Killing Charlie Sheen character a ‘thrill’ for ‘Two and a Half Men’ creator
BY BILL ZWECKER Sun-Times Columnist August 2, 2011 1:42PM
Ashton Kutcher (center) is set to join Angus T. Jones (left) and Jon Cryer on “Two and a Half Men.”
Updated: August 3, 2011 4:48AM
Even with “Two and a Half Men” cast, crew and audience members sworn to secrecy — including signed non-disclosure agreements regarding texting, Twitter, Facebook, etc. — details are leaking about the two-part opener of the hit sitcom’s new, non-Charlie Sheen season.
According to two longtime “Men” staffers, Sheen’s Charlie Harper character is indeed killed off — something one source quipped “gave [show creator/producer and Sheen nemesis] Chuck Lorre extreme pleasure in making sure it happened. ...
“He loved killing off Charlie … got a big vicarious thrill out of it, even if it only was his fictional character! You got the sense that next to killing Charlie for real, this was the next best thing,” the source said with a big laugh.
“As far as Chuck was concerned, there never was any doubt: Charlie Harper was going to die to end his connection to the show.”
† Added details about the two episodes include Harper’s legion of girlfriends tearfully returning to mourn at his funeral, plus a number of well-known Hollywood celebs making cameos.
Much will be made of selling Harper’s home, with Ashton Kutcher’s new character being introduced as a potential buyer for the place.
Tapings begin Friday, and the ninth season of “Two and a Half Men” debuts Sept. 19 on CBS.
MAKIN’ MUSIC: Up-and-coming country star Craig Campbell (“Family Man,” “Fish”) has been tapped to open for Trace Adkins Oct. 2 when country music makes a return to the stage of the Auditorium Theatre — for the first time in more than a decade.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: There’s word a top Chicago eatery will be among the world-famous restaurants included in a Bravo competition series tentatively titled “Around the World in 80 Plates” — featuring famous chef cook-offs in dining meccas around the globe.
† Continuing his well-conceived “tour” of Chicago restaurants less visible in local columns, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was spied Monday sushi-supping at Mirai Sushi. … Avid “American Idol” fans recognized season two contestant Frenchie Davis — who more recently competed on “The Voice” — in the Living Room at the W Lakeshore Hotel. … Frank Thomas and family members lunched at Gibsons on Rush, joined by the former Sox slugger’s ex-Oakland A’s teammate and current Yankee Eric Chavez. … Giuliana and Bill Rancic caught up with pals over dinner at Carmine’s.
ROLE REVERSAL: It used to be star DJ Samantha Ronson was the one counseling Lindsay Lohan to watch her drinking, but after Ronson’s DUI arrest Tuesday near Baker, Calif., it was LiLo who made the first call to her ex-galpal.
Given she’s in recovery, Lohan has curtailed recent contact with Ronson — joining other friends with deep concerns about the DJ’s heavy partying and drinking.
SPECIAL BIRTHDAY: A Chicago Who’s Who gathered for the very special surprise that business exec Ed Weil planned the other evening — toasting wife and well-known telecommunications honcho Dia Weil for her big Six-Oh. Focused on Dia’s Italian heritage, the gorgeous Bill Heffernan-designed fete at the Weils’ Winnetka home had guests raving, including Nora and Sean Conroy, Les Coney, Bill Crown, Desiree Rogers, Julie Latsko, Linda Johnson Rice, Debbie Bricker, Ann Kaplan, Sandi Jackson, Ed Burke, Neal Zucker, Neil Bluhm, Phil Stefani, Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis.
Bill Zwecker reports regularly on WFLD-Channel 32.