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Troubled Sheen plots TV comeback

FIRED Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen will try to return to a winning TV sitcom next summer in FX's new Anger Management.

The cable channel said yesterday it had acquired the series loosely based on the 2003 Adam Sandler--Jack Nicholson movie of the same name, about a troubled therapist who disrupts his patients' lives.

FX ordered an initial 10 episodes of Anger Management starring Sheen, with production set to begin early next year. The series was announced in July by Lionsgate subsidiary Debmar--Mercury, which had shopped it to various broadcast and cable networks.

If the comedy catches on with viewers, FX will pick up an additional 90 episodes that will air first on the channel and then in broadcast syndication.

Hilarious

The same model was used by Debmar-Mercury on the Ice Cube comedy series Are We There Yet? and on Tyler Perry's House Of Payne and Meet The Browns, all of which air on TBS.

FX Networks head John Landgraf called Anger Management a "wonderful, hilarious vehicle for Charlie's acting talents". Sheen's new show will air on the same cable station as his old one -- Two And A Half Men has been in returns on FX for more than a year.

The actor was fired from CBS's top-rated comedy by studio Warner Bros. Television because of his erratic personal life and public ridicule of the show's producer. On the new series, he will be answering in part to himself.

He will have a significant ownership stake in the series, FX said. Sheen noted in July that he will also gain "a certain amount of creative control".

Sheen's new producer, Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth, has worked successfully with him before, and the pair are expected to have cordial relations. Their feature films together include Major League, Young Guns and Three Musketeers. The producers and distributors would be a key selling point for the new series, TV analyst Bill Carroll of media buyer Katz media said in July.

"I have to assume what you're really buying is Joe Roth's ability to produce and deliver a show with Charlie Sheen," he said.