Looking to bring an end to Charlie Sheen’s wild n’ woolly “Tiger Blood” press tour, Warner Bros. Television has played its trump card, firing the actor from the hit CBS comedy Two and a Half Men.
In a statement that was both brief and bloodless, the studio on Monday announced it had had enough of Sheen’s monkeyshines: “After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen’s services on Two and a Half Men, effective immediately.”
No final decision has been made as to whether Warner Bros. or CBS will go ahead with a Sheen-free version of the sitcom, which is one of the most watched comedies on television. Last week, word began circulating that veteran sitcom actor and occasional Beach Boys drummer John Stamos would step in for Sheen if the show were to return for a ninth season.
When apprised of the Stamos rumor by Access Hollywood, Sheen took a swipe at the actor. “I like John, but he doesn’t have what I have,” Sheen said. “The show sucks if he’s on it.” For his part, Stamos tweeted that he was never asked to fill in for the troubled celeb although he was offered another prize role.
“Martin Sheen has asked me to be his son,” Stamos cracked.
The decision to drop Sheen with a year left on his contract comes just 10 days after CBS and Warner Bros. shuttered the current season of Two and a Half Men. This abridgement was made after Sheen berated the series’ executive producer, Chuck Lorre, in a series of radio, TV and online interviews.
While Sheen’s behavior has been increasingly erratic of late, the decision to give the actor the bum’s rush wasn’t arrived at lightly. Warner Bros. stands to lose as much as $100 million in syndication sales should production of Men terminate altogether; for its part, CBS faces a shortfall of $160 million, based on the loss of $206,000 the show rakes in with each 30-second spot.
Sheen earned $1.8 million per episode, making him the highest paid actor on television.
Despite lining up some 1.96 million Twitter followers in less than a week, Sheen of yet has not directly communicated his thoughts about the dismissal.
The sheer amount of people who have signed up to read the actor’s thoughts suggests that he may find a new gig sooner rather than later. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he’s in talks with Sheen to host some sort of free-form talk show on his HDNet.