Looks as if Charlie Sheen's going to be busy for a while with “Anger Managment.”
And that he'll be bringing his father to work.
FX Networks president John Landgraf said Saturday that he plans to wait until all 10 episodes of Sheen's new sitcom have played on the network before a decision is made about picking up more, but that if the ratings for what's currently the network's most-watched series hold up, they'll trigger the 90-episode order that was built into the unusual deal that brought the show to FX.
He also said that Martin Sheen (“The West Wing”), who'll guest star as Charlie's character's father in the Aug. 16 episode, would join the cast as a recurring character if (and almost certainly when) the show continues.
Bringing with him a repertoire of impressions he gets to show off in his first appearance.
That, the younger Sheen said, is because his sister, Renee Estevez, is in the show's writers' room, apparently spilling family secrets, like their father's ability to do Brando.
She's also “the archivist for the family photos and movies, so Renee was also able to find a clip of my fifth birthday and put it on the show...It's pretty cool.”
“He likes to rehearse. He's very old school,” Sheen said of his father, who'd also put in appearances on “Spin City” and “Two and Half Men.”
Rehearsals aren't part of the formula for “Anger Management,” thanks to a business plan that would require producing those next 90 episodes over the next two years. (Most network sitcoms wouldn't get to that point until the fifth year.) Though the show has a laugh track, it's filmed in pieces, on the fly, without a studio audience.
Is the speedy schedule a better way to work?
“I think so,” Sheen said after a morning press conference at which he appeared to be a bit twitchier than when some of us encountered him in January at a Fox party. “Ask me in Episode 72.”
Sheen, by the way, says “American Idol” hasn't called him about joining the judges' panel, whatever you might have read on TMZ.com.
Would he do it?
“Sure. Why not?”
“Because for me, it's not always about the work. It's about the experience. Like when I was watching the episode with Denise [Richards, his ex-wife], I didn't think about us doing the scenes, I thought about us spending time with our kids, in between the scenes. So that's all it's about -- it's the stories I can tell in 20 years.”
I asked him if surrounding himself with family helped with “everything else” -- because whatever Sheen's up to these days, it doesn't seem to come with a neat label like “recovery” or “redemption” -- and he said, “Yeah, of course it is. Because the people you're the closest to you grow the farthest from. And so why not just bring them all to work?”