People.com is reporting that Charlie Sheen — the highly paid star of CBS’ Two and A Half Men — wants to leave the top-rated comedy when his contract expires at the end of this season. The actor has reportedly told friends that “he’s not coming back,” even though CBS has already made a deal with Warner Bros. TV for two more seasons of the sitcom. “Leaving is 100 percent his idea,” a source told People.com. Apparently, the network has been trying to negotiate a new deal but Sheen turned down the offer. His spokesman would only confirm that his deal is through this current season.
A source close to comedy said negotiations are ongoing and that no one is assuming this will be Sheen’s last year (some reports say that WBTV, in fact, has an offer out to Sheen for two more years at around $1 million per episode). Representatives for CBS and Warner Bros. TV declined to comment.
The studio temporarily halted production of Men last month after Sheen announced he would spend time in a rehab facility. He returned to the set March 16, the day after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client to charges of felony menacing, criminal mischief, and third degree assault, which stem from an alleged Christmas day argument with his wife, Brooke Mueller. A trial date has been set for July 21.
It seems unlikely that Sheen would want to leave the show that made him one of the highest-paid actors on TV today. There’s some thought around Hollywood that the actor could be angling for an even richer salary given the show’s continued success on CBS: At 14.98 million, Men remains TV’s most-watched comedy.