EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central is doubling down on its two most recent acquisitions. I’ve learned that the broadcaster has closed deals with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution and Lionsgate TV to acquire the exclusive first run UK broadcast rights to the second season of NBC’s multi-camera comedy series Whitney and the back 90 episodes of FX’s hit comedy series Anger Management, respectively.
Whitney was created by Whitney Cummings and follows the lives of Whitney and Alex, a happily unmarried couple who have been together for three years and have absolutely no intention of tying the knot. The comedy series stars Cummings as a fictionalised version of herself, Chris D’Elia as Alex Miller, Maulik Pancholy as Neal, Zoe Lister-Jones as Lily, Rhea Seehorn as Roxanne and Dan O’Brien as Mark. Following a so-so rated first season of 24 episodes, NBC renewed the series for a second season of 13 episodes back in May. While not a break-out hit for Comedy Central, insiders tell me that the series “has done quite well” for the broadcaster. I’m told that the remaining episodes of season 1 will begin airing on Comedy Central in February before the show’s second season premieres in July.
Anger Management stars Charlie Sheen as ex-baseball pro turned anger management therapist Charlie Goodson, who has to cope with some anger management issues of his own. His female co-stars are Shawnee Smith (SAW franchise, Becker) as his ex-wife and Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde) as his therapist. After meeting certain ratings criteria set by US broadcaster FX, the series was renewed with a 90 episode back order in August. The comedy series has been a huge hit for Comedy Central, with the premiere on Wednesday September 12th averaging 344,000 viewers for the first episode while episode 2 of the double-bill pulled in 310,000. Those numbers were up some 169% on the slot average for Adults 16-34. Given that, I’m told that Comedy Central picking up additional episodes of the series was never in doubt. “It’s safe to say that Charlie is staying put on Comedy Central”, one insider opined. I’m also told that the next batch of new Anger Management episodes (which begin airing state-side on FX on January 17th) will hit Comedy Central in Late January or Early February.
For those who will undoubtedly ask about other series on Comedy Central: I’m being told that the sixth season of 30 Rock, the thrid season of Mike & Molly and the tenth season of Two And A Half Men will return to the channel across January and February 2013 to finish their respective runs.