Charlie Sheen is happy to declare “Anger Management” literally “a family affair” as he gets back to the business of making television comedy.
Famously dismissed from CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” last year, the actor is now at work on his upcoming FX show inspired by the 2003 Adam Sandler–Jack Nicholson movie. Set to debut Thursday, June 28, it casts him as an ex-baseball player turned unconventional anger therapist, and Sheen says he doesn’t mind aspects of his personal life being drawn in.
To that end, his ex-wife Denise Richards just filmed an episode as … his ex-wife. “It’s symbolically, cosmically interesting that she’s playing that part,” Sheen tells Zap2it, “and she’ll probably recur. She was terrific, and we’re comfortable with each other. We’re friends now and we’re co-parenting pretty effectively, actually wonderfully. That Denise came onto the show is the real-life example that this does work, and I think that’s pretty cool.”
The “Anger Management” family ties don’t end there: A deal for Martin Sheen to play Charlie’s on-screen father is “closing today,” Charlie reports. “Emilio [Estevez] might do an episode arc as a therapy patient, or come in and direct some episodes for us. My brother Ramon is on the show as a producer, and my sister Renee is on the writing staff. It’s quite a place, to be able to look up and see a lot of people that I love and trust.”
Referencing his preceding series experience, Sheen adds the “Anger Management” set is “exactly what the other one should have been, but wasn’t allowed to become because of things that don’t exist in my immediate universe.”
Though his new effort will be in the FX universe that also includes such edgy shows as “American Horror Story” and “Sons of Anarchy,” Sheen says viewers shouldn’t necessarily expect “Anger Management” to follow suit.
“We’re doing traditional, multi-camera sitcom material, and it doesn’t feel like the dialogue is suddenly cable-friendly. I think it would still be within the confines of broadcast standards and practices. People aren’t tuning into a sitcom to hear ‘f***,’ and that was the problem with the other show. That was a funny character, but he only had a few moves that got old after a while. Not everything can be solved with women, cigars and Scotch.”
With an eye toward making “Anger Management” another success, Sheen maintains he’s not watching much comedy elsewhere these days. “I’m so busy with so much other stuff, including the kids, I don’t really have my TV schedule ironed out as a viewer,” he says. “I haven’t seen any particular show that’s made me sit down and take note, but I have to believe that what we’re doing here is hopefully as good.”