Friday August 31, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- FX is ordering 90 more episodes of "Anger Management," Charlie Sheen’s TV comeback vehicle after being fired from "Two and a Half Men."

The unusually large order reflects the original agreement that FX made for the sitcom that stars Sheen as a therapist.

As part of the deal, FX set a ratings target for eight of the first 10 episodes of "Anger Management." The show reached the threshold, earning an automatic 90-episode order, the channel said.

The round figure of 100 episodes is the benchmark for series syndication, and that’s the future for episodes that have shown first on FX, said producer Debmar-Mercury, a Lionsgate subsidiary.

"Anger Management" will go into syndication in September 2014, the company said.

FX Networks executive vice president Chuck Saftler said he’s confident the producers and cast will be able to produce the full order during the next two years after quickly turning out the first 10.

In July, Sheen said the prospect of continuing is as "exciting as hell," and added, "I don’t think 90’s gonna be enough."

FX called "Anger Management" cable’s highest-rated new comedy series this year, averaging 4.5 million total viewers.

The number reflects the show’s initial strong showing after its June debut, when it attracted more than 5.5 million viewers.


Advertisement

The show’s viewership dropped to below 3 million for some later episodes and was hard-hit by the Olympics in August, averaging just under 2 million, according to Nielsen Co.

But "Anger Management" remained a healthy performer among advertiser-coveted young adult viewers, which was key to FX’s decision to place the big-ticket order.

Sheen, who was replaced by Ashton Kutcher on CBS’ top-rated comedy, was fired in 2011 by studio Warner Bros. Television because of his erratic personal life and public ridicule of the show’s producer.

With "Anger Management," Sheen answers in part to himself with what FX has called a "significant ownership stake" in the show. Bruce Helford is the executive producer.

n

NEW YORK -- The first night of the Republican National Convention drew an estimated 22.3 million television viewers, the vast majority over age 55.

The Nielsen Company said that the audience, spread over nine TV networks, was down from the 23.1 million who watched the first full night of the 2008 convention that nominated John McCain to run for president against eventual winner Barack Obama.

Nielsen said that just under 15 million of the people who watched on Tuesday night were age 55 and over.

Fox News Channel, with 6.9 million viewers, beat all the other networks during the 10 to 11 p.m. hour when they all competed.

n

NEW YORK -- The advocacy group GLAAD has given the CW network high marks among broadcasters for its portrayal of gay and lesbian characters. The group also gave a favorable rating to cable networks Showtime, ABC Family, TNT and HBO.

The study tracked gay-and-lesbian-inclusive hours in prime-time programming on 10 major cable networks as well as the five major broadcast outlets.

Behind broadcast front-runner CW were ABC and Fox. NBC was ranked fourth, with CBS in last place, according to the study released Thursday by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Among the year’s highlights, GLAAD cited the participation of transgender activist Chaz Bono on ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars."