It is not a network sitcom, nor are there any announced clearances yet. But former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen will headline Anger Management in first-run syndication.
Produced by Lionsgate and distributed by Debmar-Mercury (home of talker The Wendy Williams Show, game show Family Feud, and comedies Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns), Anger Management is loosely based on the 2003 theatrical of the same name with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler. Sheen, who will have a significant ownership stake in the project, is expected to inherit the role of the out-of-his-mind therapist played by Nicholson.
“Who better than Charlie Sheen to tackle Anger Management,” said producer Joe Roth, who has worked with Sheen in five feature films, including Major League, Young Guns, and Three Musketeers. “With Charlie’s incredible talent and comedic gifts, he remains the leading man of TV sitcoms.”
Once a staple in first-run syndication back in the 1980s, the first-run sitcom is produced directly for syndication, with the hope that some broadcast or cable network might pick it up. First-run sitcoms are on something of a comeback trail: Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns are both distributed by Debmar-Mercury and are produced directly for syndication and cable.
“Our sitcom model is all about building well-known brands around extraordinary talents like Charlie that, thanks to their large profit participation, are highly motivated to succeed,” said Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein.
Anger Management with Charlie Sheen is expected to debut sometime in the 2011-12 season.