Charlie Sheen’s FX sitcom “Anger Management” will try to boost its sagging ratings with some exposure on the much-bigger Fox network.
The Sheen show is getting four airings on Fox starting Monday (June 3) at 9:30/8:30c, according to upcoming programming schedules released by Fox. That’s in addition to the sitcom’s regular weekly time period on FX — Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c.
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For four consecutive Mondays on Fox, “Anger Management” episodes — some original, some not — will preempt reruns of “The Mindy Project” that were previously scheduled for the Monday slot.
So why is Fox giving a boost to a sitcom on co-owned FX? The answer: “Anger Management” is tanking in the ratings. That’s according to this story on the Hollywood Reporter Web site, which says viewership has fallen to levels well below 800,000 viewers per week (777,000 for last Thursday’s episode).
That might seem like a lot of people, but it's a pittance for a show with such a high-profile star that premiered a year ago with an audience of more than 5.7 million. Moreover, FX and producer Lionsgate have made a huge commitment to "Anger Management," a very rare 90-episode commitment, to be exact, based on the faith FX had in the series' initial ratings combined with Sheen's perceived drawing power.
Now, though, FX seems stuck with a show that is sharply under-performing the network’s expectations, while still having to plow through — and pay for — the production of 90 episodes of this low-rated sitcom.
Will the added exposure on Fox boost the show’s fortunes? Our take: It might expose a group of viewers to the show who hadn’t sampled it before. But the audience for a Monday night lineup in June consisting mostly of comedy repeats is bound to be small anyway by network TV standards — which means there’s no guarantee the strategy will help “Anger Management” increase its Thursday viewership on FX.