LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He’s “winning” — again. Charlie Sheen, who had a spectacular fall from TV grace on his former sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” confirmed on Monday reports that he will return to television in a new comedy, “Anger Management,” based on the 2003 movie of the same name.
The film starred Adam Sandler as a man who is forced into anger management counseling only to meet an instructor (Jack Nicholson), who is more than a bit angry himself. Sheen will take the Sandler role in the TV show and retain an ownership stake in the series, the producers said in a statement.
“I chose ‘Anger Management’ because, while it might be a big stretch for me to play a guy with serious anger management issues, I think it’s a great concept,” Sheen said.
Sheen had been TV’s highest paid actor for his role as Charlie Harper, a boozing womanizing bachelor on No. 1-rated comedy “Two and a Half-Men.” But earlier this year he was fired by its makers and CBS, the network that aired the show, after he lashed out in public rants at “Men” creator Chuck Lorre.
The actor’s firing followed a series of incidents in late 2009 and 2010 that landed him in legal trouble and in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse.
After he was kicked off “Men” in March this year, Sheen began a posting videos and making statements on Twitter to his fans in which he characterized his detractors as losers and touted his “winning” ways. He also embarked on a one-man, live stage show — his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” comedy tour — which met with mixed results in various cities.
In May, CBS and the “Men” hired Ashton Kutcher to replace Sheen, and since then, speculation has mounted about Sheen’s future. Reports surfaced recently on celebrity news websites that he reached a deal to work on the “Anger Management” TV show, and Monday’s announcement from Sheen and the show’s producers, Lionsgate Television,” confirmed those reports.
“Who better than Charlie Sheen to tackle Anger Management,” said Joe Roth, who heads up Revolution Studios, which produced the movie and backed the TV show. “With Charlie’s incredible talent and comedic gifts, he remains the leading man of TV sitcoms. I’m excited to collaborate with him once again.”
Sheen and Roth had worked together on previous films including “Major League” and “Young Guns.”
The actor said the new deal gives him “real ownership” in the series and “a certain amount of creative control.”
“Anger Management” does not yet have a U.S. network. It will be syndicated by Lionsgate unit, Debmar-Mercury.
Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte, Editing by Christine Kearney