I might be in a bit of a spot. Sure I run the number one network in the country but there’s a huge problem with my number one show. Two and a Half Men has been hit hard by the antics of our outspoken star, Charlie Sheen. I know you’ve said you won’t talk about his breakdown but we’ve floated a few ideas of people to replace him and I was wondering if you had any thoughts about potential replacements. I also went on record last week as saying Sheen should return to the show and that showrunner Chuck Lorre should “let us handle Charlie.” I think that was the right call, what do you think?
-Les Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation
I think forcing a comedy writer into working with someone he doesn’t want to is a terrible idea. I think it is going to be really awkward for Jon Cryer to be on that set after Sheen called him a troll. I think it might be awkward for that kid who plays the half man to be on that set after Cryer was called a troll because he looks so much more like a troll. I’m sure not every sitcom set is a paradise but this would have to be in the top 10 of terrible professional atmospheres; top 5 that doesn’t involve Cybil Shepherd.
The Internet has provided some great casting rumors. The problem? They’re all people famous for their crazy personal lives. You’re going to replace a detonated bomb with a slightly longer fuse. You touched the stove and got burned; the answer is not to touch a smaller stove. How many more analogies on this topic is it going to take for this to sink in? It’s like you went to see 300 and Watchmen in theatres and still got pissed when Sucker Punch was a colossal train wreck. These bad boys you seem to covet will abuse your trust just like Zack Snyder abuses his audiences.
Maybe you’ve gotten enough out of this franchise. 177 episodes is an awful long run for a show so maligned by sensible critics. You can’t think the show wasn’t already on the downswing. Is alienating a guy like Lorre, who has shown an ability to produce other successful shows, really a good idea? Sheen clearly doesn’t want to be doing stuff like this; Lorre does. Maybe it means one less diamond-encrusted dick-wiper this year but it could mean ten more over the next decade. I would think someone who made so much money catering to the insanely old like your network does would have a little more patience and a little less youthful impatience.