Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
As long as Charlie Sheen remains conscious, the outrageousness marches on. His publicist quit. The twins were removed from his home, although the goddesses are presumably still in danger. Charlie’s taken to Twitter. Online, his folksy wisdom about tiger blood and gnarly bi-winning has been coming out of the mouths of kittens, bunnies, baby sloths, superheroes and Charlie Brown.
And despite the media overanalyzing every imaginable angle, “Two and a Half Men” fans still have questions. The main one being, “What?”
Let’s take a breather and try to sort a few things out.
Was Charlie worth the trouble?
But he’s great in the role, and pretty close to irreplaceable (although “I’ve got magic and poetry in my fingertips” may be a bit of an overstatement). Compare Charlie to Jon Cryer, a proven, Emmy-winning talent who couldn’t be more lovable. But can he carry a show? No.
What should CBS do?
“The ideal situation would be that ‘Two and a Half Men’ continues, and with Charlie Sheen on it,” Schneider says. “Maybe not now, but by fall? It’s Hollywood, so anything’s possible.”
Les Moonves, the head of CBS, doesn’t seem to be in panic mode. “Short term, it’s actually financially a gainer for us,” he told analysts Tuesday, since the network saves money it would have spent on the season’s eight canceled episodes. “I’m not saying long term I want this to go on, or it’s great. Going down the road, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope it’s back. We’ll see.”
Could the show go on without Charlie?
Even 1986’s “Valerie” survived without star Valerie Harper. NBC dismissed her over creative differences, then killed off her character in a car accident. Sandy Duncan took over as the boys’ aunt in the retitled “The Hogan Family” for three more seasons.
“Two and a Half Men” has more than just Charlie Sheen going for it. It also has the blessed Monday night comedy slot that’s been inhabited by “I Love Lucy,” “MASH,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and so on.
“Monday’s always been a good night for CBS and comedy,” Podrazik says. “It’s a good formula. As long as it continues to deliver what it’s supposed to deliver, people will watch.”
Who benefits from this brouhaha?
The controversy could be good for the show, with even non-watchers tuning in to see what the fuss is all about. And the prospects for “Mike & Molly,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory” are rising, as they’re eyed as possible new anchors for Monday night.
Has Charlie torpedoed his career?
Although the character of Charlie was similar to the real-life decadent Charlie, these rants may have eclipsed the sitcom’s benign naughtiness. Will audiences still chuckle at the fictional scamp, or will they be unable to separate him from Charlie’s violent past with women, his drug issues, his disrespect for his employers and the borderline anti-Semitic comments? Have we even gotten over him calling the official version of 9/11 “an absolute fairy tale” yet?
Then again, if we chose all our entertainment based on pleasant personalities, no one would ever watch sports.
What are these “Vatican assassin warlocks” of which Charlie speaks?