Sheen's new comedy, "Anger Management," debuted on FX on Thursday night, and judging by the ratings, the show was highly anticipated. The episode earned the highest ratings ever for a scripted comedy on primetime cable.
According to the TV by the Numbers, the premiere of "Anger Management" at 9 p.m. drew an estimated 5.47 million total viewers. Of those, 2.65 million were in the target audience of 18- to 49-year-olds. A second episode aired at 9:30 p.m. and scored even higher, with 5.74 million viewers and 2.89 million in the 18-49 demographic. Those figures put the episode as the most watched program in the history of the FX network.
While the numbers for "Anger Management" were record-breaking for a cable sitcom, they fell just short of Thursday's top-rated shows on basic broadcast television. CBS owned the night as "The Big Bang Theory" led the ratings with 7.66 million viewers, followed by "Person of Interest" with 6.53 million and "The Mentalist" with 6.20 million.
In "Anger Management," Sheen plays a former baseball catcher who becomes a therapist. Shawnee Smith and Selma Blair play female roles in the show; the former as Sheen's ex-wife and the latter as Sheen's potential love interest.
The addition of "Anger Management" to its lineup certainly helped FX with its other Thursday night programming. "Wilfred," an Australian comedy starring a man in dog suit, saw a 71 percent increase over its season average. "Louie," featuring the musings of comedian Louie C.K., experienced a 55 percent increase in total viewers over its average.
The next episode of "Anger Management" is scheduled for Thursday, July 5. The season is set for 10 episodes, wrapping up on Aug. 23.
Thursday's Top-Rated Television Programs
1. "The Big Bang Theory" - 8:00 p.m. - 7.66 million
2. "Person of Interest" - 9:00 p.m. - 6.53 million
3. "The Mentalist" - 10:00 p.m. - 6.20 million
4. U.S. Olympic Trials - 8:00 p.m. - 6.16 million
5. "2 Broke Girls" - 8:30 p.m. - 6.10 million
6. "Wipeout" - 9:00 p.m. - 5.89 million
7. "Anger Management" - 9:30 p.m. - 5.74 million
8. "Anger Management" - 9:00 p.m. - 5.47 million
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