The Venn diagram intersection of America's genuine and morbid interest finally has a concrete value of 5.47 million thanks to Charlie Sheen's Anger Management, which took in that number of total viewers to become the highest-rated premiere of a scripted comedy series in cable history. The combined forces of watching and hate-watching also made the show FX's most-watched premiere in the network's history, an achievement that does not take into account how much of that watching was done "ironically" or drowned out by frequent, prolonged exhalations, like a balloon being slowly deflated. While an official network statement is still forthcoming, it seems likely that this auspicious debut definitely puts Anger Management on track for that automatic pickup of 90 more episodes, though an official decision will likely be withheld until weeks from now, when the show's ratings are adjusted for guilty curiosity.
The good news, we suppose, is that a rising schaden-tide lifts all boats: Wilfred and Louie also saw some of their highest numbers yet, scoring 71-percent and 55-percent improvements over their previous season averages, respectively. And it eventually led to Russell Brand's British Squawking Person nabbed a respectable 1.1 million viewers in the normally desolate late-night hour slot. All in all, FX's warily regarded strange investment in Sheen seems to have paid off, offering a devastating rejoinder to critics, except for, you know, those who might pass judgment on the show based on its merits.