PREVIOUS: As Warner Bros TV and CBS nervously await to see if Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen will show up for work today after his weekend binge in Las Vegas (he is due at the studio later this morning), WBTV, the network, as well as the producers of the hit CBS comedy continue to search for ways to get Sheen help. I hear Sheen, described as a functioning addict, returned to work from holiday hiatus last week visibly slimmer (some estimate he may have lost as much as 25 lb.) His drastically changed appearance led to WBTV and CBS ramping up their efforts to shut down production on the show in the short term so Sheen can get clean.
But that didn’t fly with Sheen who has consistently refused to go to rehab. I hear he has retained lead litigator Marty Singer and has threatened to sue Warner Bros TV and CBS if they shut down production on the show without cause. And, with him refusing to see a doctor, the studio and the network would have to stop production with no legal reason. Additionally, if he refuses to enter rehab, staying at home instead of working would probably do more harm than good – Sheen seems to mostly get in trouble when he is off work, including his domestic violence arrest in December 2009 and his New York hospitalization this past November after a hotel room rampage.
WBTV, which signed Sheen in a new 2-year deal in May, as well as CBS have tried to help Sheen in different ways — I hear upon request from CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, Sheen took in a sober living partner after the New York hotel incident. But that coach is no longer with him. Things came to a head last week when WBTV and CBS executives, concerned about Sheen’s well-being after the extreme weight loss, were in constant communication with Sheen and his team about shutting down production on the show. I hear there was even a statement to that effect prepared by CBS and WBTV on Friday. But, with resistance from Sheen, the statement about the production shutdown was never released.
Sheen was also slated to attend a high-level powwow with network and studio executives after the Friday taping of the show, but he reportedly bolted out right away, skipping the meeting. Another sit-down with him was scheduled for this week.
Then came the disturbing TMZ item yesterday that Sheen was seen hammering vodka at a Las Vegas hotel where he had been spending time in the company of porn actresses this past weekend. Which leads us to this morning. Sheen has not missed his call time yet and may very well show up for work as he normally does. But the people on the show who have worked with him for 7 years and care about him fear they may be running out of time to help the comedy star before it’s too late.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.