I only managed to watch about two-thirds of the pilot for Charlie Sheen’s “Anger Management” before coming to the conclusion that 1) it’s horrible, 2) it’s harmful to the otherwise sterling FX reputation, and 3) Charlie Sheen didn’t deserve to be saved, but even he’s better than the series. Despite ratings that cratered after the initial curiosity wore off, FX picked up the option on the series, which guaranteed that it would receive 100 episodes in total.
So, there’s 90 episodes left, and when there are 90 episodes of a series with diminishing returns remaining, how can you burn them off? Air them once a week, of course. That’s the plan, so says FX president, John Landgraf. Beginning January 17th, “Anger Management” will air 45 episodes a year. For two years. That means, save for holiday and sports preemptions, there will be an episode of “Anger Management” to not look forward to every single week until 2015.
There’s an extra dose of bad news, too, as Martin Sheen has been added to the series to bring a multi-generational spin to the sitcom, which means that President Bartlett is trapped to a sinking ship for two years, too.
What kind of strategy is this, anyway? How is it even possible to create 45 episodes of any sitcom in a year and maintain any sense of quality? Are they just trying to work Charlie Sheen back into a drug addiction so he’ll breach his contract?
If so, smart move, FX. Smart move.
The good news, at least, is that it looks like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which sadly only gets a fraction “Anger Management’s” ratings, will be renewed for another season.