CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler told the nation’s TV critics this morning that “we have a high level of concern” about Charlie Sheen and the reported personal problems that he may or may not be wrestling with off-camera, but expressed confidence in his professionalism on the network’s hit show, Two and a Half Men. “I personally thought a lot about this,” said Tassler, choosing her words carefully. “We have a high level of concern. How can we not? Let me speak personally first. On a very basic human level, I am concerned of course. This man is a father, he has children, he has a family.”
“You can’t look at it simplistically,” she continued. “Charlie is a professional. He comes to work, he does his job extremely well. We are taping tonight. It’s very complicated, but we have a very good relationship with Warner Bros. TV. We have tremendous trust and respect with the way they are managing the situation. On a personal level, we obviously have concern. On a professional level, he does his job and he does it well. This show is a hit. That’s all I have to say.”
Earlier this week, a series of reports hit the Internet about Sheen and how he reportedly went on a bender in Las Vegas with porn stars last weekend. That in turn prompted a ”Will he show up to work?” watch, which forced his personal publicist to issue a statement saying that he did, in fact, make it to the set on time.
In other news out of the executive portion of CBS’ press tour in Pasadena today:
- Tassler said they may add a character to Hawaii Five-o next season, though it may not be a series regular.
- Fixes are a given for a fledgling show like $#*! My Dad Says, the entertainment president says. “Like any show in its first year, you are going to make creative adjustments.”
- No chance of yet another NCIS spinoff.
- On American Idol moving to Thursdays: “Idol is Idol. It’s a force of nature. I think it’s going to be interesting to see with the new cast and the changes this year. The good thing is that The Big Bang Theory is a superstar, and we’re thrilled with how well it’s done on Thursday. I don’t know quite what’s going to happen, but it’s going to be interesting. The good news is that whenever you put hit shows in a time period, there are enough eyes to go around, so I think we’ll be okay.”
- On Live to Dance: “I wish we could have done better the other night. I have respect for a show that sets out to do more than exploit. It sets out to acknowledge and promote the passion that people have for the craft.”
- CBS plans to step up the scripted fare in the summer, in addition to its reality offerings like Big Brother.
- Don’t ask Tassler any more late-night war questions. “Dave is our hero. It’s passé to talk about Letterman versus Leno. Those days are over.”
(Additional reporting by Tanner Stransky)