Charlie Sheen's new FX series, "Anger Management," continues to see its ratings plunge, and one has to ask if the retirement that the former "Two and a Half Men" star said was coming after the series ends is coming sooner than he thought.
Thursday's episode, titled "Charlie and Kate Battle Over a Patient," was the fourth of a planned ten-episode first season. During the show's premiere week, when FX showed two episodes back-to-back, the show saw 5.7 million viewers. Last week its ratings feel to 3.4 million viewers. This week the show dropped another million viewers, and is down to 2.4 million.
Admittedly, those are still good numbers for a cable comedy show. The sharp drop, though, shows that the show was highly hyped at the start, and that a good number of the initial viewership was based on people tuning in to see "just what Charlie was up to" with the new show.
It also shows that those initial viewers aren't coming back. As we've noted previously, "Anger Management" is funny, but not the guffaw funny of shows like "Modern Family," and its script scenarios have been nothing original and new.
Media analyst Bill Carroll said, "It’s not surprising that you're going to see some decline because of all the publicity that built up to the first episode. If it continues to unfortunately decline by significant percentages, especially in the key demo, that could mean the audience is truly onto something."
In good news, "Anger Management" improved on its lead-in show by 39 percent in Week 3. In addition, the show is outperforming last year's show in the same tired period, with its first four episodes up by 77 percent compared to what was on FX last year.
A key point - though - would be to see where the drop levels off.
Given these ratings, one has to ask about the show's future. Meanwhile, although Sheen has said that he would retire after "Anger Management," he's made some statements that indicate that may not be the case after all. There are reports that, given the loss of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez from "American Idol," Charlie Sheen might be a candidate.
TMZ has reported that Idol producers are pushing for Charlie Sheen as a new "American Idol" judge. Sheen wouldn't be the first non-musician on the panel; remember Ellen DeGeneres?
However, it's unclear if the Sheen speculation is a joke or not: it's also reported that Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe has mentioned Jerry Lewis as a prospect, as well. That seems a little farfetched, given Lewis' health issues.
Still, if Charlie Sheen were an Idol host, not only would it solve any salary issues, it would certainly be entertaining. Sheen has already mentioned, though, that FX would have to green-light any Idol role.
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