Charlie Sheen Returns to Canada: Bell Media Acquires Exclusive Canadian Rights to New Lionsgate Comedy Series ANGER MANAGEMENT
- New sitcom to air on multiple Bell Media TV and digital platforms -
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TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Bell Media confirmed tonight what comedic superstar Charlie Sheen told millions of Canadians in an exclusive on-air message earlier this evening on CTV: his new comedy series ANGER MANAGEMENT is coming to Canada. Bell Media has acquired the exclusive Canadian multi-platform rights to Sheen's new half-hour program ANGER MANAGEMENT from Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury. Production of the new series begins in early 2012. Bell Media will announce its strategic multi-platform roll-out and scheduling of the series at a later date.
In the taped message, Sheen addressed Canadians directly. "You seem like the nicest people in the world," he said. "But I know the truth. You're holding in a lot of anger. Why else would you drink so much beer, put on shoes with sharp blades, and smack each other around with wooden sticks?"
Perhaps the most-anticipated comeback in television history, the former TWO AND A HALF MEN star makes his #winning return to scripted television in a new sitcom loosely based on the hit 2003 feature film of the same name. In the new series, an anger management therapist (Sheen), who may need more counseling than his patients, wreaks havoc on the lives of his patients through his unconventional methods.
"I chose ANGER MANAGEMENT because, while it might be a big stretch for me to play a guy with serious anger management issues, I think it is a great concept," said Sheen.
"Charlie Sheen's ANGER MANAGEMENT already has the television industry buzzing and it hasn't even gone into production yet," said Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports. "With the pedigree behind this production, we're confident this program will deliver to both viewers and advertisers alike."
"Charlie Sheen is a global brand name, and Bell Media is one of the first of many blue chip media companies with whom we will be partnering as we launch this show worldwide," said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution Jim Packer. "Bell Media immediately recognized the show's longterm potential, and we're delighted that Charlie will be entertaining audiences for years to come on CTV, Canada's number one network."
Canada becomes one of the first territories in the world to license ANGER MANAGEMENT, following the announcement in October that the series will air on FX in the U.S.
The licensing agreement was orchestrated by Lionsgate international television executives Peter Iacono and Lawrence Szabo with Bell Media's Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming CTV Networks.
From Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury, led by Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, Sheen also retains a significant ownership stake in the series. Production on the sitcom begins in early 2012 with comedy veteran writer-producer Bruce Helford (GEORGE LOPEZ, THE DREW CAREY SHOW) as executive producer and showrunner. It will be produced by Lionsgate Television, led by Television Group President Kevin Beggs and COO Sandra Stern; Joe Roth and Revolution Studios' Vince Totino; Mark Burg's production company, Evolution Management; and Ramon Estevez and Estevez Sheen Productions.
About Charlie Sheen
Sheen, who has starred in more than 40 feature films, catapulted to fame in such critical and commercial hits as Platoon and Wall Street. His other feature film credits include Major League, Red Dawn, Lucas, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Eight Men Out, Young Guns, Hot Shots!, Hot Shots! Part Deux, The Three Musketeers, The Chase, Money Talks, Being John Malkovich, Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4. He also appeared in the television movies RATED X and GOOD ADVICE.
Sheen became known to television audiences through his Golden Globe Award-winning lead role in SPIN CITY. In 2003, Sheen was cast as Charlie Harper in the sitcom TWO AND A HALF MEN, which was loosely based on Sheen's bad boy image. The role garnered him an ALMA Award and four Emmy Award® nominations, as well as two Golden Globe Award® nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.
In 2011, @charliesheen set a new Guinness World Record for Twitter as the "Fastest Time to Reach 1 Million Followers," adding an average of 129,000 new followers per day.
Debmar-Mercury, a leading media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, produces and distributes for daytime television THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW and THE JEREMY KYLE SHOW, and has U.S. distribution rights to Fremantle Media North America's FAMILY FEUD; distributes Tyler Perry sitcoms HOUSE OF PAYNE, spinoff MEET THE BROWNS and FOR BETTER OR WORSE, and through Revolution Studios' Joe Roth, Debmar-Mercury distributes the sitcoms ANGER MANAGEMENT and CubeVision's ARE WE THERE YET?; and has U.S. TV distribution rights to SOUTH PARK, HELL'S KITCHEN and a movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios. Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading next-generation studio.
About Revolution Studios
Revolution Studios was founded in 2000 by Joe Roth, in partnership with Sony Pictures, Starz Encore Group and Fox Entertainment Group. Since its inception, Revolution Studios has created a library of 46 films, including Black Hawk Down, Maid in Manhattan, Anger Management, and the Are We There Yet? franchise, collectively earning more than $3.7 billion at the box office. Currently, Revolution Studios is engaged in actively managing its library and pursuing licensing opportunities, including sequels, spin-offs, and other productions based on its films. Prior to forming Revolution Studios, Joe Roth served as chairman of both the Walt Disney Studios and Twentieth Century Fox. In addition to being the majority owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, a major league soccer team, Roth produced Alice in Wonderland for Disney, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, which went on to gross over $1 billion. He is currently producing OZ: The Great and Powerful for Disney, directed by Sam Raimi and starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams; and Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal, directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and Sam Claflin.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as multiple Emmy Award winner MAD MEN, WEEDS, and NURSE JACKIE along with recent series such as the comedy BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE and the critically-acclaimed drama BOSS as well as the syndication successes TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE, its spinoff MEET THE BROWNS, THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW and ARE WE THERE YET?.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as The Expendables, Lincoln Lawyer, Margin Call, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, The Last Exorcism, Kick Ass and Precious, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 8% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media entertains, informs and inspires Canadians. Bell Media owns 28 conventional stations, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network and lead broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and owns and operates 29 specialty channels, including TSN, Canada's #1 specialty channel and RDS, Canada's #1 French-language specialty channel. Bell Media also owns 33 radio stations, dozens of websites including the Sympatico.ca portal, and Dome Productions. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.
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