I bet many Warner Bros. TV and CBS executives are having second thoughts about going into great lengths in May to bring Charlie Sheen back to Two and a Half Men for 2 more years. Over the last few weeks, and particularly over the past 24 hours, the show’s star has evolved from a nuisance and a sideshow into a full-blown PR nightmare for the network and the studio behind the hit sitcom. And there is no end in sight as Sheen continued his parade on radio shows and online gossip sites with rants against Two and a Half Men showrunner Chuck Lorre, WBTV and CBS. They reveal an ugly rift between Sheen and Lorre. “He had had these feelings for Chuck for years, but kept them bottled up,” one insider said. “Now, with all the drugs, he has has no filter and speaks what’s on his mind.”
Sheen’s latest outburst happened on Pat O’Brien’s appropriately titled show Loose Cannons, on which he called Two and a Half Men co-creators/exec producers Lorre and Lee Aronsohn “a couple of AA Nazis and really just blatant hypocrites. And Two and a Half Men, the show, which has been paying him more than a $1.2 million an episode? Sheen called it “dribble” and “pukefest that everybody worships.” Work on the show “has been a toxic environment for eight years,” he added. “I felt like an unwelcome relative, being given cold coffee at 9′o clock every night. I just got tired of it, of people not knowing the truth.”
Sheen took a militant stand against Warner Bros. and CBS and said he would fight them to get paid for the show’s unproduced episodes. “Defeat is not an option. They know what they did was wrong they are in absolute breach (of contract). I did nothing wrong. I expressed an opinion, I get the first amendment behind me. Defeat is not an option.”
“We are at war, and there are ways to deal with these clowns and take all their money.”
With all the bad blood that has been spilling out for the past 2 days and Lorre pretty much ruling out continuing the show without Sheen, observers see two possible outcomes for the show: either Sheen succumbs to his addiction completely with tragic consequences, effectively putting an end to it or he hits rock bottom and recovers making a ninth season possible with different showrunners. (No one can see Sheen working with Lorre and Lee Aronsohn ever again but both producers are poised to get a financial windfall if the show does another season.)
Sheen echoed that potential scenario in his radio interview today: “If they want to roll back to season nine, I gave them my word I would do that, but not with the turds that are currently in place. That’s impossible. Can you imagine going back into the sludgepit with those knuckleheads at this point? Can you imagine? It would go bad quickly.”
Also dragged into the mudslinging today was CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves. “He rolled into my house and he made a man-to-man request and I honored it,” Sheen said. “And I asked for a couple of things and he’s not honoring that, so we’re pretty much done. I don’t know — whatever, unless he’s got a really good excuse for a guy that like lives in the middle of truth.”
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.