Now that the dust has settled and all the easy jokes have been made about “Vatican assassins” and Charlie Sheen‘s myriad other rant bites, it’s time to take stock of what the decision to shut down production on Two and Half Men‘s Season 8 means for the show’s longer-term future and the livelihoods of those (especially the non-millionaires) involved.
Will CBS still air Men repeats every Monday night? Might TV’s most watched sitcom return in the fall with a new scene partner for Jon Cryer? Will crew members get paid for this season’s “lost” episodes? Will Sheen ever work in TV again? TVLine tackles those and other Burning Questions.
Will Charlie Sheen Get Paid For the Missed Episodes? Will the Show’s Crew? | Though he theoretically could fight it in court, TV’s highest-paid actor has forfeited his payday for the four episodes Men planned to begin taping next week but now won’t. In other words, Sheen’s unchecked mouth cost him in the neighborhood of $5 million. But here’s where it gets sad: A well-placed source tells us the Two and a Half Men crew won’t get paid for the unexpected loss of work, nor is Warner Bros. TV seeing a thin dime from CBS. Charlie may declare himself “winning every second,” but everyone else is losing.
Have Viewers Seen the Last of TV’s Most-Watched Comedy? | If you don’t mind a second viewing of double entendres, no. At last count, CBS has Two and a Half Men repeats (which happen to perform very, very well in the ratings) scheduled through at least the end of March, and likely beyond. And as for any fresh episodes being unfurled in the fall, it’s not looking good. Chances are the series finale aired last week.
Could “Charlie” Be Recast or Replaced? | Throughout both of Sheen’s rehab breaks (including the three-week stint he underwent a year ago), Men declined to forge on without him by writing out Charlie (Harper), the hard-partying lothario. And though it’s easy to play “armchair casting director” and imagine Andrew McCarthy or James Spader joining the cast as, say, Alan’s wild-and-wanton cousin, series creator Chuck Lorre is said to be vehemently opposed to such an idea, so that solution is very unlikely.
Who Stands to Gain from Men‘s Loss? | Whatever shows the rival networks slot for Mondays at 9/8c could spy a tiny bump as Men repeats run their course. But in a scenario where Men doesn’t return in the fall, the biggest beneficiaries could be CBS’s own bubble comedies — $#*! My Dad Says, Rules Of Engagement and the recently debuted Mad Love.
Will Sheen Go Dancing With the Stars? | Hey, it had to be asked. ABC’s überpopular competition series does love itself a controversy magnet (Hi, Bristol!), yet Sheen appears too hot to handle. While one DWTS insider scoffed at the suggestion, another source told us, “I’m not sure we would want to encourage his behavior.” (The official word from a show rep: “We don’t comment on casting rumors.”) In other words, don’t expect Charlie’s name to be called out when the new Dancing stars are revealed during this Monday’s The Bachelor.
Will Sheen Ever Work In TV Again? (Does Anyone Want Him?) | In light of his arguably anti-Semitic jabs at boss man Lorre and battles with vices, Sheen’s sitch is more akin to disgraced movie star Mel Gibson’s than, say, that of Katherine Heigl, who continued on with Grey’s Anatomy after directing veiled grumbles at the ABC drama’s writing staff. As one high-ranking network exec puts it, “You can never say never — but I would guess that it would take many years, and a long and sustained sobriety, before Charlie gets a series regular job again.” Oh, and Sheen’s claim to one gossip site that he has a big-bucks deal in the works at HBO? That’s as bona fide as a porn star’s bosom.