EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that The Drew Carey Show creator Bruce Helford has entered negotiations to write, executive produce and run Charlie Sheen’s new comedy series Anger Management. Helford was one of several veteran comedy showrunners that met with Lionsgate TV and producer Joe Roth on the project and emerged as a leading candidate for the job about two weeks ago. Helford has been considered a strong choice to create a starring vehicle for Sheen, having done the same in the past for Drew Carey with ABC’s The Drew Carey Show and George Lopez with the comedian’s eponymous ABC sitcom. He will develop Anger Management based on the 2003 Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler movie, with Sheen set to play an updated version of Nicholson’s character, a volatile anger management therapist. Once there is a showrunner on board, Lionsgate is expected to take out the project to networks and station groups in search of a buyer. Lionsgate plans to produce the series under the template created by its subsidiary Debmar-Mercury via the Tyler Perry sitcoms on TBS, which calls for a quick amassing of a syndicatable number of episodes. Helford can handle such accelerated production schedule having juggled multiple series at the same time during his tenure at Warner Bros TV. After taking a short break to focus on his kids, Helford recently put out feelers that he was ready to return to television full-time and quickly landed the Anger Management gig.
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