CBS & Warner Bros Pull Plug On Charlie Sheen: But Have We Seen The Last Of ‘Two And A Half Men’?

Charlie Sheen Assails ‘Men’ Creator Chuck Lorre
Charlie Sheen Unloads Again. Is Ninth Season Possible?

UPDATE FRIDAY AM: Charlie Sheen’s state of denial continues. This morning, he texted ABC News that he plans to show up for work on Tuesday as previously planned despite yesterday’s decision by CBS and Two and a Half Men producer Warner Bros. to cancel the rest of the show’s current eighth season. And he had more insults for Men co-creator Chuck Lorre whom he called a “clown” and “loser.” He then had another outburst on radio show  Loose Cannons, calling Lorre and fellow Men co-creator Lee Aronsohn “a couple of AA Nazis” and stating that he was at “war” with CBS and Warner Bros., in which “defeat is not an option.” Sheen even insulted the show that has been paying him more than  $1.2 million an episode, calling Two and a Half Men “dribble” and “pukefest that everybody worships.”

PREVIOUS THURSDAY PM: As Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen’s erratic behavior escalated today in a series of verbal assaults on the show’s co-creator-executive producer Chuck Lorre, the sitcom’s network and studio did the only thing they could in the situation: pull the plug.  But they only did it for this season. (Two and a Half Men was scheduled to resume production on Monday for 4 more episodes). So the door is left open for a possible ninth season. “Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros TV have decided to discontinue production of Two and a Half Men for the remainder of the season,” the two companies said in a statement.

The question now is should Two And A Half Men continue? Could the damage done over the past few weeks ever be repaired. And most importantly, will Sheen come back from the brink?

The production shutdown decision was a dramatic ending to a really fascinating day in which Hollywood witnessed a star’s self-destruction. First, in a bizarre rant with possible anti-Semitic overtones on The Alex Jones radio show this morning, Sheen called Lorre a “charlatan” and a “turd” and would only refer to him by his “real name, Chaim Levine.” “Chaim, last time I checked, I spent close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin can into pure gold,” said Sheen, responding to a tongue-in-cheek vanity card Lorre recently posted on Men that ended with “If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I’m gonna be really pissed.”

Things escalated in the afternoon when Sheen, currently vacationing in the Bahamas with a model, ex-wife and a porn star, reached out to TMZ. “I violently hate Chaim Levine,” Sheen said. “He’s a stupid, stupid little man and a p**sy punk that I’d never want to be like. That’s me being polite.”

Lorre is said to be very upset by the insults hurled by Sheen who has had a huge career resurgence with Men and became TV’s highest-paid star making more than $1.2 million an episode. Lorre was integrally involved, along with WBTV and CBS, in the decision not to resume production as planned, which was made in a series of meetings this afternoon precipitated by today’s events. WBTV, which has lucrative syndication deals in place for Two and a Half Men, stands to lose tens of millions of dollars if the series doesn’t continue. But that pales in comparison to the importance of Lorre to the studio. In addition to Two and a Half Men, he is also behind the WBTV’s hit comedy The Big Bang Theory, which landed a massive syndication deal in May, and promising new comedy Mike & Molly.

Sheen’s contract doesn’t call for him to be paid for the unproduced episodes, though it is not clear if he would dispute that. And then there is the issue of the innocent bystanders — the show’s crew who face the possibility of no additional pay for this season. WBTV is expected to deal with this compensation issue next week.

It’s been a rocky last year for Sheen on Two and a Half Men as the actor’s addiction problems escalated. Last spring, the show shut down production for a month while Sheen was in rehab following his domestic violence arrest in Colorado the previous Christmas. He then announced he was ready to leave the hit sitcom at the end of his contract last May but was lured back at the last moment with a rich new two-year deal. Then came the New York hotel room incident and hospitalization in November, the January Las Vegas weekend binge and the 36-hour cocaine-and-booze bender at his house later that month, which sent him to the hospital and led to the current production hiatus.

UPDATE: It turns out Charlie Sheen was not done for the day. The actor continued his down-spiral following the announcement of the Men production shutdown. In an open letter via TMZ, Sheen called Lorre  a “s contaminated little maggot” and “earthworm.” “I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels.” “I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong,” he said. Sheen has been vocal about his displeasure with WBTV and CBS’ decision to shut down production on the show in January so he can undergo treatment and had hinted that he may take legal action. He previously retained leading Hollywood litigator Marty Singer and threatened to sue the studio if they stopped production without a cause.

Just how delusional is Sheen? He just told another online tabloid, Radar, that he was already “in serious negotiations with HBO to star in his own half-hour show. He even had a title for it, Sheen’s Corner, listed a sky-high salary for himself, $5 million an episode, and a 10-show guarantee. “It will be epic,” Sheen said. The problem is that Sheen is under a deal at WBTV and there is no HBO show.

As for Sheen’s current show, Two and a Half Men, the last produced episode aired last week. Lorre, CBS and WBTV have ruled out continuing the show without Sheen. So did we just see the series finale?

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