Despite the critical drubbing that Charlie Sheen's new FX comedy Anger Management has received so far, the series premiere broadcast now holds the record for the highest rated debut of any original series in the history of the network.
Last night saw the first two episodes of Anger Management hit the airwaves, with the premiere episode "Charlie Goes Back to Therapy" bringing in 5.5 million viewers, 2.7 million of those in the advertiser treasured 18-49 demographic. The second episode "Charlie and the Slumpbuster" actually managed to improve on those already great numbers, delivering 5.7 million overall viewers, 2.9 million of which were 18-49.
The news gets even better for Charlie, as Anger Management also now holds the record for highest rated scripted comedy premiere in the history of basic cable. That is, if you're willing to exclude children's series from the equation. The large audience for AM also helped the rest of the Thursday night FX lineup (Louie, Wilfred) post huge gains in audience levels from last season.
Due to the unique contract FX has with Sheen, if ratings stay at a certain level (which these numbers easily exceed) the show will be automatically picked up for ninety (!) more episodes. In other words, we could be seeing many more years of Charlie Sheen fronted comedy, whether we like it or not. Of course, the real test will be next week. Lots of people may have initially tuned in out of morbid Sheen-related curiosity, and nobody knows how many of those viewers will come back for round two. For now though, Charlie is again "WINNING" indeed.
Did you check out FX's Anger Management? Was it worth watching?