AP Television Writer
POSTED: 04:09 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 04:50 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2011
LOS ANGELES >> Fired "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen will try to return to a winning TV sitcom next summer in FX's new "Anger Management."
The cable channel said Thursday it has acquired the series loosely based on the 2003 Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson movie of the same name, about a troubled therapist who disrupts his patients' lives.
FX ordered an initial 10 episodes of "Anger Management" starring Sheen, with production set to begin early next year. The series was announced in July by Lionsgate subsidiary Debmar-Mercury, which had shopped it to various broadcast and cable networks.
If the comedy catches on with viewers, FX will pick up an additional 90 episodes that will air first on the channel and then in broadcast syndication starting in fall 2014. The same model was used by Debmar-Mercury on the Ice Cube comedy series "Are We There Yet?" and on "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns," all of which air on TBS.
FX Networks head John Landgraf called "Anger Management" a "wonderful, hilarious vehicle for Charlie's acting talents."
Sheen's new show will air on the same cable home as his old one: "Two and a Half Men" has been in returns on FX for more than a year.
The actor was fired from CBS' top-rated comedy by studio Warner Bros. Television because of his erratic personal life and public ridicule of the show's producer. On the new series, he will be answering in part to himself.
He will have a significant ownership stake in the series, FX said. Sheen noted in July that he will also gain "a certain amount of creative control."
Sheen's new producer, Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth, has worked successfully with him before, and the pair are expected to have cordial relations. Their feature films together include "Major League," ''Young Guns" and "Three Musketeers."
The producers and distributors would be a key selling point for the new series, TV analyst Bill Carroll of media buyer Katz media said in July.
"I have to assume what you're really buying is Joe Roth's ability to produce and deliver a show with Charlie Sheen ... and Lionsgate's track record and the ability of them and Debmar-Mercury to deliver shows. Whoever picks up the show is making a deal with them, not Sheen," Carroll said.
Writer-producer Bruce Helford, a TV veteran whose credits include "The Drew Carey Show," will have hands-on responsibility for the series as its "showrunner," FX said.
A revamped "Two and a Half Men," with Ashton Kutcher added to the cast as a new character, returned for its ninth season on CBS this fall and has remained a top 10 show with solid ratings.
Warner said last month it had reached a settlement in the $100 million wrongful termination lawsuit Sheen had brought over his dismissal. During his bitter public spat with the studio, Sheen became known for pronouncements including "winning!" and that he had "tiger blood."