Martin Sheen To Play Charlie’s Father On ‘Anger Management’, Show Nears Pickup
Martin Sheen has closed a deal to play Charlie Sheen‘s father as a new regular on Sheen’s FX comedy series Anger Management on the show’s 90-episode back order. “I think that what the entry of Marty Sheen’s character will do, it will give an extra dimension to the show and make it multi-generational family comedy, which is the setup of many successful sitcoms, including (the original) 2.5 Men,” FX president John Landgraf said at the network’s TCA executive session this morning.
FX has not pulled the trigger on the 90-episode pickup yet but Landgraf admitted that was very likely. Through 6 episodes, the series has exceeded the threshold required for renewal. (All episodes after the first two are counted toward the ratings average.) “It has given us every indication that it will earn that renewal… the odds are overwhelming”, Landgraf said. He later was asked how he feels creatively about the show, which has earned mixed reviews. “I am happy creatively with the show,” he said. He noted that the critics who panned the show compared it to other FX shows such as Louie and Archer. “With all due respect, I think more fair comparison would be 2.5 Men, Two Broke Girls and Mike & Molly. In that regard I think it’s developing very nicely and will stack very fairly and squarely with other multi-camera shows.”
Work on additional episodes of Anger Management is already well underway. FX has authorized writers on the show to go back to work. According to creator/showrunner Bruce Helford, they have already broken out 18 episodes and have four completed scripts. By the time FX makes its pickup decision, there will be 8-10 scripts ready to shoot, Helford estimates. Production on the show will go in blocks: 11 weeks for writing then 11 weeks for shooting and so forth, with occasional two-week breaks as the series plans to largely stay in continuous production in order to produce 100 episodes in two years. The accelerated schedule doesn’t allow for extensive rehearsals and runthroughs like regular networks sitcoms do, but Helford, a sitcom veteran who has worked on a slew of conventional sitcoms, likes that. “I think this will become the process for the industry,” he said, noting the millions of dollars “wasted” by the traditional sitcom production method. “This is a better way to do it.”
Martin Sheen previously guest starred on his son’s two previous sitcoms, Spin City and Two And A Half Men. “We figured he should be in this too,” Charlie Sheen said. He took the idea to Helford. A couple of weeks later, there was a script with a dad character in it. “We loved it and shot it,” Charlie Sheen said. “I think it is the best episode we did. He brings a whole new energy.” Martin Sheen appears in the final episode of Anger Management‘s initial 10-episode order before he returns for the back-90.