Charlie Sheen’s new FX comedy series, Anger Management” averaged just under 5.5 million viewers in its premiere episode, making it the most watched scripted prime time comedy series premiere in cable television history outside of children’s programming. Even though Sheen’s career seemed to be sliding toward the basement after his firing from CBS’s “Two and a Half Men,” today he appears healthy and sane compared to the days of his national “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option” tour.
With the success of the new show it now looks like Charlie is still “winning” even though he is no longer running on "tiger blood. Although the 5.5 million viewers that Anger Management drew is small compared to the seasonal average of around 15 million viewers that “Two and a Half Men” was able to pull in, it was still the most watched series premiere in FX history. The second episode of Anger Management pulled in
even more viewers at 5.74 million, a number that included 2.9 million people in the key target age bracket of 18 to 49 year old viewers.
On Anger Management, he plays a version of himself again and stars as a therapist named Charlie, the same name he used in “Two and a Half Men”and “Spin City” and will also play in the upcoming Roman Coppola film, “A Glimpse Into the Mind of Charles Swan III.” Sheen’s base of advertisers seems to be returning to health as well, with both Fiat and DirecTV casting him in new commercials that play off his well-established bad-boy image. Sheen recently told the press that he is a fully-committed, retired gambler, and emphasized “Not recovering, retired. But this is a gamble I'd be willing to take, the show, I believe, will remind people that they were curious about the work at first and not the antics." After his departure from “Men,” Sheen sued for $100 million, but reportedly settled for an initial $25 million with more cash to come from future syndication revenues.
If the first ten Anger Management episodes are able to earn ratings that put it firmly within the group of the best-performing shows on cable television, the new show will be guaranteed 90 more episodes. Sheen has said that Anger Management will offer viewers the chance to see him in a different light, but whether or not the initial 5.5 million viewers will return for more remains to be seen.