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Upfronts: CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler defends Charlie Sheen's lucrative new deal for 'Two and a Half Men' [Updated]

Charlie sheen

CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler on Wednesday defended “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen's lucrative new contract, saying the network was thrilled he was coming back to the show, despite the actor’s well-publicized personal travails.

In February, Sheen voluntarily checked into a rehabilitation facility, temporarily halting production of the sitcom. In July, Sheen is scheduled to go on trial in Colorado on domestic violence charges. The actor, who has pleaded not guilty, was charged with menacing, criminal mischief and assault after his wife told police he put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.

Nevertheless, earlier this week, Warner Bros. Television, which owns "Two and Half Men," extended Sheen’s contract for two more seasons at an estimated rate of $1.2 million per episode, making him one of the highest-paid actors in television.

At an annual media breakfast held to discuss the network’s new schedule, Tassler was pressed why CBS felt it was worth it to bring Sheen back.

“Because the show is called ‘Two. And. A. Half. Men,’” she replied, enunciating each word. “It’s not called ‘One and a Half.’ Because it is the show, his point of view. He’s a big star. We’re so thrilled to have him back. I think we value our stars and our actors. They brand the show. And he’s a huge part of it.” 

“Two and a Half Men" is the network’s highest-rated sitcom, and CBS plans to use it this fall to launch the new Chuck Lorre comedy, “Mike & Molly,” about a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.

[For the record at 11:45 a.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that Sheen had extended his deal with CBS; his contract is with Warner Bros. Television, which produces his show. It also stated an imprecise early report about Sheen's new salary.]

-- Matea Gold (Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mateagold.) 

Photo: A scene from "Two and a Half Men." Credit: CBS 


Charlie Sheen will stay on 'Two and a Half Men' for two more years

Charlie Sheen's felony charge puts a dark cloud over 'Two and a Half Men'

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Comments () | Archives (17)

dudes gettin paid

i love this show....and it just goes to show ya...that....sometimes....drinking and druggin DOES PAY OFF!!!

He's a star, but a trainwreck. The show is a hit; but CBS has other shows which score higher ratings and casts who are only making 5-10% of what he's getting. I see no reason to make him the highest paid actor on TV.

So what happens if he has another "travail" and winds up in jail?

There is NO justification for that...$4oM per year. It sure sets a great example...get arrested for violence against your wife (not the first time either), drug rehab, etc. and you can make MILLIONS to star on TV. To star in a 1/2 hour comedy at that. What about those great seasoned actors in hour-long dramas...you know, like Gary Sinise and William Petersen...can you imagine if they negotiated a deal like that? People would be all up in arms about that.

I'm so glad I'm over this tired old show. Bring on The Big Bang Theory!!

CBS should be ashamed of themselves and this woman should be ashamed of herself.

Tis a stupid misogynistic show anyways and I dont know anyone who watches it.

It .6 million to Sheen and .6 million to whatever psycho bimbo golddigger he is shacked up with.

I miss watching "The Big Bang Theory" and "How I met your mother". But ever since the whole thing with Sheen, I have not seen either show... Also, I had just found out about "Two and a half men" and had rented the first season on netflix. Then, it all happened. I returned the DVD without watching it.

I think it's a real, real shame. Shame on CBS. Shame on Charlie Sheen. If you had not renewed his contract, or at least paid him A LOT LESS, then I might have considered watching CBS shows again.... oh well. I guess I'll go on missing those shows.

Looks like they should be calling it '3 men'... get it... 'cause the kid is now old... come on... anybody?...

these comments are moronic. of course he (sheen) deserves what he's making - he makes the show. millions of people watch the show, even the episodes that are in syndication. for those of you who are complaining with the words "shame..." - get a life. boo-hoo! shame on the oil companies (we still fuel our cars to the tune of billions in profits for big oil); shame on gun manufacturers (but don't they dare stop producing our assault weapons); shame on companies that hire undocumented workers (but i'll be damned if i'm going to pay $5.00 for a head of lettuce). get a life, people. make your money, and stop worrying about how others make their millions!

Can 10% of his salary be donated to domestic violence programs? That would help since most of these programs are on the state's chopping block!!!

Just another sign of how hollywood is morally bankrupt. CBS puts profits before everything and totally ignores the issue of domestic violence. Ms. Tassler and her staff should be ashamed of themselves, but then again, they live in mansions and could care less about anything other than money. And obviously, they anticipate Mr. Sheen won't be found guilty. The wealthy in this country can buy their way to freedom.

While I certainly agree with getalife3, I also like the idea that motherof4 proposes. It is certainly something Charlie Sheen should consider.

I'm aware that Sheen has been physically violent with women many times in the past, but, I'm just wondering, has he ever been physically violent with a man?

"Just another sign of how hollywood is morally bankrupt. "

No, modern capitalism is morally bankrupt.

His private life should not concern us I say, who cares, let the guy work. I love this show!

Lots of irrelevant moralizing and judging here from people who don't understand the TV business. It is about hit shows making money. Period. There are no other issues. A show like "Two And a Half Men" has not only made a fortune for CBS, it will continue to make money through syndication and DVD sales for years. Local stations make money, the network makes money, advertisers make money, stores make money, and on and on. Those involved, from Charlie Sheen on down, have worked hard on an enormous success in a business that rewards big hits. Everyone wins and no one cares about personal issues.

Quote from Nina Tassler : "I think we value our stars and our actors. They brand the show."

Obviously Mrs Tassler doesn't talk of Criminal Minds. It's terribly unfair and ungrateful towards two great actresses who are excellent and necessary to a show, and nothing justify this behavior from the channel. The show always did great ratings, I think it's going to change at the next season. If they want the show to end, bravo to them.

When NBC cancelled Law and Order I just thought "hope they won't touch Criminal Minds, now there is nothing else to watch !". Too bad, it happened. They evoked "creative" reasons to "throw" 2 women but how all of this can be good to the show and improve its quality ? Obviously this show doesn't need any changes. The ratings are still good, as far as I know nobody complained until now, when they took such a bad decision for the show. They're great and none of them is paid 1 000 000 $. They're no big stars, they're actors who always did an excellent job. I'd like to understand and I desperately tried since I've read this unpleasant new and signed the petition. Those actresses are well settled on the show, just like William Petersen and Gary Dourdan were (although they left for different reasons). I don't really follow the whole thing but I know fans are disappointed. It's not like before and it will be the same for Criminal Minds. Also, the channel cancelled Without a Trace because of a stupid decision. I don't want this to happen to Criminal Minds. Obviously the fans are very passionate about it. They want it to keep existing. I'm one of them. The actresses and the show itself don't deserve that. We're fans but we're not stupid. This is the first time I sign a petition, write some mails and comment on blogs to express my disappointment. I don't have any illusions, but I do it because I think AJ Cook and Paget Brewster don't deserve to be treated like that, the show either. I do think they're ruining it, just like they ruined Without a Trace. They should think better if they want to remain the most watched channel. Obviously everyone is not treated the same. Great for Charlie Sheen, he's more lucky than others... I understand better why actors prefers movies.


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