The Fox Television Stations have acquired Debmar-Mercury's Anger
Management, starring Charlie Sheen, for a fall 2014 premiere, Fox and
Debmar said Wednesday.
"Typical wisdom says off-cable shows aren't right for
general syndication, but that's way too narrow-minded for today's
reality," said Frank Cicha, FTS' senior VP of programming, in a statement.
"When a program produces these ratings, regardless of the platform, you
have to take it seriously. We did, and we expect Anger Management to be a key piece of our sitcom dominance for
years to come."
Fox has acquired the show for nine of its markets: WNYW/WWOR
New York, KTTV/KCOP Los Angeles, WFLD/WPWR Chicago, KDFW/KDFI Dallas, WTTG/WDCA
Washington, D.C., KRIV/KTXH Houston, KSAZ/KUTP Phoenix, KMSP/WFTC Minneapolis
and WOFL/WRBW Orlando.
Fox picked up Anger Management on a cash-plus- barter
basis, meaning it will pay a cash license fee as well as allowing the
syndicator national advertising time in the show. The show will air in
double-runs in access and late-fringe every day of the week. Fox purchased the
show for four years -- or throughout its network run -- with an option for
three more years.
Last summer, the show aired in a ten-episode test on FX,
launching as the most-watched primetime scripted comedy premiere in cable
history. Over its ten episodes, Anger Management averaged 4.53 million
viewers and 2.5 million adults aged 18-49, cable's key demographic. As per the
producers' agreement with FX, that ratings performance guaranteed an order of
90 more episodes and sent the show into broadcast syndication.
Anger Management adds to Fox's growing stable of
off-net comedies, which includes syndication's top-rated sitcom, The Big
Bang Theory, and will see Twentieth's Modern Family added to the
line-up next fall.
"We are thrilled to have Fox as our core station group
for Anger Management as we begin rolling it out nationally," said
Debmar-Mercury copresidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein in a statement.
"Fox is acquiring today's most valuable sitcoms, and a broad-based,
male-driven sitcom like Anger Management will
play perfectly with both Big Bang Theory and
Modern Family on Fox stations in
major markets. Anger Management achieved
record-breaking ratings on FX and we believe it will perform extremely well in
The show's producer, Lionsgate Television, began production
on the 90-episode order on Sept. 24, with Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning
actor Martin Sheen, and Sheen's real-life dad, joining the cast in a recurring
role, playing "Martin Goodson," Charlie's father. Bruce Helford
serves as executive producer and showrunner. Mark Burg, Joe Roth, Vince Totino
and Dave Caplan are executive producers. Anger Management is produced by
Lionsgate Television and distributed by Debmar-Mercury.
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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