- - Sunday, July 22, 2012

Things are looking up for Charlie Sheen’s “Anger Management.”

The FX comedy, which has seen steep drops in viewership every week since premiering on June 28, finally saw a boost in viewers and in the key demographic on Thursday.

Week four of “Anger Management” brought in just slightly more than 2.6 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a 10 percent jump from last week’s 2.4 million and 1.0 demo showing.

The numbers are still a far cry from the record-breaking haul of 5.7 million from the show’s premiere, but it bodes well for the series’ chances of its 90-episode pickup option. An undisclosed average needs to be met in order for the network to renew the Debmar-Mercury distributed series.

“Anger Management” is halfway through its freshman season and three episodes into the eight-episode ratings sampling that will help determine whether it is picked up.

One Million Moms blasts NBC’s ‘The New Normal’

NBC’s “The New Normal” is following in the footsteps of “The Playboy Club.”

The upcoming freshman comedy from openly gay writer/executive producers Ryan Murphy and Ali Alder (“Glee”) has drawn the ire of One Million Moms, the conservative anti-gay group that blasted retailer JC Penney for featuring a same-sex couple in a catalog and called for the ouster of Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson.

In a posting on the OMM website, the group calls for advertisers to boycott the series, which revolves around a gay couple (Andrew Rannels and Justin Bartha) who attempt to start a family via surrogate (Georgia King).

“NBC is using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and the sanctity of marriage in attempting to redefine marriage,” the group wrote on its site. “These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture.”

The group cited a similar boycott — from the Parents Television Council — last season targeting then-freshman drama “The Playboy Club,” for what that group claimed was a “mainstreaming” of the pornography industry.

NBC canceled the drama after its first three episodes aired to dismal ratings.

‘Project Runway’ like another child for supermodel Klum

Heidi Klum remembers the humble start of “Project Runway” — when things were so bare bones, the supermodel didn’t even have a wardrobe budget.

“We started filming and I didn’t have a stylist in the beginning,” said the 39-year-old in an Associated Press interview Thursday. “I was calling friends and asking ‘Can I borrow this? Can I borrow that?’ “

It’s now eight years later, and the Emmy-winning series celebrated the start of its 10th season with four Emmy nominations.

Miss Klum, the show’s creator and host, likened the reality show to being another child.

“It’s like one of my babies being born and being out there for so many years already now. So of course I’m extra proud,” she said.

When it comes to her real-life kids, the German supermodel said they won’t be tuning in for the show.

“My children don’t really watch a lot of television yet,” she said. “Now my daughter, because she’s 8 [years old], friends are telling her more and more about ‘Project Runway’ and she’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I visited my mom there a few times.’ She doesn’t really put it all together yet which I think is really nice.”

Lena Dunham, Louis C.K. share more than Emmy nods

Louis C.K. and Lena Dunham are on a collision course.

The Emmy nominations announced Thursday highlight their parallel approaches to television. For their acclaimed comedies “Girls” and “Louie,” they’re each nominated for directing, writing and acting, separated only by gender in the acting category.

Miss Dunham’s shift from independent film to TV was partly inspired by “Louie.” Her admiration of Louis C.K. is so great that she dressed as the comedian for Halloween.

“I’m really hoping to meet him and take a lot of photos with him and explain to him that we shouldn’t necessarily get married, but maybe we should, like, have another kid together,” Miss Dunham said on her way to shoot the second season of “Girls.”

Performers who act, direct and write have traditionally gravitated toward the movies. But both Louis C.K. and Miss Dunham have brought an auteur sensibility to television, where the fertile cable environment (“Louie” airs on FX, “Girls” on HBO) has grown increasingly alluring.

Both are New Yorkers whose shows are set in the city but offer very different visions of it. “Girls” is a portrait of a young, post-collegiate generation in New York, while “Louie” proceeds out of Louis C.K.’s stand-up act and his singular perspective on life as a father. Yet both shows are clearly the work of one author and are predicated on an usual degree of honesty.

Louis C.K. confesses he’s only seen part of an episode of “Girls” because he has little time to watch TV, but calls Lena “a very individual voice.” Still, the gulf between the two is perhaps a little wider from his viewpoint.

“This may sound patronizing, but how old is Lena?” wondered Louis C.K., who at 44 is easily senior to the 26-year-old Miss Dunham. “Well I’ve got two daughters, so for me, honestly, I’m happy for her that this is her first year on TV and she got a nomination in every job she has on her show and she’s a young woman. That makes me really happy.”

“Girls” was nominated for five Emmys, including best comedy series. Louis C.K. earned seven nominations: three for “Louie” and four for his stand-up special “Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theatre.” The comedian wrote, directed and starred in the special.

‘Newsroom’ writing staff facing replacement

HBO’s “The Newsroom” is cleaning house for its recently announced second season.

According to HBO, the Aaron Sorkin drama set behind the scenes of a cable news network is replacing about half of its writing staff, though one source close to the show told the Hollywood Reporter that everyone on the show’s writing staff except for Corinne Kinsbury has been let go. News of the shake-up was first reported by the Daily.

The heavily hyped series starring Jeff Daniels was expected to be another critical darling from the Oscar-winning Sorkin (“The Social Network”). But as the reviews began to trickle in in mid-June, it became clear that the drama had fallen short of the critical community’s hopes, drawing a metacritic score of 57 out of 100.

HBO renewed “Newsroom” on July 2. The drama bowed June 24 to 2.1 million viewers — behind only “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” among HBO’s drama launches since 2008.

“The Newsroom airs Sundays at 10 p.m.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports

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