UPDATE, TUESDAY AM: After skewering his old show Two And A Half Men with a barrage of insults last week, Charlie Sheen pulled back today but just a little. Sheen posted on his website a letter to his replacement on Men, Ashton Kutcher, apologizing for telling him he sucked. But Sheen refused to take back his comments that Men has become “a steaming pile of ass” with “bad writing.” Here is Sheen’s letter signed as his now-deceased Men character Charlie Harper.
I was disrespectful to a man doing his best.
I got excited and threw you into a crossfire.
The rest of my statement I stand behind.
You, however, deserve better.
Safety in your travels good sir.
– The “late” Charlie Harper
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY PM: Just as his new show, Anger Management, is gearing for production on its initial 10-episode order from FX, its star/producer Charlie Sheen embarked on the type of verbal rampage that got him in trouble with his previous employer Warner Bros. TV and ultimately got him fired from his previous show, CBS’ Two And A Half Men. Over the past 2 days, Sheen dropped the Mr. Nice Guy persona he had cultivated since he signed on for Anger Management last summer to return to his infamous warlock days. “Perhaps if Warner Bros. spent as much time and energy focusing on THEIR show, it wouldn’t be such a steaming pile of ass,” Sheen said of Men on Wednesday when asked by TMZ for response to the cease-and-desist letter from the studio banning the use of images of Sheen as his Man character to promote his new show. Then today, he called into TMZ Live, also reverting to an old habit he had during his wild days a year ago when he would regularly call into live radio shows to vent. “I’m tired of pretending Ashton doesn’t suck,” he said, an 180 degree from the thumbs-up he had publicly given his replacement Ashton Kutcher. “I’m tired of lying … I’m tired of pretending the show doesn’t suck … I’m tired of pretending Ashton doesn’t suck…It’s nothing personal … I just feel bad for him … he’s saddled with such bad writing,” Sheen concluded, shifting his insults to his favorite target of last year, Two And A Half Men showrunner Chuck Lorre.
There is no such thing bad publicity, they say, and a new show needs all the attention it can get. But I doubt this is the type of attention the marketing teams at FX and Anger Management producer Lionsgate TV are aiming for. Seeing glimpses of the foul-mouthed, loose-cannon Charlie Sheen of 2011 so early in the process on Anger Management will no doubt raise concern at FX, Lionsgate and especially Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury division, whose model’s success is tied to a show’s ability to go the distance, hitting the 100-episode mark and beyond. Was this a brief outburst provoked by the WBTV legal move or a sign of relapse? Or maybe Sheen is turning to Daniel Day-Lewis style of method acting, embodying his anger management issues-plagued character on and off-work.