UPDATE 6:20 PM: CTV parent Bell Media just issued a release announcing the pickup of the Charlie Sheen sitcom Anger Management. Release below the story:

PREVIOUS 6:05 PM: As the expansion of Charlie Sheen’s recent comedy tour to Canada proved, the actor is very popular north of the border. So it’s not surprising that the first international territory to commit to Sheen’s new series, Anger Management, is Canada. I have learned that, in a competitive situation, Canada’s Bell Media has landed the rights to the new series for its CTV network. Sheen is expected to make the announcement on the leading Canadian broadcaster tonight. Like FX, which picked up the project in the U.S., CTV also carries Sheen’s previous series, Two And A Half Men. The license fee for Anger Management is said to be at the high end of expectations. Anger Management, inspired by the 2003 movie by that name, is being produced by Lionsgate TV, with Lionsgate subsidiary Debmar-Mercury handling domestic sales and Lionsgate International TV in charge of international distribution. The international deals for the series are significant because they call for the networks to commit to 100 episodes outright without having seen a single frame of the show. Under the Debmar-Mercury model, FX has committed to an initial order of 10 episodes. If that run meets a ratings threshold, it will trigger a massive 90-episode back order. International buyers are asked to commit to all episodes produced from the get-go, so if FX goes for 90 additional episodes, they will automatically do so too. After Canada, the next sale for Anger Management is expected to be in Latin America where there are multiple bidders, followed by a rollout in Europe. Writers are already working on the first 10 scripts of Anger Management under executive producer/showrunner Bruce Helford, with production slated to begin early next year.

Toronto, ON (December 12, 2011) – Bell Media confirmed tonight what comedic superstar Charlie Sheen told millions of Canadians in an exclusive on-air message earlier this evening on CTV: his new comedy series ANGER MANAGEMENT is coming to Canada. Bell Media has acquired the exclusive Canadian multi-platform rights to Sheen’s new half-hour program ANGER MANAGEMENT from Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury. Production of the new series begins in early 2012. Bell Media will announce its strategic multi-platform roll-out and scheduling of the series at a later date.

In the taped message, Sheen addressed Canadians directly. “You seem like the nicest people in the world,” he said. “But I know the truth. You’re holding in a lot of anger. Why else would you drink so much beer, put on shoes with sharp blades, and smack each other around with wooden sticks?”

Perhaps the most-anticipated comeback in television history, the former TWO AND A HALF MEN star makes his #winning return to scripted television in a new sitcom loosely based on the hit 2003 feature film of the same name. In the new series, an anger management therapist (Sheen), who may need more counseling than his patients, wreaks havoc on the lives of his patients through his unconventional methods.

“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 is a great concept,” said Sheen.

“Charlie Sheen’s ANGER MANAGEMENT already has the television industry buzzing and it hasn’t even gone into production yet,” said Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports. “With the pedigree behind this production, we’re confident this program will deliver to both viewers and advertisers alike.”

“Charlie Sheen is a global brand name, and Bell Media is one of the first of many blue chip media companies with whom we will be partnering as we launch this show worldwide,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “Bell Media immediately recognized the show’s longterm potential, and we’re delighted that Charlie will be entertaining audiences for years to come on CTV, Canada’s number one network.”

Canada becomes one of the first territories in the world to license ANGER MANAGEMENT, following the announcement in October that the series will air on FX in the U.S.

The licensing agreement was orchestrated by Lionsgate international television executives Peter Iacono and Lawrence Szabo with Bell Media’s Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming CTV Networks.

From Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury, led by Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, Sheen also retains a significant ownership stake in the series. Production on the sitcom begins in early 2012 with comedy veteran writer-producer Bruce Helford (GEORGE LOPEZ, THE DREW CAREY SHOW) as executive producer and showrunner. It will be produced by Lionsgate Television, led by Television Group President Kevin Beggs and COO Sandra Stern; Joe Roth and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino; Mark Burg’s production company, Evolution Management; and Ramon Estevez and Estevez Sheen Productions.