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'Warlock' Charlie Sheen's absence has put a hex on CBS ratings

May 10, 2011 |  6:18 pm

Sheenkimmel Charlie Sheen likes to refer to himself as a warlock. So maybe it's not surprising that his absence might be casting a bad spell on CBS' ratings.

Since Sheen was fired from"Two and a Half Men" earlier this season, the network has been forced to rely on repeats of what it likes to call "TV's No. 1 comedy." At first, the prospect of repeats didn't sound so bad, because "Men" encores better than most shows.This season, original episodes averaged 16.2 million total viewers, with repeats logging a still-respectable 9.7 million, according to the Nielsen Co.

But the weeks of retreads are beginning to take a toll. Monday night, "Men" sank to 6.5 millon viewers, and dragged along with it the rest of the CBS lineup. "How I Met Your Mother," "Mad Love" and "Mike & Molly" all sank to or matched record lows in the critical category of adults ages 18 to 49. With CBS about to announce its fall schedule next week, the network more than ever needs a strong plan for Monday nights next season. 

If Sheen was really correct that his former bosses have "picked a fight with a warlock," the ratings might be proof that the troubled actor is still -- duh! -- winning.


The clock is ticking for Charlie Sheen and "Two and a Half Men"

-- Scott Collins (

Photo: Charlie Sheen on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in March. Credit: Richard Cartwright / Associated Press.