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Did Charlie Sheen burn ABC by giving an interview to NBC's 'Today'?

February 27, 2011 |  8:56 pm

Sheenabc2 It may seem like Charlie Sheen hasn't met a microphone he doesn't like these days. But NBC is trumpeting its Sheen interview on Monday's "Today" as "his first television interview since his contentious public comments against CBS" and his boss Chuck Lorre. Early reports say that the interview includes the actor demanding a personal apology from his employers.

It should be a terrific ratings grabber for NBC, which taped the piece Sunday in Los Angeles. There's just one problem: ABC News says Sheen promised them an exclusive for their interview with the troubled star, which is airing on Tuesday night. 

"Charlie Sheen assured us that we would be the only sit-down television interview this weekend, but he changed his mind," an ABC spokesman said Sunday. "He gave us the first interview, which was extensive and included tremendous access to his home, family and personal life."

ABC is going ahead with airing excerpts on Monday's and Tuesday's "Good Morning America," then showing a one-hour special at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

ABC may have learned the hard way that Sheen may not set any records for reliability these days. But their loss is NBC's gain, which has put smiles on the faces of the "Today" folks.

"This was simply about hustle and hard work by our reporter Jeff Rossen," "Today" executive producer Jim Bell emailed Show Tracker. "It's a terrific get.

"Does spoiling the ABC 'exclusive' make it a little sweeter?" he added. "You bet it does."

-Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Charlie Sheen being interviewed by ABC News for a Tuesday prime time special. Credit: Reuters.