Image Credit: Greg Gayne/CBSThis could be good news for all of those out-of-work crew members who are on forced hiatus because of Charlie Sheen’s need to undergo rehab: TMZ is reporting that the 45-year-old actor would be willing to cover one-third of the salaries if CBS and Warner Bros. TV would pay the rest.
EW has learned, however, that no decision has been made at either media company about whether or not to help compensate the crew, which doesn’t get paid whenever Men goes dark. If TV’s No. 1 comedy resumes production at the end of the month, there still may be time to complete most, if not all, of the eight episodes left in the order, so the crew won’t lose any money from the unplanned break, which began last Tuesday. Still, everything depends on whether Warner Bros. TV, which produces Men for CBS, and creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre believe Sheen is ready to return. Only they can decide when production resumes.
In the meantime, a source also told TMZ (which like EW, is owned by Time Warner) that Sheen wants to return to work by next week.
Once Sheen agreed to undergo rehab, the focus immediately turned to Men’s 300 crew members. Stars like Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones — both of whom signed rich new pacts recently with Warner Bros. TV — will likely get paid whether or not they’re working, but it’s different for the show’s crew members, who are considered freelance workers. The studio is under no obligation to pay the Men crew, but some insiders suggested that it would be a welcome gesture of good faith if Sheen did. And it wouldn’t be the first time the star of a show paid the salaries for his out-of-work minions — all of the late night hosts covered the paychecks for their crews during the early days of the 2007-08 Writers Strike.