FX at TCA: Winning with “Anger Management”

Charlie Sheen, Selma Blair and the cast of “Anger Management”.

FX held its panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Saturday, and this is what went down:

– Charlie Sheen appeared in front of the press during the Anger Management panel – in front of many of the same critics who’ve ripped his new show (Anger has only a 44 Metacritic score.) Even though the program’s ratings have dropped by half since its premiere, Management has averaged a 3.1 adults 18-49 demo rating, which means its likely the series will get the 90-episode order it needs to be stripped into syndication in 2014.

FX chief John Landgraf pointed out the multi-cam series shouldn’t be judged by FX’s other comedies, single-cammers Wilfred and Louie. Showrunner Bruce Helford (of Drew Carey Show fame) talked about the unusual production schedule for the show, which includes shooting two episodes a week and little to no rehearsal.

Sheen, who looked a little bit ragged at the panel, said he’s really enjoying the show. From THR: “It’s exciting as hell,” said the former Two And A Half Men co-star. “I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface.” Yep, he’s still winning – at least according to him.

-The Sons of Anarchy panel had some potentially sad news for fans – the series could end after seven seasons, according to its outspoken creator Kurt Sutter in a post-session interview. During the session, Sutter and the cast unveiled major plot points for the series’ fifth season premiere on september 11, which has a new leader at the head of SAMCRO while former leader Clay (Ron Pearlman) was ousted – and also shot. Joining the cast this season are Jimmy Smits and Ashley Tisdale.

– FX introduced two new weekly late-night series during the tour: Brand X with Russell Brand (which was picked up for seven more episodes in addition to its initial six) and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. Both shows plan to feature political, pop culture, and other issues with a comedic bent. The best quote of the panel came from Chris Rock, co-exec producer of Totally Biased: “The news is a TV show. They need ratings. And in our lifetime, we will see boobs on the news.”

Hmmm…. Is Chris Rock describing local newscasts in Chicago?

– And the rest… Speaking of Louie, the sitcom has been picked up for a fourth season with thirteen episodes ordered… During the exec session, Landgraf slammed Netflix’s method of measuring audiences for its original programming, saying it mesaures viewers for only a few minutes of viewing, rather than for an entire episode. Landgraf envisions a long life for Justified and Wilfred, saying “a mininum of six seasons each.”…. FX also picked up a pilot for an adaption of Scandinavian crime drama The Bridge, which could debut next year.