After a big marketing blitz, Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management opened with 5.47 million viewers and 2.65 million adults 18-49 (2.1 rating) at 9 PM last night on FX. While that was far from the numbers Sheen used to pull in on Two And A Half Men, it was a very strong cable performance. Anger Management ranked as cable’s most-watched primetime scripted comedy series premiere in total viewers and 18-49, eclipsing Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne on TBS, which opened with a 5.2 million. Like House Of Payne, which grew to 5.8 million for the second episode of its two-episode premiere, Anger Management gained too, averaging 5.74 million total viewers and 2.89 million adults 18-49s for its 9:30 PM episode. House Of Payne was the first sitcom produced under the 10-90 model employed by Anger Management, which includes a 10-episode initial order by a cable network, followed by a substantial (as many as 90 episodes) renewal that takes the series to broadcast syndication levels. Given the fact that House of Payne went on to produce 264 episodes, Anger Management‘s ratings start is promising for the series’ prospects. Distributor Debmar-Mercury already has been running ads for the show, which is expected to be taken to the station market immediately after its 10-episode run on FX ends. If the ratings levels hold, FX also is expected to move with a pickup quickly.
The premiere of Anger Management also boosted the season premieres of Wilfred and Louie. Wilfred‘s Season 2 opener (2.53 million total viewers, 1.5 million adults 18-49) was up 71%, and Louie’s Season 3 debut (1.43 million, 911,000 adults 18-49) was up 55% in total viewers. The series premiere of FX’s new late-night comedy BrandX With Russell Brand at 11 PM delivered 1.1 million total viewers and 687,000 adults 18-49, increases of +32% and +38% vs. FX’s time-period average.