UPDATED CLIP: Here’s Warner Bros TV producer Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, Mike & Molly) on Conan:
UPDATED CLIP: Here’s Warner Bros TV producer Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, Mike & Molly) on Conan:
This marks an end of an era for the newly minted ICM Partners — one of the most respected TV lit agents in the business, Bob Broder, is leaving the agency to join longtime client Chuck Lorre at his Chuck Lorre Prods. Under his huge new deal at Warner Bros TV that Broder negotiated for his client, Lorre is beefing up his banner into a full-fledged production company. Broder will play a key role in the expansion, assisting in managing all operations of the company as Lorre continues to develop, write and produce comedy series and venture out into feature films, as well as dramatic and potential longform TV projects and stage plays. Lorre said he approached Broder with the idea of quitting “being one of the most successful literary agents in the history of the business” to help him run his company. “To my amazement, he said yes,” Lorre said. “I was only kidding, but it’s a little too late to tell him that, so I’m just going to say how grateful I am to have such an incredibly wise, experienced and vaguely ruthless guy at the helm of this thing.”
Broder, whose career as an agent spans more than four decades, represents some of ICM Partners’ biggest moneymakers including Lorre, director-producer Jimmy Burrows and Christopher Lloyd, creator of the hit comedy Modern Family. (Lorre is behind Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.) All of them will stay with ICM, while Broder also will continue to be involved in their careers.
Warner Bros. TV has locked in comedy heavyweight Chuck Lorre for four more years. The Presidential term length of the deal fits Lorre’s position as the studio’s biggest money maker with three sitcoms that have been sold in syndication, Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.
The just-finalized new development and production deal includes a component for feature films Lorre would write, develop and/or direct for Warner Bros. Pictures. But its main focus will remain television, where Lorre also plans to expand his turf with forays into drama series and longform projects in addition to developing new comedy shows. Lorre will be targeting both broadcast and cable networks with his new development through his Chuck Lorre Prods., Warner Bros. TV and Warner Horizon TV. Additionally, Lorre will continue as executive producer of Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.
A decade ago, Chuck Lorre was in the final year of a pricey overall deal with Warner Bros. TV that had yielded no series, raising questions about his future at the studio. Then, at the very end of his pact, he co-created Two And A Half Men. No questions this time around. Lorre, who is behind three Warner Bros. TV comedies that have been sold in syndication, Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly, is finalizing another rich overall deal with Warner Bros. TV. Its length, four years, is a term reserved only for the studio’s top writer-producers, like J.J. Abrams and Greg Berlanti. The new pact, first reported by Variety, also includes a feature component with Warner Bros. TV’s sibling movie studio. It marks Lorre’s first foray into features.
WBTV stuck by Lorre in the PR-turned-legal war with former Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen who lobbed public insults at Lorre last spring and then sued him and the studio over his termination from the hit comedy. The case was eventually settled, and Lorre rebooted the veteran comedy with a new lead, Ashton Kutcher.
Chuck Lorre’s TV vanity cards are coming to a bookstore near you. Simon & Schuster announced today that the executive producer of CBS’ Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly has signed a book deal with them. Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS Corporation, will publish the blurbs and musings that Lorre has been putting up for seconds at the end of his various shows since 1997. The coffee table What Doesn’t Kill Us, Makes Us Bitter comes out in October 2012 and will cost $100, with all proceeds going to the Dharma-Grace Foundation that Lorre set up in 1999 to help offer free medical care. During Charlie Sheen’s public war of words with Lorre in early 2011, the vanity cards became the Two and a Half Men co-creator’s outlet back at his former leading man. In one card played after a February 2011 episode of Men, Lorre responded to the actor by noting his own good health and lack of vice and concluded, “If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I ‘m gonna be really pissed.” Not long after Lorre said he would discontinue the cards but they are still after his shows. While the vanity cards have been available online for a while and can be seen by anyone fast with the freeze button on their remote, this is the first publication of them, including several that CBS have not …
Chuck Lorre has experienced the lows and highs of network TV situation comedies, from the challenging situation with Grace Under Fire (1993-98) and Cybill (1995-98) to his current status as co-creator and driving force behind a trio of CBS comedies: Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. It doesn’t sound like it’s gone according to any kind of plan, and in fact that’s the case, as the sometimes fiery, always funny, veteran showrunner makes clear. If he deserves at least a humanitarian Emmy for surviving the ordeal of Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen’s three-and-a-half men meltdown the previous season, he’s been in the game long enough not to expect much.
AWARDSLINE: Let’s start with Two And A Half Men. Why was it important to you to keep it on the air even after part of that eighth season got scratched?
CHUCK LORRE: It wasn’t simply my decision. There were a lot of people involved and so forth. Including, you know, you’ve got Warner Bros. who had a great deal with it, economically, at stake. But by and large there was a family of people that had worked together for eight years and a lot of people were counting on the show continuing for a number of reasons. One was it was a livelihood for a lot of people and we had a great time on it and had a lot of fun doing the show all the time.
Charlie Sheen’s attacks on the series Two And A Half Men and its executive producer Chuck Lorre, which led to Sheen’s firing last year, were “heartbreaking”, Lorre said today at the Banff World Media Festival. “The guy was my friend and colleague for 8 1/2 years. I don’t think we ever had an argument.” Lorre says he was proud of the show. “For it to end like that was devastating – I don’t know what to say about it other than I was heartbroken and hurt”, he said. What’s more, he and his colleagues didn’t have a firm game plan when they re-launched the show with Ashton Kucher. “There was no development process,” he says. “We actually made all of our mistakes on television….If you watch the 24 shows we did last year, you can watch us stumbling around trying to figure things out. I think we still are, honestly.”
UPDATED: Walden Schmidt is dropping the beard and getting a haircut. That was one of the headlines from TCA’s Two And A Half Men session this morning, which featured star Ashton Kutcher with a new clean-cut look. The onscreen transformation will happen on the show’s upcoming episode Monday.
During the panel, co-creator Chuck Lorre talked about how close he came to ending Two And A Half Men after the controversial exit of original star Charlie Sheen. “We absolutely considered it,” he said. “We never imagined we would be in a position to consider it any other way. It looked as slightly impossible and ridiculous thing to do.” Eventually, he and co-creator Lee Aronsohn opened up to the possibility of continuing the show with another star. “We thought if we fail, no one will be psychically harmed. It seemed like such a heartbreaking way to end (the show).”
Kutcher, whose deal is up at the end of the season, was asked about the prospect of him continuing on the show next fall. “The deal we structured was kinda a test deal,” he said. “The show is outperforming the numbers from before I was here, and I think people are responding to it. For me having a show people like and want more of will dictate my decision. Right now I’m looking at (summer) as a hiatus, I have a lot of fun and would love to come back.”
Also at the panel, Aronsohn addressed speculation about the behind-the-scenes fight between Lorre and Sheen, which was fueled by comments during the actor’s rampage last spring. “I never saw it, that was never the case,” Aronsohn said. “Chuck has always been extremely respectful of Charlie, and Charlie has been respectful of Chuck. What has been built up as a feud never existed.”
Charlie Sheen’s public rants against Two And A Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre ultimately got the actor fired from the hit comedy series. But if Lorre had his way, he would’ve left first, just as Sheen was going off the rails early year. “I offered to quit the show last winter,” Lorre told TV Guide in an extensive interview. “I said, ‘Listen, if for some reason I’m now the Antichrist, I’m happy to leave. It’s not in my interest to stop the show, and I certainly don’t want to put all these people out of work. Keep going. Get another guy. Don’t stop on my account.’ ”
And that was not the first time Lorre thought about leaving the show. In the interview, he said he regretted not quitting the show after Sheen was arrested for allegedly threatening his wife with a knife on Christmas Day in 2009. “When he started attacking people with knives, that’s it,” Lorre said. “That should have been it. I should have walked. That’s unthinkable. No more. I’m done. But for some reason I thought that because she was willing to forgive him … we could emerge from this fiasco and be stronger and healthier.”
Despite their acrimonious divorce, complete with a $100 million lawsuit that has been settled, Lorre had a lot of praise for his former leading man, even comparing Sheen to Dean Martin. “Charlie is the …
Chuck Lorre’s latest elaborate tongue-in-cheek holiday card makes light of a pretty tough year for the prolific writer-producer. He was the target of public insults as well as a multimillion dollar lawsuit by Charlie Sheen over Two And A Half Men. Then Lorre had to transition the show from Sheen to new leading man Ashton Kutcher. The card depicts the comedy heavyweight pinned down by a gorilla who is pounding him. “Oddly enough, not my worst day this year,” Lorre writes inside:
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Hall of Fame Committee announced today that it has tapped reality show producers Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, Michael Eisner, Sábado Gigante game-show host Don Francisco, Sherman Hemsley, lighting designer Bill Klages, Chuck Lorre and I Love Lucy duo Vivian Vance & William Frawley for induction into the academy’s Hall of Fame. The 21st annual induction ceremony is set for March 1 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The nine new inductees were recognized for their extraordinary contributions to TV after candidates were submitted to the Hall’s selection committee, which is chaired by WME Entertainment board member Mark Itkin and includes Fox alternative president Mike Darnell, Warner Bros TV president Peter Roth, veteran executive Fred Silverman, CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler and Dolby Labs’ Steve Venezia. Bunim, Vance and Frawley will be honored posthumously. From the TV Academy’s release highlighting the new members:
Is Chuck Lorre dying to tell his side of the Charlie Sheen saga? The TV exec producer’s vanity card at the end of tonight’s Two And A Half Men episode could be a clue. His remarks are especially interesting because of the new legal settlement among Lorre, Sheen, and Warner Bros:
Sometime last year I realized I had become the unwilling contestant in a reality show. I didn’t understand the rules, wasn’t sure if there even were any, and pretty much hated every second of it. For many months I kept hoping and praying that it would end. But it did not. Somewhere along the way, something inside me died. Anyway, now, suddenly, I’m being told that the reality show’s been cancelled. Apparently, it was just one of those things that somehow got out of control. Sorry. Whoops. Live and learn. Moving on. Game over. And that’s fine. I am so good with that. Yes, please, let’s all move on. There’s just one problem. That thing inside me that died? It walks at night. It’s angry. It’s hungry. And worst of all…it’s writing a tell-all book.
It’s official: Warner Bros TV and Charlie Sheen have settled their legal dispute stemming from Sheen’s $100 million lawsuit against the studio and Two and a Half Men executive producer Chuck Lorre over the actor’s March firing from the show. Here is the official statement:
“Warner Bros. Television, Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen have resolved their dispute to the parties’ mutual satisfaction. The pending lawsuit and arbitration will be dismissed as to all parties. The parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality over the terms of the settlement.”
Financial details on the settlement were not released, but sources indicate that the initial payment to Sheen would be in the previously floated range of $25 million. Because Sheen had not been paid following his termination, the settlement amount is said to primarily cover backend participation owed to him.
Well, Charlie Sheen may have been able to upstage the hyped relaunch of his former series Two and a Half Men and not with the Comedy Central Roast that also airs tonight but with some news. Sheen has been sending his former employers at Two and a Half Men public love letters over the past week in his numerous TV appearances, including at the Primetime Emmys last night. It turns out the conciliatory tone has spread to the two sides’ legal dispute. Sources confirmed that Sheen and Two and a Half Men producer Warner Bros. are close to a deal in Sheen’s $100M case against the studio and Men executive producer Chuck Lorre, which had been in private arbitration. The value of the settlement is in the millions of dollars and involves primarily payment towards Sheen’s back-end participation on the show. WBTV stopped all payments to the actor/producer in March when he filed his lawsuit. The exact size of the settlement is unclear, though the LA Times, which first reported the pending deal, floated a $25M figure, which is about a quarter of what Sheen was initially seeking.
Sheen had been dropping hints of a pending settlement in his recent publicity interviews, especially the one on The Tonight Show where he defended WBTV’s decision to fire him. “I would have fired my ass, too,” Sheen said. If there hadn’t been a settlement in the works, such statements …
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that there has been some pressure put on the TV Academy and the producers of tonight’s Primetime Emmy Awards telecast not to have former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen as a presenter. Here is what I’ve learned has happened: Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, who was the subject of many of Sheen’s public insults last spring and is currently being sued by the actor over his termination from the show, confronted TV Academy chairman John Shaffner, who is the production designer of two of Lorre’s comedy series, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. I hear that Lorre demanded that Sheen’s planned appearance be cut from the broadcast. Meanwhile, Warner Bros Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum — who oversees the studio producing Men, Warner Bros TV, which also is being sued by Sheen — made a call to Fox chairman Peter Rice asking whether it would be possible for Sheen to be dropped. After Rice couldn’t commit to doing so, Rosenblum asked him to at least not give Sheen an open mike that the actor may use to embarrass Lorre or the other Emmy nominees from his shows, all produced by WBTV.
CBS Reveals Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Men’ Character’s Name And Background
During TCA’s CBS executive session, the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler was asked about lessons the network has learned from the Charlie Sheen debacle that culminated in his public firing. “Oh, where do I begin…,” she said. “What we learned is that we have an extraordinary cast — I was at the table red on Monday — we have extraordinary writers and actors, and there is a great value in hiring an actor like Ashton Kutcher, a talented, funny, gifted actor coming in with tremendous commitment and enthusiasm. What you learn is that the show is brilliantly written, extraordinary produced and you have the opportunity to move forward to create this exciting new character and do a great show.” She later added that Men will be as “smart, irreverent and risque” as it’s ever been. “Standards and Practices is already on high alert.” After the session, Tassler was asked to elaborate on her line from the Q&A that “you could cut the air with a knife” at the Monday table read. “The anticipation was great,” she said. “Hearing an actor utter the first line was a relief.” She also revealed that Men co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre opened the table read with what she described as “touching speech.”
UPDATE MONDAY: I’ve got more information on the shrouded-in-secrecy ninth-season premiere of CBS’ comedy Two and a Half Men, which will feature the debut of new star Ashton Kutcher and which I now hear will be a two-parter. I have been able to confirm that Charlie Sheen’s character Charlie Harper is indeed dead and the season premiere will feature his funeral. Charlie’s girlfriends will come back for the occasion, and his house indeed will be put on the market. The episode will feature potential buyers coming to see the house (as I reported earlier, the list is expected to include real-life celebrities and stars from Men co-creator Chuck Lorre’s other series), with Ashton Kutcher among them. However, I hear he will not be the rightful owner of Charlie Harper’s digs by the end of the premiere episode, with the storyline expected to be extended into Episode 2. As part of CBS and Men producer Warner Bros. TV’s efforts to keep details of the premiere under wraps, I hear the cast has been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, something potential audience members for the Friday taping will be required to do too.
PREVIOUS SUNDAY 6 PM: Speculation over the plot of the rebooted Two and a Half Men is expected to go into overdrive next week when production on the upcoming ninth season begins. Co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre has been mum on the setup for Two and a Half Men 2.0 and the way new star Ashton Kutcher will be introduced to the series. In keeping with the secrecy, I hear the cast members of the show were supposed to get their scripts for the
The music video, shot to promote the syndication launch of The Big Bang Theory this fall, features rock band Barenaked Ladies on the set of the hit CBS comedy series performing the theme song from the show in front of the cast and crew. Taking a turn on the guitar is Big Bang co-creator Chuck Lorre, who is a guitarist and songwriter himself.