Sacked Charlie Sheen slams TV bosses with online rant
Charlie Sheen has broken his silence on his dismissal from America's top TV comedy and unleashed a broadside against his employer.
Sheen, who is the best paid actor in US TV, said his dismissal from the Two And A Half Men was “unconscionable”.
The 45-year-old lashed out at his former television bosses on his live internet show Sheen's Korner yesterday, the day after Warner Bros terminated his contract.
At the beginning of his prepared remarks, which lasted about 10 minutes, he also said that the decision was illegal.
Using insulting versions of their names, Sheen attacked members of his “unwanted list”: CBS president Les Moonves, Warner Bros Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum, and Two And A Half Men executive producer Chuck Lorre.
But Sheen seemed to praise Warner Bros Television president Peter Roth, saying that his heart “was always rooted in fairness”.
Meanwhile it emerged yesterday that while its main star may have left the scene, the phenomenally successful sitcom looks likely to survive.
Although the eight-year-old show is ageing and revolved around Sheen's playboy character Charlie Harper, Warner Bros Television and CBS have every incentive to try to keep it going.
Apart from anything else it is a huge money-maker, it is the most popular comedy on the air, and in syndication. But the more important question might be whether viewers will buy a remade show next autumn.
There are numerous examples of shows losing stars and carrying on with other actors, although not necessarily in the same roles.
It has happened to Sheen before. He worked for two years on Spin City, essentially replacing original star Michael J Fox in 2000 when Parkinson's disease made it impossible for Fox to continue in the role.
Farrah Fawcett-Majors was television's biggest new star when she left Charlie's Angels in 1977, although she made guest appearances afterwards. Cheryl Ladd joined the cast the same year, with the show running another four seasons.
Even if Two And A Half Men returns, it is highly unlikely that there will be a new Charlie Harper. The hard-partying Sheen|embodied the character; some suggested it was written with|his real-life persona in mind.
Viewers would not buy into it, said Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Centre for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.
“It would be like if your mother said ‘the role of your father is now being played by so-and-so', and not ‘I've left your father and here is my new guy,”' he said.
Mr Sheen's fellow cast members have not commented |about the public drama involving their colleague — to the point where Sheen expressed disappointment in one of his interviews that he had not been receiving support.