EXCLUSIVE: In a move brimming with symbolism, I’ve learned that Brett Butler has joined Charlie Sheen’s new comedy series Anger Management in a recurring role. On the show, starring Sheen as a non-traditional therapist specializing in anger management, she will play Brett, the bartender at the bar/restaurant where Charlie hangs out. For both Sheen and Butler, this is the first major TV series gig since their runs as the stars of successful broadcast comedy series, Two And A Half Men and Grace Under Fire, respectively, were cut short by issues related to substance abuse. What’s more, both of those series were created/co-created and run by the same person, Chuck Lorre. Butler and Sheen are also managed by the same company, Evolution Entertainment. “Brett is a great comedic voice and Charlie and I thought she’d be strong in that role,” Anger Management‘s executive producer/showrunner Bruce Helford said. “Besides the obvious irony of her being in one of Chuck’s show’s too.” Helford remembered calling Lorre after the Grace premiere congratulating him on the great find with Butler.
In an interview with TV Guide given in the midst of the Charlie Sheen firestorm last spring, Butler defended him, saying, “I know this: Charlie Sheen has huge talent.” At the time living on a farm in Georgia and celebrating 12 years of sobriety, Butler indicated she was ready to make her TV return. “I’m starting to put a toe in the water again,” she said. “I think something will happen when the right person remembers me and knows that I’m available.” Since her ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire was taken off the air in 1998, Butler, who recently signed with Jay Schachter at Mavrick, has only done a handful of appearances, including a guest spot on My Name Is Earl.
UPDATE: Two And A Half Men co-creator Lee Aronsohn reacted to Butler’s casting on Twitter. “Hmm…what could possibly be better than ONE bridge-burning loose cannon?,” he wrote.