Bad boy Sheen on a comeback - starring as himself

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:52pm EDT
 
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By Ronald Grover

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A year after his public meltdown, Charlie Sheen is returning from Hollywood's purgatory with a flourish, appearing in two commercials ahead of a new TV show this summer -- all playing off the bad boy image that got him in trouble in the first place.

Sheen's return to TV after being fired in March 2011 from hit sitcom "Two and A Half Men" is currently playing out in TV ads for satellite company DirecTV and carmaker Fiat in which the 46-year-old star displays his trademark smirk and even extols the virtue of "house arrest" after racing the Fiat 500 Abarth through the halls of a mansion.

"He is who he is, and we're not going to change that," said his long-time manager Mark Burg, who plotted a series of TV appearances last year he now refers to Sheen's "mea culpa tour."

On June 28, Sheen's new show, aptly titled "Anger Management" and loosely based on the 2003 movie of the same name, launches on cable channel FX. In the show, Sheen plays "a stalled minor league baseball prospect whose road to the majors was sidetracked by his own struggle with anger issues," the network said in a press release.

Sheen's character becomes a "non traditional therapist specializing in anger management" after he goes through his own therapy.

The show is a leap of faith that Sheen has overcome his issues with drug and alcohol abuse, FX president John Landgraf acknowledged during a presentation to television critics in January. "We're a network that likes to take risks," he said.

Sheen's role is "the character that Charlie ought to be playing at this point in the sense that he is a character who has a checkered past but is pretty self aware, is struggling in a very honest way with that checkered past and desire to do more positive things in his life," Landgraf said.

'MEA CULPA' TOUR   Continued...

 
Presenter Charlie Sheen announces the winner of the award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series to actor Jim Parsons for television series "The Big Bang Theory" at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 18, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni