As absurd as it may sound, Charlie Sheen could be headed back to “Two and a Half Men.”
The reunion seemed impossible just a few weeks ago, when Sheen was fired after multiple outbursts against the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre, and seemed to be on the verge of a major breakdown. But in the days since, it’s become clear that Sheen isn’t crazy. He might well be the shrewdest and sanest guy in Hollywood. If not that, he’s one very good actor in the part he’s created for himself.
The reunion seemed impossible just a few weeks ago, when Sheen was fired after multiple outbursts against the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre, and seemed to be on the verge of a major breakdown. But in the days since, it’s become clear that Sheen isn’t crazy. He might well be the shrewdest and sanest guy in Hollywood. If not that, he’s one very good actor in the part he’s created for himself. His popularity has soared, he’s become a media sensation and he’s about to embark on a live tour that sold out in minutes.
And now, all of a sudden, it appears CBS wants to rehire him, according to multiple reports yesterday. The network is said to have met with Sheen’s representatives and offered him his job back with the one condition that he make up with Lorre and Warner Bros., which produces “Men.” Sheen has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. and Lorre. On the face of it, Sheen’s return to CBS would seem improbable. He’s made disparaging remarks about CBS CEO Les Moonves, and he’s called nearly everyone associated with the show a troll.
But this is, after all, television and Hollywood, where the improbable is a way of life and the worst sorts of feuds can be worked through when there’s enough money at stake, which is very much the case with Sheen and the very successful “Two and a Half Men.” The move makes sense for four reasons. First, Sheen has become such a sensation that his return to “Men” would guarantee the show becomes an even bigger hit. CBS could ask for, and get, huge price increases for the sitcom at the upfront, as season nine with Sheen back on board would certainly be the most anticipated premiere of the fall.
Second, for all the trouble Sheen can be and has been, CBS has always handled him, and it can handle him again. Last year production was shut down for Sheen to go to rehab and he was accused of threatening to kill his then-wife, Brooke Mueller. CBS re-signed him to a two-year contract with a hefty raise anyway. Though the show will probably continue without him, the network’s rumored two top choices to replace Sheen, John Stamos and Rob Lowe, have both said they are not interested.
If “Men” were to be canceled, CBS would have a huge gaping hole in its Monday night schedule that it is not prepared to fill. And fourth, Moonves is a smart, calculating executive. He clearly sees the value of getting “Men” back in production. But more important, he obviously believes Sheen would agree to come back, despite all the nasty things he’s said.
Moonves has never appeared to take Sheen or his bizarre behavior all that seriously, even as he was being fired and as various psychiatric authorities were holding forth on his mental condition. Whether Sheen will accept the offer after weeks of ranting about his former show is anyone’s guess. Right now he seems to be having fun keeping people guessing. Yesterday the actor issued a cryptic tweet to his more than 3 million Twitter followers in which he suggested, as rumored, that he was in talks to do a deal with Fox.
RadarOnline is reporting that CBS wants him back!
CBS wants the star back at work on Two and a Half Men, Radar says, quoting “a well-placed insider” who says CBS President and CEO Les Moonves has been speaking with top execs at Warner Bros. Television, the company that produces Men and also fired Sheen!
By Toni Fitzgerald