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Warner Bros. retains legal eagles to deal with Charlie Sheen

Warner Bros. is firing back at Charlie Sheen.

The studio, which produces Sheen's hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men," has retained powerful law firm Munger Tolles & Olson to help with its likely legal battle against the actor, a person familiar with the matter said, confirming a report in the Hollywood Reporter.

Sheen The move is in response to Sheen and his lawyer, Martin Singer of Lavely & Singer, telling Warner Bros. that a suit could be coming if the studio doesn't pay Sheen for the eight episodes of the show that the studio said are not going to be made this season.

Munger Tolles & Olson has worked with Warner Bros. before and is familiar with the finances of the show. The firm handled a legal beef the studio got into with CBS a few years ago.

The Sheen saga has simmered non-stop since late last month when CBS and Warner Bros. announced they were pulling the plug on "Two and a Half Men," which besides Sheen also stars Jon Cryer. CBS and Warner Bros. made that move after Sheen criticized show co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre during a radio interview.

"Two and a Half Men" had already been put on hiatus by the network and studio because of concern for Sheen's health and lifestyle, the two companies said. Sheen has not been shy about over indulging in spirits and sex and has had numerous run-ins with the law. The actor then embarked on a stay-at-home rehab and thanked both CBS and Warner Bros. for their support.

But a few weeks later a restless Sheen popped up on radio saying he was ready to return to work. He was days away from returning when his rants rubbed CBS and Warner Bros. the wrong way and they pulled the plug on the rest of the season, and perhaps the show.

Sheen then took his radio act to television and appeared on CNN, ABC and NBC all in within a few days of each other. He blasted CBS and Warner Bros. as well as Lorre and declared himself ready to return to work. Sheen has said he blasted Lorre as retaliation for all the shots the executive producer has taken at Sheen in his "vanity cards," which are little notes that end each episode of a Lorre-produced show.

Neither CBS nor Warner Bros. have said what their long-term plans are for "Two and a Half Men." After this season, CBS and Warner Bros. have a deal for one more year, but neither party has said whether they will try to work with Sheen again or try to move ahead and keep the show going without him.

In the meantime, Sheen is providing plenty of fodder for late night hosts. NBC's Jimmy Fallon did a biting satire of a Sheen cologne called "Winning" and dubbed some of Sheen's funnier lines into a Charlie Brown cartoon.

Even "Two and a Half Men" co-star Cryer got into the act this week, taping a bit for Ellen DeGeneres' talk show in which he takes a job as her receptionist.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Charlie Sheen. Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP. 







Comments () | Archives (16)

They should move forward without him. Kill off his character (or daytime-drama him: massive accident, extensive plastic surgery, abra-cadabra - new actor!), film a final Sheen-free season, and put Big Bang Theory back on Monday nights (or renew the Sheen-free series if ratings hold up).

Your article mentions Jimmy Fallon doing a Charlie Brown spoof. Nope, it was Jimmy Kimmel. Once again a reporter can't get the facts straight. This is why journalism is losing all credibility. Are you on the drug known as Charlie Sheen as well?


I know it's confusing with two Jimmys hosting late night talk shows but it was actually Jimmy Kimmel who did the Charlie Brown dub.

The bad part of all this is that because Warner Bros. is upset with Charlie Sheen they also put the other actors and all the behind the scenes personal out of work!
All of this publicity over Charlies personal life has only drawn more viewers to the show. Is Warner Bros. Crazy?
I hope Charlie wins this lawsuit and Warner Bros has to pay everyone their full wages and then some!

Pay him off, cheaper in the long run.
Shoot remaining episodes.
See how they fare.
Decide the future of the show based on the results.
Personally a re-cast could breath some much needed life into the show and it's the most pratical way profiting from all this media attention.
Besides, America is growing weary of his antics. The tide is turning.
Yes it was fun at first. Now it just seems like drug induced mental illness.
Everyone loves it when the circus comes to town, but they also sigh in relief when it finally leaves town. It's time for CBS to allow the circus to leave.
Plus he never shuts up. Ever.

They need to leave Charlie Sheen alone!!!! He said one little comment and now his life is goin all down hill. He is not a bad guy, he just has done some bad stuff. I hope he gets his show back, and payed for all the episondes he missed! He better get his kids back, they don't deserve not bein with their daddy. I am just happy he has a good attitude about all this!

Without seeing the terms of the contract between Sheen and Warner Brothers, it's difficult to say who's in the right and who's in the wrong in this situation. While there was no "morals" clause, there should have been a provision in the contract regarding the apparent inability of the talent to perform. From Sheen's performances on the various radio programs and television shows over the past couple of weeks, it's pretty clear that if he's not still using drugs, then he's got serious mental health issues that would give any employer reason to be concerned.

i think charlie showing up for work at an empty set was in the tradition of union management conflict. i think the computer broadcast last night of charlie was cut short (at about 50 minutes) because again it shows what his tv show work would equate to. i'm a fan of charlie. not only did i cure myself, i have been fired multiple times by management. until the union sold me out. i hope charlie succeeds.

Sheen could be such a positive role model for so many frustrated and underprivileged kids yet is just making a complete fool of himself, I mean lets look at the real facts here shall we, he played a Rat in the original Wallstreet, and in real life he was one of Hollywood Madams Heid Fleiss's best customers yet Ratted her out in court helping send her to prison and if that isn't enough he literally beats and threatens women! He needs a serious wake up call the old fashion way by way of court of the street, starting with a good b!tch smack knocking him to the floor in public, just for starters, I mean I'm just saying!

I think the show should finish out the season, without Sheen, who's character should be mentioned once per episode, as in "Where's Charlie?" with Berta saying things like, "Oh, he went charging onto the beach after some gorgeous beach babe." "And?" Berta: "Well, he'd just downed a full bottle of Jack. Turns out the beach babe was an extremely confused manatee. Oh, and he was really pissed off."

And so on.

I do get mad too if the boss takes away my check like that, everybody gets mad with people getting in the way of someone doing is work. Remember Christian Bale on youtube, getting mad with a guy interrupting his scenes, that mad mad. That wife os Charlie already got him stressed, look at his skin and he must be out of meals too. And now the dog died...next role of Charlie will be in LAlawyers, like the LasVegaslawyers, just making me spend a nice time watching funny behaviour.

I think it will be important in the future for women to show their appreciation for his behavior by slapping him in the face. Then proceed with a superman punch or roundhouse kick! In the hospital he will receive proper care! D'uh.

thank goodness they came to that plan to fire him. If he was to be on any other show, i will not buy any of the sponsors products. lets move on with other great stars.

thank goodness they made a plan to fire Sheen, if he continued anywhere on any show, i would not buy any of the sponsors. it's too bad about the other people in the show.

let's not kid ourselves

WB & CBS did not suddenly find good cause

the focus groups said "CS be gone"

how happy the ep must be....his strategy worked!

Charlie Sheen has made the painful discovery that "chaim doesn't pay."


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