EXCLUSIVE: After 13 years in show business, Angus T. Jones is used to living in the limelight. But yesterday, the Two And A Half Men co-star found himself in a different type of spotlight — at the center of a major controversy triggered by statements he’d made in a video testimonial for Forerunner Christian Church. His comments, in which the 19-year-old actor referred to Men as “filth” and urged viewers to “stop watching it,” went viral, but Jones himself remained silent on the controversy until now. In a statement to Deadline released by Insignia PR, Jones expresses his gratitude to Two And A Half Men, co-creator Chuck Lorre, CBS, series producer Warner Bros TV and studio chief Peter Roth for “what has been one of the most significant experiences in my life to date.” He also apologizes “if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed.” Here is Jones’ statement in its entirety:
I have been the subject of much discussion, speculation and commentary over the past 24 hours. While I cannot address everything that has been said or right every misstatement or misunderstanding, there is one thing I want to make clear.
Without qualification, I am grateful to and have the highest regard and respect for all of the wonderful people on Two and Half Men with whom I have worked over the past ten years and who have become an extension of my family.
Looks like Angus T. Jones won’t have to endure that inevitable awkward moment on the set of Two And A Half Men until after the New Year. And it isn’t the teen actor’s recent video tirade against the “filth” of his CBS sitcom and TV in general keeping him off the show, but rather the schedule: Two And A Half Men only has two more episodes to shoot before it breaks for the holidays, and Jones isn’t appearing in either one. If the timing seems a little too convenient following Jones’ faith-based lambasting of Men, it is pure coincidence, a source says, as both episodes were written before Jones began urging viewers to not watch the show. With Jones’ Jake Harper character now in the Army, the actor hasn’t been appearing in every episode this year, and when he does, it is sometimes only briefly.
Here we go again… On Two And A Half Men, Angus T. Jones‘ character was always looking up to his uncle, played by Charlie Sheen. Now Jones is emulating Sheen in real life with a tirade bashing the racy sitcom. “If you watch Two And A Half Men, please stop watching Two And A Half Men,” the religious teenager says in a testimonial for Forerunner Christian Church (see the video below). “I’m on Two And A Half Men, and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it, and filling your head with filth…. If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be contributing to the (Satan’s) plan,” says Jones, who has become very serious about his faith in the past several months. “You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show.”
Charlie Sheen is picking his 24 favorite episodes of Two And A Half Men to air as a 12-hour FX marathon June 28. That leads into the network’s premiere of Sheen’s new series Anger Management, which will air back-to-back episodes immediately after at 9 PM and 9:30. The best part of today’s announcement though is the addition of Sheen’s surprisingly reflective musings on the show he left after his very public meltdown and falling-out with co-creator Chuck Lorre:
I’ve said, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Being tasked with the opportunity of picking my favorite 24 episodes presented a scenario that was quite the opposite. As I culled through the mass of shows, eight-plus years, I was met with a theme of innocence.
I felt lighter, younger. I could still hear the jokes, and the stories we all told in place of rehearsals. I can still see nine-year-old Angus riding his Razor up and down the camera aisle; his self-appointed surrogate guardian Chuck Lorre watching with pride and also concern. I can hear the echoes of Jon’s genius, Conchata’s laugh, Holland’s leadership and Marin’s quiet grace. And the crew, the amazing crew.
These are the memories that I take from this epic time. Not necessarily the work, but the experiences, the friendships created instantly and over time. I hope viewers share a similar feeling or two and a lot of laughs when they tune in. Who cares how it ended; when it was good, it was great. We were in the middle of something big, the return of the sitcom. We were hungry and we were winning.
Ray Richmond is a contributor to AwardsLine
Jon Cryer probably deserves an Emmy just for surviving with his sanity intact after the much-publicized tumult of the past 16 months on Two And A Half Men. After losing one co-star (Charlie Sheen) and welcoming another (Ashton Kutcher), Cryer is not only still standing but was rewarded in May with a 10th season pickup by CBS. And after having received six consecutive Emmy noms as a supporting player for his role as Alan Harper (including a win in 2009), the 47-year-old actor has decided to switch categories this year back to lead actor.
AWARDSLINE: Congratulations on the 10th season pickup. You couldn’t have been all that surprised.
JON CRYER: Well, we’ve kind of been thinking of this now as a new show in many respects. Plus, I mean, this business has no rules anymore. I don’t know if you’ve noticed. Nothing makes logical sense in this industry. So you never know. I’m just grateful for another year.
AWARDSLINE: And it feels different now working with Ashton?
CRYER: He’s a terrific guy, and he’s got this oddball sense of humor. I remember when we were getting ready for the first show back, and there was this time in there where Walden (Kutcher) is supposed to walk out nude. We’re wondering how we’ll be able to handle that with a live audience. And Ashton says straight-faced, “I’ve got a huge prosthetic penis in my trailer if you need it.” In fact, he wasn’t even kidding! He had it sitting in his trailer. It had been used in a Punk’d prank. And that’s what we wound up using.
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.”
Every year, CBS goes for a couple of major scheduling moves in anchor slots. This year, it is 2 Broke Girls moving to the tentpole Monday 9 PM position after breaking out at 8:30 PM this season. After seven seasons in the Monday 9 PM slot, Two And A Half Men is moving to the Thursday 8:30 slot behind The Big Bang Theory. That is a role-reversal for the two comedies as Big Bang grew into a hit behind Men on Monday. The 2 Broke Girls move reflects CBS’ strategy to support “shows that have momentum, trying to catch them on the way up,” CBS’ scheduling guru Kelly Kahl said at the network’s press breakfast. As for sending Men to Thursday, “we’ve created a super comedy hour,” Kahl said. Men was brought over because the network had difficulty finding a show as broad as Big Bang for the 8:30 PM slot to create flow on the night and help 9 PM drama Person Of Interest grow.
Kahl took a snipe at ABC, NBC and Fox, which all scheduled single-camera comedies in the Tuesday 9 PM hour, calling the pileup “a comedy Sigalert”. “It’s good to have a drama there,” he said of CBS, which is sticking with NCIS: LA in the slot. CBS’ entertainment president Nina Tassler said it was a toss-up decision which CSI spinoff to cancel, which ultimately came down to whose slot the network found more suitable for The Mentalist as it didn’t want to have any of the veteran CSIs change nights again. “It was about keeping the flow, and Miami was the odd man out,” she said. As for veteran comedy Rules Of Engagement, “we’re still discussing it, no decision has been made,” Tassler said.
CBS is introducing four new shows in the fall: comedy Partners and dramas Vegas, Elementary and Made In Jersey. The strategy was “protecting our new shows, with all of them having hits in front of them,” Kahl said. Partners follows How I Met Your Mother on Monday, Vegas is behind NCIS: LA on Tuesday, Elementary behind Person of Interest on Thursday and Made In Jersey behind CSI: NY on Friday.
Here’s the CBS 2012-2013 schedule:
(N=New, NT=New Time)
8 PM HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
8:30 PM PARTNERS (N)
9 PM 2 BROKE GIRLS (NT)
9:30 PM MIKE & MOLLY
10 PM HAWAII FIVE-0
8 PM NCIS
9 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES
10 PM VEGAS (N)
CBS’ Two And A Half Men has been officially renewed for next season, the veteran comedy’s tenth, after the network has completed a new license fee agreement with series producer Warner Bros. TV. It came after the network closed …
Two And A Half Men, whose renewal by CBS is now a formality after stars Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones all have reached deals in principal to return, is reshuffling the showrunner deck for Season 10. Executive producer Lee Arohnson, who co-created Men with Chuck Lorre and has been co-running the series with him for the past nine seasons, is stepping down. Serving as co-showrunners alongside Lorre next season will be sitcom veterans Don Reo and Jim Patterson, who have served as executive producers on Two And A Half Men this season. Another Men executive producer, Eddie Gorodetsky, will continue in its dual capacity as executive producer on Two And A Half Men and consulting producer on one of Lorre’s other two CBS comedy series, The Big Bang Theory. Going forward, Aronsohn will serve as an executive consultant.
UTA-repped Patterson has been on Men since Season 2, rising through the ranks to executive producer this season. Paradigm-repped Reo, who previously co-created and ran ABC’s sitcom My Wife And Kids, served as a consulting producer on Men last season before joining full-time as executive producer this season.
Two And A Half Men‘s first demo victory over NBC’s The Voice two weeks ago was not a fluke. In the two shows’ followup original-to-original face-off last night, Men (3.7/9 in adults 18-49 vs. 3.5/9 for The Voice) won again, this time by a wider margin. Men, which featured Kathy Bates as Charlie Harper’s ghost, was even with the fast nationals for its last new episode two weeks ago (down a tenth from the final), while The Voice was down 5% from its fast national last week (8% from the final) to hit a performance show low. There were two other firsts for CBS last night. Rookie 2 Broke Girls (3.5/9) tied The Voice for the first time and CBS finished No.1 on the night in 18-49 with regularly scheduled programming for the first time since The Voice launched on Monday after the Super Bowl.
EXCLUSIVE: The leading men of CBS‘ veteran comedy Two And A Half Men are staying put. I’ve learned that Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones, whose contracts were up at the end of this season, are inches away from an agreement in principal for new one-year deals that will bring them back for next season — the series 10th and second with Kutcher as the star after he replaced Charlie Sheen. Word is that the trio are returning at their current salaries, with all three getting signing bonuses. Kutcher is believed to be earning about $700,000 per episode, Cryer a bit less and Jones $300,000 an episode. Jones’ bonus at the last contract re-upping was $500,000.
Keeping it classy, Charlie. Sheen made a ‘surprise’ appearance tonight as the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Entertainment Law Section honored Marty Singer as its Entertainment Lawyer Of The Year. Singer, of course, represented Sheen during the legal war with Warner Bros and executive producer Chuck Lorre over the actor’s messy exit from the hit CBS TV series Two And A Half Men. Alluding to that battle, Sheen claimed onstage, “I never screwed any hooker as hard as Marty screwed Warner Brothers. I got a 100 million reasons to say thank you to Marty.” Sheen then stopped and assured the Lavely & Singer litigator, “Marty, I didn’t write this shit.” Longtime Singer client Tom Arnold emceed the dinner, whose celeb guests included Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Dog The Bounty Hunter in person at the Beverly Hills Hotel. William Friedkin and Sharon Stone were guest speakers, as were last year’s honoree Ken Kleinberg and Singer’s daughter Jacqueline. Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Scarlett Johannson, Priscilla Presley, Don Rickles, Paula Abdul and publicists Stan Rosenfield and Paul Bloch appeared in a tribute video to Singer. Earlier in the evening, Jeff Goldblum narrated a video about the history of the BHBA. “Here, tonight, I recognize some of the people I sued,” Singer joked.