Fallout from Charlie Sheen's rehab stint: Will CBS sue?

Now that Charlie Sheen is off to rehab and production on Two and A Half Men has been halted indefinitely, the question now is what steps, if any, CBS and Warner Bros. TV will take to recoup their short-term losses. The Hollywood Reporter published a speculative piece about Sheen’s contract, which suggests that maybe the two companies could exercise a possible morals clause in his deal and sue the high-paid actor for essentially behaving badly. The more likely scenario, however, is that insurance will cover any losses that were incurred while shutting down the show and Sheen — who will return to court March 15 — could possibly use his rehab stint to curry favor with the judge. On Feb. 8, Sheen was charged in Colorado with felony menacing, third degree assault, and criminal mischief that stemmed from an alleged Christmas Day argument between Sheen and his wife Brooke Mueller. She was already looking to amend a protective order placed against Sheen that limited his interaction with her and their twin sons, Max and Bob, and Sheen and Mueller have said, through their attorneys, that they would like to spend time together to reconcile.

Sheen may have a checkered past when it comes to his personal life (his previous trips to rehab and his troubles with ex-wife Denise Richards have been catnip for the Hollywood tabloids), but his on-set reputation remains largely untarnished. Those who work with and around Sheen have long trumpeted his work ethic — a trait that’s likely in his DNA (his father is Martin Sheen and his brother is Emilio Estevez). In fact, Sheen’s on-set reputation is not unlike that of another member of Hollywood royalty — Kiefer Sutherland. The 43-year-old son of Donald Sutherland has also had brushes with the law but is known to be the consummate professional at work: In 2007, it was Sutherland’s decision to serve his full jail sentence for a drunk driving arrest in two installments to prevent disruption to 24’s production schedule. The drama did have to shut down production last month so Sutherland could undergo surgery for a ruptured cyst but it was not expected to affect the broadcast schedule.

As for the immediate future on Men, Warner Bros. TV – which produces the comedy for CBS - has already taped 18 episodes of the comedy this season, three of which have yet to air. CBS ordered 24 episodes from Warner Bros. At 14.9 million, Men remains the most-watched comedy in viewers on broadcast television. The sitcom is in its seventh season.

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/CBS

Comments (67 total) Add your comment
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  • Carol

    Although Charlie Sheen is the star of MEN – I would watch a few episodes without him. I could see the writers coming up with hilarious story lines focusing on Jake and his GMa…or even why Uncle Charlie is “missing”. Hey writers give it a try!

    • Stephanie Tanner

      Look they had a similar problem on Sanford and Son when Redd Foxx had a contract dispute so they said Fred went to St. Louis and Grady came by to “take care” of Lamont – and really those episodes were among some of the best in the series (the marijuana salad for the cops). They can do something similar here, just have their mom stay a while or say Rose has to stay with them, etc.

    • amj

      I totally agree with you, where is Uncle Charlie would be pretty funny. I am one of those viewers that makes this show the most watched comedy on television and we all knew going into it that Charlie Sheen had his issues. Afterall the whole character on the show is about this very concept. I think they should let him seek help and continue his contract with a new clause if they want one. Give Charlie another chance.

      • nursesdate

        How about Emilio replace sheen?

      • to nursesdate

        Can’t do that…Emilio was on once as an old friend who died while visiting Charlie.

      • sparkle the gym bag

        2 1/2 charlie in sex rehab with tiger would be awesome!

  • astrochicks.com

    Seriously? Why should they sue Charlie Sheen? I’m sure the executives at Warner and CBS are no choir boys. The guy has a disease and is trying to get help. AA meetings in this town are filled with starlets. Give the guy a break.

    • Russ Burlingame

      They probably won’t, but they might because they COULD; corporations are beholden to stockholders, and so it’s possible they might feel pressured to sue if he doesn’t get back by the end of the season and they end up taking a bath on the rest of the ordered episodes and the ad revenue.

    • whatevs

      He’s had many breaks, since he’s never really had to pay for any of his previous behavior.

    • The Truth

      Simple his actions are causing CBS to lose tons of money. Personal responsibility, you are responsible for your actions and its effects on others. Make him pay!

  • dawnselya

    14 million? D..n all fools!

  • SD

    They should keep the show going, and have his character go to rehab!Brilliant!

    • Sophie Ann

      For sure!!!

    • Mandy

      They could really write a few good episodes about Charlie entering rehab or running away because of his problems with Chelsea. Hell, a few episodes featuring Berta, Jake and/or Allan would be excellent!!

    • amj

      Yes, I like this idea too, rehab for Charlie. Seems like a perfect turn for his character right now.

  • Marcia

    I like 3 and 1/2 men. It’s super funny but lately charly is mistreating his brother too much.

  • Dee

    Men without Sheen is not a show. I personally like the chemistry all 3 men have. It is unique and I truly look forward to it. Always gives me a smile. Brave to Sheen for doing the right thing.

  • Imán

    I agree with all of the above to keep the show going. I am a great fan of charlie who keeps me laughing no matter how many times I see the same repeat…all involved compliment one another

  • I am not a sheep

    heh, this is what Sheen gets for going anti government – “911 was an inside job”

    remember Mark Cuban SEC charge for him supporting loose change.

    Ok sheeps. have a good day

    • Are you for Real?

      Off topic much? Huh?

    • sparkle the gym bag

      u maybe a goat tho

  • susierr

    Funny with the son, he could have his own show. They don’t need Charlie every show. Give him a break and continue without Charlie.

  • Jon Boy

    Wow Art imitating life. Send Charlie to rehab make Alan the Ladies man while Charlie is gone. When Charlie gets back he has an Identity crisis on who he really is and he goes into therapy while he becomes Alan. Jake becomes a straight A student.

    • scooter

      Excellent idea!

    • sparkle the gym bag

      yea do the comedy “Lost” angle…alternate world when charlie returns and their Mom is a saint, berta is a rich neighbor,etc.,

  • cowbell

    the show needs more cow bell

    • Nshi

      Your comment needs more funny.

      • Nshi

        Does anyone know where I can purchase affordable DEPENDS undergarments??

      • Nshi

        HEY STOP IT YOU TROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rock Golf

      I’m just grateful that Nshi didn’t demand that you take down that bovinistic comment. Cowbells are a sign of animal slavery!

    • Nshi

      I want to tell the EW community that people posting under the “Nshi” name are going way too far. I regret every having posted to these boards for what these imposters have been saying. I really am sorry that I started something so stupid.

  • Burl

    Somehow, I have always rooted for Charlie Sheen, and I shall continue! He has done so much so right – 7 smooth years on the show, building an impeccable professional reputation. Get the emotional nip/tuck you need, CFharlie, I’ll be waiting without judgement.

    Get well. You’re cool.

  • jaclyn

    CBS needs too wise up and cancel this show and replace it with the much funnier “Big Bang Theory.”

    • wakeforce

      Yes, cancel a show that averages nearly 15 million viewers. Jaclyn, do you work for NBC?

    • Are you for Real?

      Why would they replace it with a show they own and show at 9:30 and which is a hit already?

  • cassandra hall

    bring berta back get rid of the girl friend do a show with chalie in rehab with berta visiting family

    • amj

      Now, that’s funny!

  • ANN


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