Sheen Rants; Men Shut Down
Just days before production of Two and a Half Men was scheduled to resume, Warner Bros. TV and CBS announced that they had decided to close down the series for the rest of the season, citing "the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements" on a radio talk show and a message to the gossip website TMZ on Thursday. In those statements Sheen vented unmitigated vitriol at veteran writer/producer Chuck Lorre, referring to him by his given name, Chaim Levine, in an apparent snide allusion to Lorre's Jewish background. In an interview with radio talk-show host Alex Jones, Sheen boasted that he was responsible for making Lorre's scripts pay off. "OK, last I checked, Chaim, I spent I think close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold, and the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write," Sheen told Jones. Then, in a phone call to TMZ, he resumed his assault on Lorre. "I violently hate Chaim Levine. He's a stupid, stupid little man and a p**sy punk that I'd never want to be like. ... That piece of s**t took money out of my pocket, my family's pocket, and, most importantly, my second family -- my crew's pocket." (Sheen is reportedly the highest-paid actor on television, earning a reported $1.2 million per episode.) Indeed, in view of the decision to halt production of Two and a Half Men , it was unclear how the show's cast and crew would be affected. Last week, the network said that it would air four more new episodes this season for a total of 20, four fewer than the 24 episodes that had been ordered. Now, it's uncertain whether the show will even be renewed for a ninth season.