Following CTV’s live coverage of the London Olympics’ closing ceremony, the Canadian network aired a sneak preview of Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management, which drew 2.9 million viewers to become the most-watched debut of any new series on Canadian television this broadcast year (September 2011 to date), posting the No.1 August series audience on record. But despite its big lead-in, Anger Management could not match last fall’s season premiere of Two And A Half Men introducing Sheen’s replacement on the show, Ashton Kutcher, which drew 5 million viewers on CTV. In adults 18-49, Anger Management‘s debut averaged 1.3 million viewers. In the U.S., Sheen’s new sitcom has had a solid 10-episode first-season run on FX and is nearing a 90-episode renewal.
UPDATE 6:20 PM: CTV parent Bell Media just issued a release announcing the pickup of the Charlie Sheen sitcom Anger Management. Release below the story:
PREVIOUS 6:05 PM: As the expansion of Charlie Sheen’s recent comedy tour to Canada proved, the actor is very popular north of the border. So it’s not surprising that the first international territory to commit to Sheen’s new series, Anger Management, is Canada. I have learned that, in a competitive situation, Canada’s Bell Media has landed the rights to the new series for its CTV network. Sheen is expected to make the announcement on the leading Canadian broadcaster tonight. Like FX, which picked up the project in the U.S., CTV also carries Sheen’s previous series, Two And A Half Men. The license fee for Anger Management is said to be at the high end of expectations. Anger Management, inspired by the 2003 movie by that name, is being produced by Lionsgate TV, with Lionsgate subsidiary Debmar-Mercury handling domestic sales and Lionsgate International TV in charge of international distribution. The international deals for the series are significant because they call for the networks to commit to 100 episodes outright without having seen a single frame of the show. Under the Debmar-Mercury model, FX has committed to an initial order of 10 episodes. If that run meets a ratings threshold, it will trigger a massive 90-episode back order. International buyers are asked to commit to all episodes produced from the get-go, so if FX goes for 90 additional episodes, they will automatically do so too. After Canada, the next sale for Anger Management is expected to be in Latin America where there are multiple bidders, followed by a rollout in Europe. Writers are already working on the first 10 scripts of Anger Management under executive producer/showrunner Bruce Helford, with production slated to begin early next year.
Toronto, ON (December 12, 2011) – Bell Media confirmed tonight what comedic superstar Charlie Sheen told millions of Canadians in an exclusive on-air message earlier this evening on CTV: his new comedy series ANGER MANAGEMENT is coming to Canada. Bell Media has acquired the exclusive Canadian multi-platform rights to Sheen’s new half-hour program ANGER MANAGEMENT from Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury. Production of the new series begins in early 2012. Bell Media will announce its strategic multi-platform roll-out and scheduling of the series at a later date.
In the taped message, Sheen addressed Canadians directly. “You seem like the nicest people in the world,” he said. “But I know the truth. You’re holding in a lot of anger. Why else would you drink so much beer, put on shoes with sharp blades, and smack each other around with wooden sticks?”