After a weeks-long media circus that had Charlie Sheen attacking everything from Alcoholics Anonymous to Two and a Half Men’s co-creator Chuck Lorre, Warner Bros. Television has decided to fire the No. 1 comedy’s star.
“After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen’s services on Two and a Half Men effective immediately,” Warner Bros Television said in a statement Monday.
Reached by TMZ, Sheen, 45, said: “This is very good news. They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at whatshiscock again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension.”
A Warner Bros spokesperson tells THR that no decision has been made on the future of the show.
Sheen plans to sue, his lawyer Marty Singer tells THR.
“We will sue,” Singer said Monday in a phone interview. “It’s a matter of when. It could be this week, it could be in a little while. We’re in no rush. But we will sue.”
Singer has exchanged a series of increasingly rancorous letters with Warner Bros. since production on the hit CBS series was shut down in February. The litigator said he was not surprised Warners moved to terminate Sheen’s employment, but he maintains his position that the studio is in breach of its agreement with Sheen despite the actor’s erratic behavior and incendiary comments directed at Lorre. “They have no basis to suspend or terminate Charlie Sheen,” Singer said.
The news comes just a week-and-a-half after the studio halted production for the remainder of Men’s season, stating: “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.” Since the season’s suspension, Sheen has launched a Twitter account (he now has more than 2 million followers) and has gone on a media blitz, criticizing Lorre and other execs. Throughout his press tour, Sheen has remained optimistic about Men returning. In an interview that aired last week on ABC’s 20/20, he said, “I don’t know if Chuck and I can ever work together again. But maybe guys just sit in a room and just go, ‘Look, we hate each other. Let’s continue to make some great television.’ Maybe that’s possible.”
Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that if Two and a Half Men was forced to shut down permanently, it could jeopardize as much as $250 million in domestic syndication revenue for producer Warner Bros. Television and millions more in lost ad revenue for CBS.
In its eighth season, Men is the most-watched comedy on television, averaging 14.7 million viewers, while it is second only to ABC’s Modern Family among the ad-coveted younger demographic of 18-49-year-olds. CBS sells 30-second spots in Men for more than $200,000, according to media buyers, generating more than $3 million per episode. Kantar Media reports that the show grossed CBS more than $155 million in ad revenue last season alone.