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 …
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.”
Chuck Lorre Was Very Close To Ending ‘Men’, Ashton Kutcher Wants To Stay On, There Was No Lorre-Sheen Feud: TCA
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.”
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 …
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:
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 …
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: ‘Two And A Half Men’ Premiere To Feature Charlie Harper’s Funeral, His Girlfriends Back & His House For Sale
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 …
Here is the second-annual honor roll of the best and brightest at the broadcast upfront. First off, to all who got their pilots picked up to series — congratulations. You’re already winners. This is a list of those who took their upfront success to an extra level:
Whitney Cummings: The undisputed queen of Upfront 2011. She is behind two new comedy series that are among the highest-profile new half-hour entries next fall. She created, stars in and executive produces her eponymous comedy for NBC, which was assigned the network’s best comedy slot, following The Office. She also co-wrote on spec with Michael Patrick King the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, which broke records as CBS’ best-testing pilot (comedy or drama) ever. Both were the first comedy pilots to get a series order at their networks. Cummings, who also has a talk show in contention at E!, will serve as an executive producer on 2 Broke Girls but will be full-time on Whitney, which was in first position. I hope that doesn’t impact 2 Broke Girls, which King is expected to run/co-run, because the pilot indeed looks great. Honorable mention in the category of creators with multiple projects for Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen. One of their two ABC pilots, Work It, was picked up to series, while the other, Smothered, is very much in contention for midseason.
What a comeback for J.J. Abrams! After his high-profile NBC drama Undercovers went bust last fall, some questioned whether the networks will continue to bet on him. But bet they did this upfront, with both pilots he produced, CBS’ Person of Interest and Fox’s Alcatraz, going to series. Person of Interest instantly became one of the most anticipated new fall series when CBS made it its new Thursday 9 PM anchor. The network also said it was its best-testing drama pilot ever. And over at Fox, Alcatraz prevailed over several high-profile pilots to land one of only two drama series spots. Then, as icing on the cake, Abrams’ modestly rated but well-liked Fox sci-fi series Fringe got a renewal for next season, bringing the producer’s series for next season to three.
Vanity Fair is previewing online a portion from its upcoming profile of troubled actor Charlie Sheen. Here are 2 pretty juicy excerpts, in which Sheen’s manager Mark Burg recollects how Sheen closed his most recent $100 million deal for …