SANTA MONICA, Calif. and LONDON, July 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Anger Management continues to set the world on fire as Comedy Central UK announced today that it has acquired exclusive UK broadcast rights to the Charlie Sheen sitcom from Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) international television division.
Lionsgate International has already sold Anger Management in Canada, Latin America, Germany, Scandinavia, Benelux, Australia, New Zealand and Poland. Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury syndication company sold the show to FX Network in the U.S. and will be selling its second syndication window in the U.S. as well.
Anger Management debuted on Thursday 28th June in the US on FX, breaking cable TV records as it became the most-watched series premiere of all time.
Charlie Sheen's return to primetime television was picked up by Comedy Central UK at the LA screenings in May and joins top rating show Two and a Half Men exclusively on the channel.
"Anger Management was the funniest show from this year's screenings – Charlie is back and on incredible form," said Chris Collie, Director of Programming for Comedy Central. "Anger Management sits perfectly alongside our line-up of the biggest and most talked about U.S. shows – 30 Rock, South Park, The Office, Two And A Half Men, Friends and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
"We believe that Comedy Central is the perfect home for Anger Management in the U.K., and we're delighted to continue building the show's momentum through ground breaking sales in territories around the world," said Lionsgate International television executive Peter Iacono. "The show is off to a record-breaking start in the U.S., and we expect it to have similar resonance with audiences around the world."
Anger Management and Series 2 of UK commission Threesome are the first shows from the Comedy Central autumn line-up to be announced.
The new series marks Charlie Sheen's first return to serialized television since his departure from the CBS hit series Two and a Half Men a little over a year ago. The show is loosely based on Revolution Studios' 2003 feature film Anger Management, which grossed $178 million in global box office.
In this new series, Sheen stars as ex-baseball pro turned anger management therapist Charlie Goodson, who has to cope with some anger management issues of his own. His female costars are Shawnee Smith (SAW franchise, Becker) as his ex-wife and Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde) as his therapist. Bruce Helford (George Lopez, The Drew Carey Show) heads up the writing team and serves as showrunner. Joe Roth, Vince Totino, Dave Caplan and Mark Burg are executive producing along with Helford.
Anger Management is produced by Lionsgate Television in conjunction with Roth and Totino's Revolution Studios, Burg's Evolution Entertainment, Helford's Mohawk Productions, Inc. and Estevez Sheen Productions.
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Lionsgate 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, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 23 shows on 16 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, along with the powerful drama Boss, the new comedy Anger Management, the upcoming network series Nashville and Next Caller, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and the upcoming Orange Is The New Black, an original series for Netflix.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, which has already grossed nearly $700 million at the worldwide box office, The Expendables, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection and Margin Call. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company has now added the blockbuster Twilight Saga, which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, to its current slate, giving the Company the two premier young adult franchises in the world. Recent Summit hits include Red, Letters to Juliet, Knowing, the Step Up franchise and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Hurt Locker.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD 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 and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
ABOUT COMEDY CENTRAL UK
Comedy Central launched in the UK in April 2009, becoming the fasted growing Pay TV channel of the year.
Comedy Central shows the best content from the UK and US. From Two and a Half Men, 30 Rock, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, South Park, The Office and Friends to our first original scripted comedy Threesome which The Times called 'best new sitcom' and Heat dubbed 'funny, original and totally believable'. Series 2 will headline the 2012 autumn schedule.
June 2012 saw the commission of The Alternative Comedy Experience curated by BAFTA award winner Stewart Lee and a pilot from Objective Productions Big Bad World starring Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners).
The channel's highest rating performance in September 2011 saw 1,135,000 viewers tune in to see Ashton Kutcher make his debut in Two and a Half Men.
Comedy Central airs stadium specials featuring the biggest names in stand-up such as Lee Evans, Alan Carr, and Dara O'Briain as well as being the exclusive digital home of Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and Live at the Apollo and exclusive commission Comedy Central at the Comedy Store.
Robin Ince and Josie Long headline the podcast series Utter Shambles which has generated over 4 million downloads and attracted guests including Al Murray, Stewart Lee, Tim Minchin and Terry Jones.
The Comedy Central DVD label boasts Stewart Lee (winner of Chortle award for Best DVD) Jim Jefferies and Rufus Hound.
Comedy Central is owned by BSKYB (25%) and Viacom (75%)