March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Warner Bros. Television fired Charlie Sheen, star of CBS’s top-rated comedy “Two and a Half Men,” after a series of interviews critical of the show’s producer.
The Time Warner Inc. unit is weighing the future of the program without Sheen, according to Paul McGuire, a spokesman for the Burbank, California-based studio. Sheen’s firing is effective immediately, Warner Bros. said today in a statement.
CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. on Feb. 24 stopped work on the season’s last four episodes “based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition,” after the actor denounced show creator Chuck Lorre in a series of interviews.
“It’s a delicate situation,” Howard T. Owens, whose company produces “The Office” and “Biggest Loser,” said in an interview. “The actor is potentially a danger to himself and others.”
The producers had few choices other than to move ahead without Sheen, said Owens, managing director of Reveille Productions, a Los Angeles-based unit of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group Ltd. The company isn’t involved with Sheen or “Two and a Half Men.”
Sheen, 45, hired Hollywood lawyer Martin Singer and said he is contemplating legal action against Warner Bros. and New York-based CBS. Sheen asked for his estimated $2 million per episode payment for eight shows, including four earlier episodes that were canceled when he entered rehab.
The actor, whose substance-abuse problems caused a hiatus of taping on Jan. 28, told TMZ that he was “100 percent sober” and that “I fixed myself. It’s possible. Decide what you’re going to do and just do it.”
CBS, owner of the most-watched television network, fell 34 cents to $23.62 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have risen 23 percent since the show was put on hold on Jan. 28 for Sheen’s rehab. Time Warner, based in New York, declined 47 cents to $36.78 and has climbed 16 percent since then.
“Two and a Half Men” is the most-watched comedy on broadcast television, according to data from Nielsen Co. Phil Gonzales, a CBS spokesman in Los Angeles, declined to comment.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com