Deadline looms for network to decide on Charlie Sheen

2011-04-30 07:52

Los Angeles – There are two and a half weeks left for Warner Bros Television and CBS to decide the fate of Two and a Half Men.

With CBS unveiling its autumn schedule for advertisers in New York on May 18, deadline pressure is on the network, Warner and Men executive producer Chuck Lorre to develop a post-Charlie Sheen version of the sitcom or kill what’s been a highly lucrative property for all.

Whether the show is returning, who’s in the cast and whether a revamped format would be ready for a fall debut or be delayed until mid-season will be resolved before the “upfront” sales presentation to Madison Avenue, according to an executive close to the situation.

The executive spoke on condition of anonymity yesterday because Warner and CBS would not authorise public comment on the show’s status.

Speculation has swirled about who might fill the void left by Sheen, joining Jon Cryer and Angus T Jones in the cast that also features Holland Taylor.

Some actors seen as potential candidates, including John Stamos and Rob Lowe, have indicated their interests are elsewhere.

Jay Mohr says he’d jump at the chance. The actor-comedian, whose credits include the sitcoms Action! and Gary Unmarried, is playing what was described to him as a Charlie Sheen-esque type in Sunday’s season debut of USA’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Stepping in to the sitcom for Sheen is far different than trying to fill the shoes of a “beloved man” like John Ritter, who died while starring in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, he said.

“This is a guy who lit a match, lit the fuse, and it took off,” Mohr said of the former Two and a Half Men star.

It’s been nearly two months since Warner fired Sheen in the show’s eighth season, a move that followed the hard-living actor’s bouts of wild partying, repeated hospitalisations and a bitter media campaign against his studio bosses who shut down production.

When Warner announced its decision to can him on March 7, it took pains to note that the show itself had not been canceled and its future was undecided.

Since then, Sheen’s offbeat stage tour has consumed attention. So has the actor’s $100 million (R656 million) lawsuit against Warner and Lorre, and Sheen’s custody fight with Brooke Mueller over their twin sons.

Despite the turmoil Sheen has suggested that he might return to the show, a prospect the studio has flatly rejected.

The actor had been among TV’s highest-paid at a reported $1.8 million per episode for Men.

The show itself is not easily dismissed, consistently ranked as TV’s top sitcom and the sitcom leader in syndication.

Neither is Lorre, an increasingly powerful force with CBS as the creative mind behind The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.

CBS and Warner have reason to keep Lorre happy, whether that means keeping Men alive or not.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.