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'Two and a Half Men' faces uncertain future after CBS shuts down season in wake of Charlie Sheen outburst

Sheentoilet Following a stormy month that culminated with wayward star Charlie Sheen attacking his employers in vitriolic rants Thursday, CBS and Warner Bros. announced they would cancel the rest of the season of the hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” casting a pall over the fate of TV’s most-watched comedy.

Interviewed on radio’s “The Alex Jones Show,” Sheen, who is said to be vacationing in the Bahamas, called his boss, executive producer Chuck Lorre, “a clown” and referred to him as “Haim Levine” (Lorre’s birth name is Charles Michael Levine). In a later interview with the website TMZ.com, Sheen said, “I violently hate Haim Levine,” and accused Lorre of taking money from him.

Within hours, the studio and network issued a joint statement: “Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of ‘Two and a Half Men’ for the remainder of the season.”

The decision will put at least 200 show staffers out of work indefinitely, as well as deprive No. 1-ranked CBS of the anchor of its Monday night comedy lineup. Sheen has a deal that carries him through May 2012, although it’s unclear now whether CBS will risk ordering the show again for next season.

The series was supposed to return to production Monday after Sheen –- who earns nearly $2 million per episode -- completed an unusual home-based rehab program. It was the second time in as many years that the show was forced to halt production due to the star’s substance-abuse problems. But producers believed there was still enough time left this season to complete four more episodes, as opposed to the eight more originally scheduled.

But Sheen over the last few weeks launched an escalating series of tirades and bizarre behavior. Earlier this month, he told radio host Dan Patrick that he was ready to return to work but his employers weren’t. He reportedly partied with baseball stars and headed on vacation with his estranged wife, a porn star and a third woman.

Studio and network bosses, who had urged Sheen to enter rehab after a trip to the emergency room last month, relied on addiction specialists who said that the actor could return to work, with the proviso that he continue treatment for months afterward. But the personal attack on Lorre pushed the studio to switch gears.

Shortly after the network and studio announced they would terminate the season, the gossip site Radar Online quoted Sheen as saying that he would allow them to film his drug test. “That’s how confident I am” of passing,  the star was quoted as saying.

[Updated at 7:30 p.m.] In a letter to TMZ issued after the network decision had been made, Sheen wrote of Lorre: “Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words -- imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists.”

-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen star in "Two and a Half Men." Credit: Greg Gayne / CBS

Comments () | Archives (83)

It's about time that Charlie Sheen "got over himself" and began to think of other people. We all know that the "problem" is "within" and only Charlie can fix himself, but it requires the necessary "action". And the jury is out as to whether or not Charlie has the smarts to make it happen.

Replace him. Replace him hard and fast. If you honestly believe he's the ONLY reason the show is a success, you're kidding yourself. He has no sense of decorum and has a problem. A problem that he needs help to deal with. My condolences to those who are out of work because of this jerk.

WOW!.. after reading some of the posting...has anyone paused to thinking that maybe Charlie is or is showing signs of becoming bipolar...he may have a mental illness which is a medical illness and should receive proper treatment. Perhaps someone should be appointed conservership over him which enable Charlie to receive the help he so desperately needs. Would anyone of us want someone to do for them if this were to happen to them. Even a "bad-boy" can have a mental breakdown from the self-inducing drugs and alcohol.

what a bonehead

I would rather watch Holland and Conchata and Jon and bring back Robert Wagner , he was WONDERFUL with these three. Angus can go make movies he is swell at that.
I really do love Charlie and have been a fan forever , but cut him loose and let him go do porno..
life is too short.

First of all his show blows. The parents of that kid should be ashamed of themselves. Its unbelievable what people will do for money even put their child in a situation that is not only inappropriate but down right embarrassing. How could you let a kid be around that dude and the subject matter they discuss is terrible. That kid is going to have problems. Now to Charlie dude, when youre gone youre gone maybe you dont care but youre kids will. They will spend a lifetime wondering what the hell they did or didnt do to make you change. Although it isnt their fault tell that to a child whose parent partied so often it becomes common knowledge what his character is. Denise Richards is a good mother but she can only shield them for so long. Grow up act like a man. KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE LOOSE WOMEN.

How is it a "slur" to call Chuck Lorre "Haim Levine" when Lorre, on his own website, says that is his real name? Am I a "racist" or anti-latino if refer to Charlie as Carlos Estevez? I

We will now find out who the star of the show is, Charlie Sheen Or Hiam. Go Charlie, there are million of us guys who look up to you, youv'e got it all, money cars, porn stars, wives, and you never have to date ugly fat chicks, we are in awe of you. Go Charlie.

How refreshing that CBS looked beyond the money and chose to no longer tolerate the tantrums of this hollywood brat. A shame that the rest of the cast and crew were shut down as well.

Charlie you are not so different or unique. Terminal uniqueness...ya right. Dude you are just another garden variety drug addict like thousands before you. You ego is nauseating....

and this affects me? how?

To cantsandit: You're wrong again, bubby...we Jews don't like white bread..it's rye and bagels for us. Get your facts straight.

Wow.... The talents and class of Martin and Emilio sure didn't rub off on Charlie. And he's the most successful one in the family? Not by a long shot. PLATOON was a long long time ago....

To this drunken fool, this is all a big joke. 200+ people lost their jobs because of this little sick boy living in a man's body. The show can do without him. It is sad to see people fill their lives with such trash passing as comedy. More importantly, supporting a drunk, womanizing, abuser get away with everything including getting paid such ridiculously high salary.
To the people who feel bad for him because he is an addict, please! what happened to personal responsibility? he CHOOSES to live this lifestyle despite his unbelievably good luck. There are millions of people who always try to do the right thing and take the high road with no rewards or huge paychecks.

"Clearly I have defeated the robot earthworms with my fire-breathing brainwaves" Sheen proclaimed as he headed on vacation with his estranged wife, a midget porn star and a bag of mescaline.

To Cantstandit: Charlie and Mel are waiting for you--they need to know what size sheet and hood you wear. Oh, I agree--we Jews don't care for white bread--bagels or rye bread, please.

Isn't a TV show like anyother "team"? Sheen is less than a man to only think of himself and let all of the other part of the team down. He sounds as if he thinks he is all of that - - and he's not. Maybe no one else will want to take a chance on him. Maybe he did it because Pres Obama extended the unemployment insurance. Good Luck Jackass!

This is the title of the new show called one and half drunks starring Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen!

I was hoping the show would continue. It's funny how producers feel the show is only funny or successful due to one person. I believe each character in the show compliments the others perfectly. I feel for the other actors/actresses which clearly put their heart and talent into making the show a success just to be out of a job now because of one individual. I do like Charlie Sheen and hope he conceeds and gets the professional help he needs soon and will be on the thought of thinking of other actors/actresses welfare and how his actions have or will affect not only himself but his coworkers and his fans as well.

I just want to find the Vegas odds maker who will take my bet on Charlie Sheen's TOD from either suicide, drug over dose or a car crash. One of the three seem to be his destiny.

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