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Who could replace Charlie Sheen on 'Two and a Half Men'? The speculation begins

February 28, 2011 |  3:10 pm

Sheen Now that Charlie Sheen has said his piece in morning show interviews and a live feed on TMZ, it's becoming harder and harder to see "Charlie Harper" ever making his return to the CBS show that had its production shut down for the rest of the season.

So now begins the game of guessing how or with whom CBS and Warner Bros. will proceed Sheen-less with the cash cow of a comedy.

The likeliest option — besides just canceling the show — would be to bring in some kind of replacement. Everyone's replaceable in theory, and someone playing a shallow, womanizing bachelor who works in showbiz would seem to be especially replaceable.

Uncle Jesse ... is that you on "Two and a Half Men"? EOnline reported that John Stamos of feather-haired "Full House" fame — and a recent run on "Glee" — is in talks with CBS to replace Sheen. Stamos has denied any such thing, saying on Twitter last Friday: "Contrary to the rumors, I am not replacing Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men. however, Martin Sheen has asked me to be his son."

Who else might fit the bill? Matt Dillon did a hilarious turn recently as a hard-partying guy who never grew up on "Modern Family." The producers could keep it in the family and bring in Sheen's brother, actor-director Emilio Estevez. (I haven't seen him around much since the "Mighty Ducks" sequels, so he's likely available.)  Or they could scrap the whole the replacement idea and build a bigger role for Holland Taylor, who plays the tipsy, manipulative real-estate agent mother.

It wouldn't the first time Sheen was involved in a sitcom switcharoo: He took Michael J. Fox's place on "Spin City," for the show's final two seasons, after Fox left because of advancing Parkinson's disease — one of the seemingly rare occasions in which a show held on after the departure of a leading character. (It's the same conundrum faced by "The Office," which will be bidding farewell to star Steve Carrell, especially since the show's getting long in the tooth as it wraps its seventh season.)

There are plenty of instances of ancillary characters disappearing without notice or a flimsy excuse or just being replaced. Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) went to Costa Rica on "Home Improvement" — and has yet to return. Judy #2 (Jaimee Foxworth, who became a porn star and "Celebrity Rehab" cast member) walked up the kitchen stairs in an episode of "Family Matters" and was never seen on the show again.  On "Roseanne," bratty eldest daughter Becky went from being played by Lecy Goranson to Sarah Chalke (later on "Scrubs"), and then back to Goranson and to Chalke. (Whew!)

But Sheen does not play a minor character, and it would certainly be jarring for a television family — albeit an unusual one — to undergo such a drastic change after seven seasons. It's like "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" minus Jon all over again.

***

What do you think? Could John Stamos fit in with the rest of the cast? Who would your ideal replacement be? And how would they write Sheen out of the show? Take the poll and add your own suggestions in the comments.

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