Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
On Thursday night, the FX sitcom “Anger Management” returns for its second and, in a sense, final season: After an initial run of 10 episodes, the next 90 (yes, 90) will run more or less uninterrupted over the course of the next two years. (They’ll likely take a week off for the start of the NCAA basketball tournament in March.)
The deal allows FX to purchase a relatively inexpensive property, guarantees production company Debmar-Mercury syndication dollars starting in 2014, and hands star Charlie Sheen some walking-around money. The mercurial actor has a reported approximate 40 percent stake in the show, including the syndication profits.
Chuck Saftler, executive vice-president of FX and the man responsible for greenlighting episodes 11 through 100, was aware that the program — with its laugh track and three-camera setup — has little in common with the network’s edgier fare, like the critically acclaimed “Louie” and “Justified.” “Prior to 10 p.m.,” said Saftler, “we have ‘Two and a Half Men,’ “How I Met Your Mother,’ and the best movie portfolio on the air. When you look at how ‘Anger Management’ plays with ‘Two and a Half Men,’ or movies like ‘Iron man’ or ‘Taken’ or ‘Avatar,’ it’s a very traditional fit.”
“Anger Management” has more in common with “Avatar” than with “Louie” — it’s the only original show on FX, said Saftler, not produced in-house. But since it’s not airing in the network’s signature hour — “when we focus on FX originals which have a distinct tonality to them and an originality to them” — it doesn’t need to be as suffused in sensibility. Saftler indicated that the other option to fill airtime would have been to bid on second-run programming like “Modern Family” or “2 Broke Girls,” a far more expensive proposition. (“Modern Family” sold to USA for approximately $1.5 million an episode, per reports.) “The pricing of the show — in essence, bulk ordering — is significantly lower than any other piece of programming we could buy,” said Saftler.
As for maintaining the audience that made “Anger Management” the No. 2 comedy in cable in the prized 18-49 demographic last year and staving off the attrition it suffered at points during its summer 2012 run: “It’s going to be a really interesting experiment and a learning experience for all of those producers out there that have 10-90 models in their heads.”
And what about Sheen, whose last sitcom experience, on “Two and a Half Men,” was marred by his erratic behavior and denunciations of his showrunner? Saftler said the actor had been consistently on-time and considerate, and noted that “he’s a consummate professional, and one of the best in the world at being a sitcom star.”
Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_More Daniel D'Addario.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.