Actor Charlie Sheen, due to his personal problems and larger-than-life persona, has still proven to be quite the draw, even after quitting Two and a Half Men at the height of its success. His new FX comedy, Anger Management, set cable TV records last Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His new half-hour comedy aired two episodes last Thursday, with the first raking in 5.47 million viewers, making it the most viewed scripted comedy in cable history. If that was not enough, the second episode brought in even more viewers, with 5.74 million tuning in.
Reviews for the show have been mixed, but Two and a Half Men was never really a critical hit either, and it seems people are tuning in to see if Charlie Sheen has pulled himself together, at least enough to star as yet another version of himself in an off-color TV comedy. The show stars Sheen as a former baseball player who is now an anger management therapist, but has plenty of anger issues of his own.
Anger Management leads in FX’s new Thursday comedy block, which also features Wilfred, starring Elijah Wood, and Louie, the groundbreaking comedy series written by, directed by and starring cult favorite comedian Louis CK. If Anger Management continues to succeed, it could mean bigger ratings also for the more critically-acclaimed shows following it in the lineup. Louie in particular could benefit, as it is a show that draws viewers in once they have decided to tune in with a unique sensibility never really seen before in a half-hour sitcom.
The early success of Anger Management could be fleeting, however, if the show does not improve. It’s likely many viewers were tuning in more due to Charlie Sheen’s personal life than the quality of the show, or its premise. If the first ten episodes are a success, there will reportedly be 90 more; and FX is known for sticking with its shows to give them time to build an audience and improve.