JOHANNESBURG and SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comedy channel Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122) has acquired the exclusive African TV rights to the hit sitcom ANGER MANAGEMENT, starring Hollywood comedy superstar Charlie Sheen, from Lionsgate International, the international television arm of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, the two companies announced today.
Africa's only 24-hour comedy channel will bring the first five seasons of the show to African audiences for the first time. Premiering on Comedy Central on Monday 24 September at 22:35 CAT, Comedy Central will subsequently air two ANGER MANAGEMENT episodes back to back every Monday night at 19:15 CAT and 19:40 CAT.
ANGER MANAGEMENT marks Charlie Sheen's first return to prime time 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 ANGER MANAGEMENT, which starred Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson and Marisa Tomei and grossed $178 million in global box office – an unusual feat for a U.S. comedy.
Since launching in the U.S. on cable channel FX on 28 June 2012, ANGER MANAGEMENT has broken ratings records -- the series premiere attracted 5.74 million viewers in its series debut, making it the most-watched sitcom premiere in U.S. cable history. The show went on to become the highest-rated new comedy series on cable in 2012, and FX ordered an additional 90 episodes last month.
The deal with Comedy Central in Africa follows on the heels of Lionsgate International's sale of ANGER MANAGEMENT in Canada, Latin America, Germany, Scandinavia, Benelux, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Poland. Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury syndication company sold the show to FX in the U.S. and will be selling its second syndication window in the U.S. as well.
"We believe that Comedy Central is the perfect home for ANGER MANAGEMENT in Africa, and we're delighted to continue building the show's momentum around the world," said Lionsgate International Television General Manager Peter Iacono. "The series is off to a great start in the U.S. and, with 90 additional episodes already picked up, it is positioned to have similar resonance with audiences around the world for years to come."
Commented Evert van der Veer, Head of Comedy Central, Africa, "Comedy Central is delighted to partner with Lionsgate International to bring Anger Management exclusively to comedy fans in Africa, complementing our existing comedy sitcom slate with this high profile, ratings-winning sitcom that everyone is talking about."
Sheen interprets the role of Dr. Charlie Goodson, a non-traditional therapist specializing in anger management. Charlie enjoys a successful private practice, holding sessions with his group of primary patient regulars each week, as well as performing pro bono counseling for inmates at the state prison. Prior to becoming an anger management therapist, Charlie was a minor league baseball player who ruined his own sports career by breaking his leg with a baseball bat in a fit of anger.
ANGER MANAGEMENT follows Charlie as he pursues his new choice of career – counseling others on how to contain their anger issues, even though his chaotic life ensures that his own anger issues often rise to the surface. Life is complicated by his relationships with his own therapist/best friend, Selma Blair (CRUEL INTENTIONS, LEGALLY BLONDE), an ex-wife, Shawnee Smith (SAW franchise, BECKER) and their 13-year-old daughter, Sam (Daniela Bobadilla), who has OCD.
The show will include cameos from Charlie Sheen's inner circle, including Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen's ex-wife. Martin Sheen has confirmed his participation as a recurring character, playing Charlie's father. Regular characters on the show include Noureen DeWulf as anger management patient Lacey and Derek Richardson as Nolan (a member of Charlie's anger management group).
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.
ABOUT LIONSGATE 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 the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, the critically acclaimed series Weeds, Nurse Jackie and Boss, the new comedy Anger Management, which has been picked up for an additional 90 episodes by FX, 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 2, The Possession, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection, The Lincoln Lawyer 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 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 15,000 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.
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