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.
Making things even more sensitive is the fact that I’ve learned Sheen has been eyed to present the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series category, which features two nominees from a Lorre series, Big Bang‘s Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki. Ironically, this is the category Sheen was eligible for but opted not to submit himself this year. As of now, I hear that the Emmy producers are sticking to their plan to go with the Sheen appearance, but the final decision may come down to the last minutes before showtime. He may not be in the clip packages included in the broadcast, though, as I hear that at the last minute WBTV asked that Sheen be cut from any Men footage used on the show. Lorre is slated to attend the Emmys as he is nominated for Big Bang, which is in the running for best comedy series.