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So far, Charlie Sheen's arrest has had no effect on 'Two and a Half Men' ratings

December 29, 2009 |  9:29 am

The ratings for Monday night's rerun of "Two and a Half Men" on CBS appeared to be on par with what repeats of the show have been averaging and did not rise or fall in the aftermath of star Charlie Sheen's Christmas Day arrest on suspicion of second-degree assault of his wife, Brooke Mueller.

SHEEN "Two and a Half Men" was seen by about 11 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That is off only about 400,000 viewers from what reruns of the show have averaged this season, and that drop can be attributed to fewer households watching television this week. The week between Christmas and New Year's is not usually a big TV-viewing week. Instead, that time is used for fighting with family and going to movies.

Of course, it is way too soon to say whether Sheen's most recent arrest will have any negative effect on the TV show. Sheen, not exactly a poster boy for good behavior, has managed quite a few professional comebacks in his career. Interestingly, his character on "Two and a Half Men" is that of a hard-drinking womanizer. 

The real test for the show will be when new episodes return next month. If the story has legs and continues to generate tabloid headlines, it could end up improving ratings, at least initially.

CBS' deal for "Two and Half Men," which is produced by Warner Bros. TV, runs for another two seasons after this one ends. Sheen is one of the highest-paid actors on television with a salary estimated to be north of $800,000 per episode.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men." Credit: Greg Gayne / Warner Bros.

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