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Charlie Sheen promises 'awesome' success for new show

/ Source: Reuters

NEW YORK, March 29 ( - Charlie Sheen promised "awesome" success for his upcoming FX show "Anger Management," during a video message to advertisers at the network's upfronts presentation on Thursday.

The former "Two and a Half Men" star also joked that its success would be followed by a "whole lot of credit taking."

FX will debut Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management" in June along with Russell Brand's late night show "Strangely Uplifting."

During the presentation, network president John Landgraf told advertisers that FX plans to order two to three more scripted dramas in the next year. They will join a lineup that includes "Justified," "American Horror Story" and "Sons of Anarchy," as well as the upcoming "The Americans."

FX posted its most successful year in history in 2011 and said every returning series was up from the previous year. Landgraf said the network may also add another comedy, but said he did not know what the new comedy or dramas would be yet.

The network said it topped last year's advertising expectations and gained viewers even as its competitors, including TBS, TNT and USA - the top-rated cable network - slipped.

Landgraf conceded that FX is down in the first quarter of this year - like many cable networks - but said the slide was expected because of lower inventory of new movies.

He said it hadn't hurt the network with advertisers and that revenue was up 10 percent for the fiscal year ending in June.

FX has greenlit several off-speed high profile comedies following the model established with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

That approach calls for giving show creators an unusual degree of freedom in exchange for less money up front.

The network then rewards them if their shows turn into hits.

Landgraf has had less leeway to use the model with dramas because of their high production costs. But he noted that "The Shield," which helped establish FX and set the bar for basic cable dramas, debuted a decade ago this month.

"I really care about trying to uphold the legacy of that show," Landgraf said.

The first of FX's upcoming dramas, "The Americans," stars Keri Russell and follows two KGB spies in 1980s America. It is executive produced by Joe Weisberg and "Justified" creator Graham Yost.

Landgraf also said FX was the sole ad-supported network to offer "critically acclaimed comedies and dramas."

That's true for now, but USA is in the process of branching off into comedy. Turner, meanwhile, airs its dramas on TNT and comedies on TBS.