By Lynette Rice
Updated February 25, 2011 at 05:00 PM EST
Advertisement
Greg Gayne/Warner Bros.

Image Credit: Greg Gayne/Warner Bros.Charlie Sheen says he’s going to show up for work next even though CBS has pulled the plug on Two and a Half Men.

Texting Good Morning America, Sheen insisted he was sober and continued to call executive producer Chuck Lorre names while saying he plans to show up at the Warner Bros. studio next week.

Meanwhile, CBS will have to decide whether to keep TV’s top-rated comedy in the anchor slot on Mondays or give away the prime real estate to another show.

For now, CBS is keeping its cards hidden but it seems likely the network will stick with Men reruns through April and then give a up-and-comer like, say, Mike & Molly the important time slot. The network will want to demonstrate stability on Mondays when it presents its fall schedule to advertisers in May and by scheduling a show like Molly at 9 in the spring, it will have (preferably strong) ratings to share with — and sell to — Madison Avenue.

If CBS thinks Men will come back for a ninth (and without a doubt, its final season), it will probably stay the course and keep Men reruns at 9 for the rest of the season. Even repeats of TV’s most-popular sitcom do better than most comedies airing original episodes.

That, of course, is the burning question — should Men come back. Warner Bros. TV is contractually obligated to deliver another season of the show but Charlie Sheen’s public meltdown on Thursday makes it seem all but certain the show is gone for good. The television industry has a notorious history of tolerating substance abuse issues with some of its most important stars, but when hate speech is involved, the town can and will act swiftly. During Sheen’s shocking appearance on the Alex Jones Show radio program Thursday, Sheen called Chuck Lorre, Men’s executive producer, a “clown” and referred to him repeatedly as “Haim Levine.” Lorre’s given name is Charles Michael Levine.

Within hours of the broadcast, CBS and Warner Bros. issued the statement about suspending production. Sheen will not be paid for the rest of the season.

In the coming days, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the TV community reacts to both Sheen and the studio’s decision to suspend production. Already, at least one TV showrunner not affiliated with CBS had an interesting take on the situation. Kurt Sutter, the creator and executive producer of Sons of Anarchy, has this to say about Sheen via his personal blog: “With Two and a Half Men, there’s more than just a TV show at stake, it’s a f—ing money machine. So along with awards, critical accolades, great ratings, you have a creative entity that generates billions. So as a creator and or star, you suddenly become aware that you are responsible for a huge chunk of a corporate bottom line. That’s pretty intoxicating. When you have Les [Moonves] and company licking your s—, it’s hard not to feel like king of the f—ing world. “

Follow me @EWLynette

Read more:

Comments