The slippery, ever-changing saga of Charlie Sheen has taken a new turn now with news reports insisting that the producers of “Two and a Half Men” do not want him back and are already discussing plans for moving the show forward without him.
The latest stories represent a reversal of the reports that circulated earlier this week that CBS President Les Moonves was actively lobbying Warner Brothers Television execs – who have the power to hire or fire Sheen (having already done the latter) – to figure out a way to bring the wayward star together with executive producer Chuck Lorre and broker a peace between the two men. Such a peace would theoretically allow production on the sitcom to start up again.
But the new stories coming out on Wednesday indicate that a Sheen return is not in the cards. Once again, unnamed sources are cited in stories posted on TMZ.com and Eonline.com saying that there’s “no chance” Sheen will be asked back for the most obvious of reasons – his alleged (but probable) drug use and resulting unreliability, his campaign of name-calling and threats of violence against Lorre and others, and the lawsuit he filed against Warner Brothers after the company fired him.
In fact, the Eonline story is a pretty astute analysis of what’s going on behind the scenes here. As we have speculated also, the best guess is that the sources (or source) in the stories earlier this week – the ones reported by Radaronline.com and NBC News correspondent Jeff Rossen – may have been Sheen himself or someone close to him. And the unnamed sources in these new stories on Wednesday are likely from the production company camp – two factions apparently at war and operating under the cloak of anonymity.
As for TMZ, their story is written so adamantly that you could interpret it as a slap at Radar, which was the first news organization to report that efforts were underway to get Sheen back on the sitcom. TMZ and Radar are rivals – particularly on this Sheen story, for which representatives of both have been granted substantial access to Sheen and his household ever since this drama got started.
So, which stories should you believe – these latest reports or the earlier ones? Our take: These new ones seem to us like the more likely scenario. Stranger things have happened in TV and in show business generally, but we think Charlie’s bridges to CBS, Warner Brothers, Chuck Lorre and everyone else associated with “Two and a Half Men” are pretty well burned at this point.
It would take some sort of a miracle to “unburn” them and get Sheen back in his old job and the sitcom back into production.
Charlie Sheen Kisses Jimmy Kimmel: