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TV Column
Posted at 11:00 PM ET, 07/29/2012

Martin Sheen to help Charlie deal with ‘Anger Management’


Charlie Sheen (Frederick M. Brown - GETTY IMAGES)
Martin Sheen will play a recurring character on son Charlie Sheen’s FX comedy series “Anger Management,” if the network orders the additional 90 episodes, in order to make it a more “multi-generational” comedy, FX chief John Landgraf told TV critics at Summer TV Press Tour 2012.

“Anger Management” has not yet been picked up for its full order of 100 episodes, but Landgraf said the show enjoys “overwhelming odds” of getting the pick-up.

FX bought “Anger Management” under the so-called “10-90” model, in which it agrees to run 10 episodes which, if they hit an agreed upon a ratings, trigger an additional 90-episode pickup -- giving the producer the magic 100 episodes needed for syndication.

FX has not yet announced the show’s fate, based on ratings to date. The first two episodes, which ran back to back on premiere night and averaged 5.5 million, a new cable TV comedy series premiere record — are excluded from the pickup formula.

“We have the right to wait for every single number of the first 10 episodes, and we’re going to take that prerogative,” Landgraf explained to TV critics at Summer TV Press Tour 2012, though he said, based on the numbers for episodes 3 through 6, “the odds are overwhelming it will earn that renewal.”

Anyway, if the series lives past 10 episodes, Martin Sheen will play Charlie Sheen’s dad in some, but not all, episodes, which will make it a “multi-generational show” – something “Two and a Half Men” had while Sheen was its star, but lost when Sheen left and Ashton Kutcher’s character was introduced, Landgraf insisted.

Speaking of losing things, “AM” showrunner Bruce Helford told TV critics that though t”Anger Management” was announced as an adaptation of the hit flick of same name, that’s not how it panned out.

“When the gang told me — Joe Roth and all the gang from Lionsgate and everybody — told me that they want to do a show “Anger Management,” we all agreed that there was really nothing in that movie, because it was really built around the character who was not obviously not an anger management therapist, and Charlie wanted to play an anger management therapist. There was one — it was Jack Nicholson, but he was a whole different kind of character. So really the title is really pretty much — is what’s left of that.”

Asked about the one episode that has been shot with Martin Sheen playing Martin Goodson, Charlie Sheen assured TV critics his dad “brings a whole different energy to it, a whole different sense of it’s not Martinville, but it’s certainly not Charlieville at that point, you know?”

No, they didn’t.

Critics, apparently not tired of hearing about Sheen’s very public meltdown last year, in the middle of which Warner Bros. TV sacked him from “Men,” asked him to reminisce.

“It was a crazy time, like a dream I couldn’t wake up from or a train I couldn’t get off, except I was the conductor. It’s something that could never happen again,” he said.

“I learned a lot, I learned to stick to what you know. I learned, don’t go on a one man show with no act...Now that I’m not insane anymore, I’m accountable — most of the time,” he added.

At one point, Helford lept to Sheen’s defense.

“Charlie didn’t really have a voice on ‘Two and a Half Men’ as a creative input. It wasn’t built that way and didn’t happen. It didn’t grow into that. The way that I’ve always worked is... we’re truly partners.

So when Charlie’s on the stage, really that’s his stage. And…when you feel that, your creative juices are flowing, everything is better for you. You look forward to going to work because you have a say in what you’re doing. And I believe people live longer when they control their own destiny and are healthier and happier when they have some control over their own destiny, and we’re really fortunate enough to be able to do some of that. And when you don’t control your destiny, things get screwed up in your head, and when you do that for eight years, things get really messed up, I would imagine.”

By  |  11:00 PM ET, 07/29/2012

 
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