Ever since the waning days of his "Post-Two and a Half Men" meltdown, Charlie Sheen has largely been on his best behavior while filming his new series, "Anger Management" for FX. And if "Anger Management's" ten episode first season reaches certain ratings thresholds, it will automatically get an additional 90 episode pickup which will ensure that it lands a rich syndication deal as well.
While Sheen may be no stranger to controversy, the first blow against "Anger Management" is coming from outside the production. According to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Jason Shuman and his company, Blue Star Entertainment have filed a suit against "Anger Management" producer Joe Roth that contends that Shuman developed a TV adaptation of "Anger Management" for two years before being dropped from the project… just as Sheen was negotiating to star in it.
And in response, Shuman is asking for a staggering award in the amount of $50 million to cover his lost compensation.
"We haven't received the complaint but we are aware of the issue," said Roth when reached by The Hollywood Reporter. "We reviewed this issue months ago with our lawyers, our lawyers determined it has no merit, and we thought the issue had been dropped."
In response, Shuman's lawyer, Bryan Freedman stated "Power and greed are legally inadequate justifications for Joe Roth intentionally failing to honor his contractual obligations. Our clients selected and developed the idea for a television series based on the motion picture Anger Management and worked for over two years on the production relying on a fully executed legally binding written agreement. When Roth realized he would be giving up a significant amount of his ownership interest to bring in Charlie Sheen, he suddenly suffered a self-induced state of amnesia with respect to his moral, ethical and legal duties. Make no mistake, this lawsuit will serve as a wakeup call."
There is at least one bit of good news for Sheen and company. The first episode of "Anger Management" has reportedly tested very well.
"Anger Management" will debut on Thursday, June 28 on FX.