CBS Cancels Production Of ‘Two And A Half Men’

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen has skirted disaster as a wayward, middle-aged party boy who regularly tested the patience of the TV network and studio trying to protect their valuable sitcom property.

It was a violence-tinged and anti-Semitic radio rant that helped push him over the edge and, finally, forced CBS and Warner Bros. Television to take action.

In a one-sentence joint statement Thursday, the companies said they were ending production on television’s No. 1 sitcom for the season, a decision based on the “totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition.”

Whether he’s gone far enough to sink the series and, possibly, his career as one of TV’s highest-paid actors remained unclear. Sheen’s rambling interview Thursday with host Alex Jones was reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s tirade during a 2006 traffic stop — but Sheen knew his remarks were public.

The production halt leaves CBS eight episodes shy of the 24 half-hours it had expected to air as the cornerstone of its Monday night comedy lineup. And it makes the network and Warner, which reaps hundreds of millions from the show in syndication, the potential go-betweens between Sheen and “Two and a Half Men” executive producer Chuck Lorre.

Lorre bore the brunt of Sheen’s attacks during the radio interview and in a subsequent “open letter” sent to TMZ after the CBS-Warner decision and posted on the entertainment website.

In the letter, the actor called Lorre a “contaminated little maggot” and wished the producer “nothing but pain.”

“Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words — imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists,” the 45-year-old Sheen wrote.

Improbably, he also called on his admirers to start a protest movement for him.

“I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong,” Sheen wrote.

Those remarks, along with his comments to Jones, veered from ludicrous to self-aggrandizing to threatening. For a man who has battled addiction and faced allegations of domestic violence, the outbursts raised troubling questions about his state of mind and his most recent effort at rehabilitation.

In an interview Wednesday, his father, Martin Sheen (“The West Wing,” “Apocalypse Now”) compared his son’s fight against addiction to that of a cancer patient.

“The disease of addiction is a form of cancer,” Martin Sheen told Sky News in London. “You have to have an equal measure of concern and love and lift them up, so that’s what we do for him.”

CBS and Warner had tolerated Sheen’s recent misadventures, including wild partying and three hospitalizations in three months. The incidents are part of a checkered life that included his $50,000-plus tab as a client of “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss’ prostitution ring, a near-fatal cocaine overdose in 1998, and conflict-filled marriages.

(Last August, he pleaded guilty in Aspen, Colo., to misdemeanor third-degree assault after a Christmas Day altercation with his third wife, Brooke Mueller. The couple’s divorce was recently finalized.)

The TV season was interrupted for “Two and a Half Men” after Sheen was briefly hospitalized last month following a 911 call in which he was described as “very, very intoxicated” and in pain. Production was put on hold while Sheen tried rehab, reportedly at home, but also railed against the hiatus as unneeded.

He signed a new two-year contract at the end of last season that reportedly pays him about $1.8 million per episode.

Plans were set for taping to resume next week. Then came the Jones radio interview and the attack on Lorre that reeked of anti-Semitism.

“There’s something this side of deplorable that a certain Chaim Levine — yeah, that’s Chuck’s real name — mistook this rock star for his own selfish exit strategy, bro. Check it, Alex: I embarrassed him in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that his unevolved mind cannot process,” Sheen told Jones.

“Last I checked, Chaim, I spent close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write,” he said.

Lorre, who was born Charles Levine, is a veteran producer whose hits include “The Big Bang Theory,” “Dharma & Greg” and “Cybill.” He had no comment on Sheen’s remarks or the production shut down, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Speaking of himself, the star of the films “Platoon,” “Wall Street” and “Major League” said he has “magic and poetry in my fingertips, most of the time.”

But he also made repeated, unclear references to mayhem. At one point, Sheen called himself the new sheriff in town who has an “army of assassins.”

“If you love with violence and you hate with violence, there’s nothing that can be questioned,” he said.

When CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler was asked about Sheen at a news conference in January, she said, “We have a high level of concern. How can we not?” she said.

When a reporter suggested a person in a different line of work and a similar track record would be fired, Tassler replied: “What do you get fired for? Going to work and doing your job?”
Sheen had also expressed disappointment that production had not resumed on the show, saying as recently as Thursday that he was ready to get back to work on March 1.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Really says:

    Charlie is an idiot. If it wasn’t for Two and a half men his career would have stalled years ago. But, what do you expect from someone who grew up with money and entitlement his entire life? You get a grown man who acts like a child.

    1. marianne says:

      When a person’s children are more mature than they are that says volumes about that person. Someone should tell him GROW UP dude.

    2. mitzi says:

      I am glad the show has been cancelled. I want the show off the air.

  2. Will says:

    The Sheen family is in DENIAL for which the father is defending his son for being an ADDICT camparing DRUG addiction to CANCER. Who is he kidding about it. An ADDICT is a person who don’t know how to contriol itself and a CANCER that come out without knowing it

  3. Mary says:

    Reading Sheen’s comments make me wonder if he is losing his mind. His stream of thought was erratic, and he is apparently suffering from grandiose delusions. Either he was drunk when he made that call, or he needs to be hospitalized for psychiatric care. It seems that many actors feel they are “untouchable.” It is high time they are treated like the rest of the real world.

    1. Paul Castillo says:

      A typipcal AA/NA member response. Could it be you people are completely baffled by the fact that an off the chart alcoholic /addict is not in any desperate need from you people as well as being in complete control of his destiny, whatever it may be?

  4. LA's the place says:

    Charlie Sheen is not funny and a mediocre actor at best. Will is correct, his father is in denial. Taking drugs, drinking, and smoking cigarettes is an addiction. Diseases like CANCER and cirrhosis of the liver may happen BECAUSE of this choice he made and is now addicted.

    Saying that this drug addiction is a DISEASE is an INSULT to the rest of us who HAVE HAD a REAL DISEASE like CANCER. Martin Sheen should be ashamed at himself and this is probably why his son is an addict and an idiot

  5. Peter Basso says:

    Come On Now Charlie, Get To The Rehab Dude, Your Hella Funny on TV. Don’t Blow it Charles.

  6. JoAnn Hampton says:

    The meaner you are, the longer you live… like Freddy Krouger.. he keeps coming back!
    I want to know how his mercedes went over the bank , landing upright, twice?
    Is there a drug- tunnel to his garage?
    Gift this vile person with a ankle bracelet and a drug doggy. Though I’d worry about the dog …

  7. sandra says:

    Two and a Half Men and NCIS are the shows I enjoy watching. Unfortunately, it was time for CBS, and the producers, to cut Mr Sheen off. Feeding his habits and lifestyle makes the problem worse. He needs help and fast. Anyone else that hires him needs to tread carefully with him. Good luck Charlie Sheen, take care of yourself. Don’t become another Hollywood tragedy!

  8. Marilyn says:

    I’m just sorry for the other actors and crew who are now out of a job due to Sheen’s addiction. As for the anit-semietic remarks — he and others will try to smooth that over that it was the addiction talking, but you squeeze an orange you get orange juice. Squeeze a bigot and out comes the vitrol. Too bad the people around him can’t stop being enablers so he can see that he and the Lohans of the world have to deal with it like the rest of us.

  9. barkerpatty says:

    CHARLIE YOUR A DRUNK AND A CRACK HEAD. KEEP THE SHOW ON WRITE HIM TO REHAB. THE SHOW COULD SERVE A PURPOSE AND EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT SOMEONE WHO REALLY NEEDS HELP. ALSO STOP TALKING WHEN YOUR DRUNK AND HIGH. YOUR KIDS ARE AT RISK. CHARLIE IF YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT YOUR NOT ALL THAT GREAT. I REMEMBER SEEING YOU IN PALM SPRINGS BACK IN THE 80’S. BUYING A GOOD TIME WITH WOMEN, DRINK AND DRUGS. MY FRIENDS AND I THOUGHT YOU WERE A JERK THEN YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED. SURRENDER YOURSELF TO THE WILL OF GOD

  10. The Mad Man says:

    I guess he likes to bite the hand that feeds you. His career could use some help and this did not help any.

  11. I do love the show says:

    Charlie you started your earlier ranting saiying you were fighting boredom, so you partied. I bet the children you brought into this world would love to have the ” Great” Charlie Sheen entertain them. How about it Charlie, did you forget about those precious babies that carry your name. I think so. The hell with the show, your booze, the drugs. Get on with life being a Dad, making babies doesn’t make you a father.

    1. TT says:

      I love the show too – as a matter of fact it was the only show that could bring a smile to my face while my son was serving over seas….Remember – your kids want their Dad…they dont care about anything else…. Makes you appreciate what you have –

  12. Ray says:

    I for one enjoyed the show. It’s funny and entertaining (I’m a guy) and it made me laugh. As for Charlie Sheen, he needs a reality check. Being the highest paid star in the category he needs a life lesson in growing up. Grow up Charlie, on the show it’s called acting, in real life it’s called stupidity.

  13. Jane Kence says:

    Charlie once made a comment on his show poking fun at spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and his life when quickly downhill from there. Never mock the Lord and what He has done for us on the cross. God’s Word always comes to pass.
    Galations 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

  14. DAN says:

    ” EVERYBODY ” THAT WAS ON THE SHOW HAS A BETTER CAREER AHEAD OF THEM….EXCEPT FOR CHARLIE…..PERIOD

  15. gordo says:

    If and when he sobers up it will be amazing the amount of groveling and butt kissing he will have to do to get another job. Really dumb move for a 45 year old with mediocre talent riding on the family name.

  16. Bob says:

    Vegas should start the pool on his life longevity what are the odd’s of living to see the age of Fifty?

  17. Kristen says:

    Thanks Charile,
    Maybe it’s time to stop thinking about yourself & think about the 200 people that you have potentially put out of work.
    Wow, what a selfish jerk.

  18. Martin Sheen says:

    I like to watch little girls go pee.

  19. ODB says:

    Charlie’s a true IDIOT!!!!!

  20. mark says:

    I dont see the antisemitism in his remarks, so he used the guys jewish name big deal quit throwing that damn card everytime somebody mentions something about a jewish person its getting old and lets stick the word in when it really is antisemitism. As far and Charlie is concerned he needs some serious help and a reality check times two.

  21. Barbara says:

    ALOT OF PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEMS, SOME TALK ABOUT THEM, SOME DON’T. Maybe in the show or in person, Charlie should have said things. And if he felt he could not, then talk to someone you trust.A friend or relative. I would have been there for him. But when you are going through
    things, you never know.

  22. Manny says:

    Well why not kick a man when he is down, after you made all that money off the show, people watched the show because of Charlie. How long was the show on the air, ten years he did well.

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