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Charlie Sheen’s Return Breaks American Cable History
The return of troubled film star Charlie Sheen broke viewer records on American television this week.
Sheen’s new show Anger Management, which debuted on American cable channel FX on Thursday night, attracted 5.47 million viewers – the highest number of viewers for a scripted comedy in the history of American television.
The son of Martin Sheen and the star of Oliver Stone’s Platoon and Wall Street, as well as the Top Gun spoof Hot Shots, Sheen’s career in film and TV looked to be over last year after a public nervous breakdown.
Amid accusations of sustained drug and alcohol abuse, copious use of prostitutes and domestic violence, Sheen gave a series of disastrous high-profile interviews before taking to the social media website Twitter, leading to the phrases “Tiger Blood” and “Winning” entering the general lexicon.
The public meltdown led to his dismissal from long-running CBS TV show Two and a Half Men last year, on which he was considered a fixture. At the time, Sheen was the highest paid actor on television, earning $1.8 million per episode.
But there’s clearly still a fascination for Sheen. Episode one of Anger Management broke records in overall viewers with 5.47 million, as well as the key 18-49 demographic, with 2.65 million.
Episode two bested it by attracting 5.74 million total and 2.89 million in the 18-49 demographic.
The sit-com sees Sheen stepping into the role of ex-ball player and current anger management coach Charlie Goodson. Selma Blair, Shawnee Smith and Daniela Bobadilla co-star.
Born Carlos Irwin Estevez, Sheen broke into films with a small role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off before playing Chris Taylor in Oliver Stone’s Oscar winning Platoon – believed to be based on Stone’s own experiences in the Vietnamese war. Noted for his charitable work, he is an outspoken advocate of the 9/11 Truth Movement.