Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sheen Back on TV in 'Anger Management,' but Canadians Will Have to Wait

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sheen Back on TV in 'Anger Management,' but Canadians Will Have to Wait

Article excerpt

Canadians will have to wait to see Sheen

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Looking for Charlie Sheen this week? You may have to cross the border to see him.

The former "Two and a Half Men" star returns Stateside on Thursday in his new comedy "Anger Management." The long-awaited series originates on the U.S. cable network FX.

Surprisingly, FX Canada, which is owned by Rogers (which also owns City and OMNI stations), does not have the Canadian rights to the series. The rights belong to CTV, which trumped the acquisition as their big "get" at their recent fall preview upfront to advertisers and press in Toronto.

CTV usually takes pains to simulcast U.S. acquisitions. Aside from a sneak preview during their Summer Olympic Games coverage, they're holding "Anger Management" back until the fall.

That's a strategy that has worked in the past for CTV with American cable shows such as Betty White's "Hot in Cleveland." Canadians, however, may be confused this week after seeing Sheen on the cover or Rolling Stone and Playboy, promoting his series on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" or seeing several references to the series this week on the Internet as well as on popular magazine shows such as "Entertainment Tonight."

CTV is no doubt gambling that Sheen's new show will open big in the U.S. -- kicking in a deal that will eventually lead to 100 episodes being shot for the series. Instead of just ordering one pilot, FX asked executive producer Bruce Helford ("The Drew Carey Show") to make an initial 10 episodes with Sheen. He plays a counsellor in the series who has an ex-wife (played by Shawnee Smith), a teenage daughter (Vancouver-native Daniela Bobadilla) and his own therapist (Selma Blair).

"The idea, like most shows about therapists," says Helford, "is that his life is more screwed up than his patients."

Helford joined Sheen at a low-key, night-time, outdoor meeting with a select group of reporters at the most recent TV critics press tour in Los Angeles. He believes shooting one pilot is an old-fashioned network concept that just doesn't make sense anymore.

"With 10 episodes, we can create an arc, get great writers, it gives us creative security."

In television, however, there is no such thing as ratings security. …

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