A little over a week ago, I climbed up on my soapbox and yelled and screamed about the premiere of Charlie Sheen’s new FX series, Anger Management, scoring record ratings. The show’s two-episode debut pulled in over 5.5 million viewers, making it the most watched scripted comedy in cable television history (children’s programming excluded), which I found completely unacceptable. I closed out my rant with this: “My hope here is that the numbers were inflated by a bunch of people watching the premiere out of morbid curiosity, and they’ll return to Earth in the coming weeks.” Well, I have good news, America. WE DID IT!
In its second week, ratings were down 38%, both overall and in the 18-49 demo, meaning that over two million less people tuned in. This is terrific news, especially because of this little factoid:
The second week ratings are more significant because Anger Management’s first two episodes do not count toward the ratings threshold it must hit to trigger the additional 90-episode order from Debmar-Mercury, should the series be a success.
It’s not all puppies and candy, though. The lower ratings for Anger Management led to lower ratings across the board for FX’s Thursday night lineup: Wilfred was also down 38% from its premiere, and Louie was down 25%. I suppose the ratings dip could be attributed to a number of reasons (a return to normal after an unnatural spike for the premieres, the effect of a national holiday in the middle of the week, etc.), and the other shows losing viewers isn’t exactly ideal, but still, I feel like we should focus on the positive here: two million less people watched Charlie Sheen last week. That is cause for celebration. Take it away, Prince.