkco Chandler
Charlie Sheen is winning again, and he’s going to keep on winning until somebody tells him that he’s won. So if I were you, FX, I would keep moving the bar. The truth is that when nobody else would, FX took a bet on Charlie Sheen this summer, ordering 10 episodes of the scripted comedy “Anger Management.” The series is based on the 2003 slapstick comedy film that starred Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. Sheen plays the role originally played by Nicholson in the film, and it’s his first acting role since his firing back in March of 2011 from CBS’s hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men.”
In “Anger Management,” Charlie Sheen is an unorthodox therapist that specializes in anger management. As a successful therapist, Sheen finds a way to take care of his daily patients while also providing free services to inmates at a state prison. Before achieving professional success as a therapist, viewers learn that Sheen’s character was sidetracked from his Major League Baseball dreams because of his personal struggle with handling his own anger. With the help of a female therapist, he was able to make it to the majors and through one great season only to have his anger issues prevent him from continuing on with his athletic career. In his final at bat, he got so angry that he snapped his bat over his leg, resulting in a career-ending injury. Following this incident, the Sheen character returns to school in order to obtain his degree as a therapist, but his life nevertheless continues to have its ups and downs because of several complicated relationships with women.
With the rating results in on the first two episodes, Sheen is standing victorious in the winner’s circle as the premiere of “Anger Management” managed to make history as the most-watched scripted comedy series debut ever produced for primetime cable TV. Sheen delivered 5.5 million viewers on the first night and 5.7 viewers for the second episode.
To sweeten up the dramatic expectations, FX cut a deal and gambled with Sheen, offering to order 90 additional episode if the series hit a certain consistent rating number. I’m afraid they picked the wrong guy to wager a bet like that with. It’s the kind of deal that a braggadocios guy like Sheen thrives on. The deck is stacked in sheens favor, especially when you realize why the ratings were so historically high. You see, sheen is playing himself, with all of his flaws and vices; and that resonates with a mostly male audience who many of them see themselves in him.
So if you think Charlie Sheen is going anywhere other than to the bank, think again because the only way Charlie is going to be beat is to tell him that he’s won. And I don’t, after knowing what makes him tick, think that FX is going to let the bunny out of the box.