Photo Credit: CBS
Charlie Sheen has been indulging in risky behavior for years -- and through it all, he's more or less managed to show up for work every day. Now, after his second trip to the emergency room in six months, he's checked himself into rehab. So what's going to happen to Sheen's mega-popular CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men?
As of Friday, the show's cast and crew are on hiatus. A producer told the press that CBS is "profoundly concerned with (Sheen's) health and well-being" and that they support his decision to enter rehab. And since Two and a Half Men is currently the most popular prime-time comedy on TV, we expect that CBS will bend over backwards to keep its biggest star employed.
But what if Sheen is serious about rehab this time? If he really wants to battle his alleged addictions, he's going to have to commit to a longer stay than the 30-day stints he's done in the past. Even with Sheen taking a leave of absence, though, the show could survive: Entertainment Weekly says that they already have two new Sheen episodes ready to air, and that shooting a few Charlie-less story lines is definitely an option. The half-hour show has already been renewed through 2012, which gives Sheen some time to get on his feet.
At this point, barring an even-bigger PR disaster, it's very unlikely that Sheen will be fired. His bosses say that his problems don't extend to the set, which is why they've felt helpless to reach out to Sheen in the past.
"What can we do? He shows up to work, on time," one of Sheen's bosses told E! Online. "He's polite, and he makes us hundreds of millions of dollars."
Ah, yes -- the money thing. Even with Sheen's exorbitant salary, reportedly around $1.8 million an episode, he's still a very valuable asset for CBS. The network has been criticized for not encouraging Sheen to go to rehab earlier, but ultimately a whole lot of jobs depend on Two and a Half Men's success.
"I can only imagine the pressures on the producers of a hit show to keep delivering the hit show," a producer on a different show told The Daily Beast. "While everyone wants to do the right thing, and be ethical and good people, I'm sure it's pretty hard, when the guy shows up and delivers his lines, to pull that lever and stop the whole machine."
For now, CBS is down to one-and-a-half men. But as long as America stays devoted to Charlie Sheen, they'll be back to the usual number soon enough.
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