11:24am PT by Michael O'Connell
'Anger Management' Sets Cable Comedy Record With 5.74 Million Viewers
Charlie Sheen and FX should be nothing but happy with Anger Management's premiere ratings.
Thursday night's debut of the sitcom star's follow-up to Two and Half Men ranks as the most-watched scripted comedy broadcast in cable history -- among both adults 18-49 and total viewers (excluding children's programming).
The series averaged 5.47 million viewers, 2.65 million of which were in the key demo. A second episode at 9:30 p.m. actually improved, posting 5.74 million total viewers and 2.89 million in the demo.
If subsequent episodes meet an undisclosed ratings threshold, the series will earn an additional 90-episode order -- per the arrangement with distributor Debmar-Mercury.
Meanwhile, Wilfred and Louie received significant boosts over last season, thanks in no small part to the lead-in from Anger Management. Wilfred rose 71 percent in its sophomore-season premiere (2.53 million total viewers) from last year's average, while the Season 3 bow of Louie was up 55 percent (1.43 million).
And at 11 p.m., FX's late-night venture with Russell Brand, BrandX, earned 1.1 million viewers in its inaugural broadcast, with 687,000 among them adults 18-49. The numbers gave the network respective 32 and 38 percent boosts compared with the time slot average.