Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Becker alumna Shawnee Smith has landed one of the female leads in Charlie Sheen’s FX comedy Anger Management. On the Lionsgate TV-produced series, which has an initial 10-episode order from FX, Sheen portrays Charlie, a former baseball player with anger issues who winds up as an unconventional anger management therapist. Smith will play Charlie’s ex-wife, who is searching for a life path after living in Charlie’s shadow for a long time. She was one of four actresses who tested for the role at the studio, and two, along with Kate Reinders, who went to the network today. A decision on the other adult female lead role, that of Charlie’s therapist, is pending; Selma Blair and Elaine Hendrix went to the network test today. In interviews at NATPE earlier this week, Sheen raved about the possibility of working with Blair. UPDATE: I hear that the network may want to read additional actresses before making a decision on the therapist role. Under the model employed by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, if the 10-episode run hits a ratings target, that will trigger a 90-episode order by FX, which would be produced on an accelerated schedule over the next two years. That wouldn’t be a stretch for Smith, repped by Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon Entertainment and attorney Todd Rubenstein, who did 124 episodes of CBS’ Becker starring Ted Danson. On the feature side, she will next be seen the Billy Bob Thornton-directed Jayne Mansfield’s Car opposite Kevin Bacon and Robert Duvall.

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