Is Charlie still winning?
CBS chief working toward winning Charlie Sheen his job back
March 21, 2011
The president and CEO of CBS is reportedly working toward bringing disgraced TV star Charlie Sheen back to "Two and a Half Men", RadarOnline reported.
According to a source, Les Moonves was determined to bring the show back and was in discussions with Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show and which fired Sheen earlier this month, in an attempt to rebuild the numerous bridges burned between the ranting actor and the California-based program staff.
They included the "Men" co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre, who Sheen deemed a "contaminated little maggot" before hitting him with a $100 million lawsuit, and its staff, described by the former movie star as "trolls."
"Moonves wants to get the show back on the air. He's all for it," the insider said. "He says certain people need to forget anything and everything Charlie's done recently and just move on with the business at hand."
The source added, "The core issue is, as he put it, the volatile relationship between Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre. He believes that if CBS and Warner Bros. TV honchos can find a way to get Chuck and Charlie to speak again, cooler heads will prevail."
This is just another example of how people have turned actors and musicians into heroes of entertainment. We don't actually care about the people who really do make life interesting or important. Instead we would rather see some overly paid actor pretend to be having a psychological break down. This celebrity worship is silly.
The New York Times
April 3, 2011
Belligerent and Boozy, and That’s Just the Audience
By A. O. SCOTT
DETROIT — Charlie Sheen chose Detroit as the starting point for his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option” live performance tour. Before his show at the Fox Theater here on Saturday night you could speculate on a metaphorical link between the city and the star: phoenix rising from the ashes or shattered wreck of former glory. Either one might have seemed appropriate.
As it happened, Mr. Sheen and Detroit proved to be a disastrous match. The Fox, a lavishly ornamented, carefully restored 5,000-seat show palace evoking a lost golden age of spectacle, is beautiful, but the scene there was ugly, as a boisterous, liquored-up capacity crowd greeted Mr. Sheen with cheers that quickly turned to boos. The show — a ragged mix of video clips, ear-splitting music, profanity-laced monologues and clumsy attempts to encourage audience participation — did not so much end as collapse. After a little more than an hour Mr. Sheen turned the stage over to a rapper he said would “wake up” the increasingly belligerent spectators, or maybe calm them down. After a Snoop Dogg video, the house lights went up, and though the headliner briefly returned to trade insults with a mostly empty house, the evening clearly had not gone according to plan. If there ever was a plan.
You could say that Mr. Sheen and the audience failed each other. The ticket buyers did not show him the “love and gratitude” to which he felt entitled, and he did not give them the kind of entertainment they thought they had paid for. But you could also say that the performer and the audience deserved each other, and that their mutual contempt was its own kind of bond. The ushers, in their black gold-braided uniforms, retained an air of inscrutable dignity in the midst of an orgy of depthless vulgarity. Everyone else in the room — onstage, backstage, in the $69 orchestra seats — had to swallow a gag-inducing, self-administered dose of shame. And no, the journalists who traveled to Detroit to gawk and philosophize at the spectacle are not exempt from that judgment.
What did Mr. Sheen think he was doing? What did the people who snapped up all those tickets expect? What they got, much to their displeasure, was a warm-up set from Kirk Fox, a tall, skinny stand-up comedian who never really had a chance. The booing started early, and as Mr. Fox struggled through his act he tried, masochistically, to embrace the hostility, trashing his own jokes and praising the crowd for being “unified” in its hatred of him. The people wanted Charlie Sheen.
And then they didn’t. Mr. Sheen, taking the stage after a chaotic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung by two spangly blond women, brought two other blond women (excuse me, “goddesses”), who helped him choose a shirt to wear. (They also set fire to a shirt that appeared to have been taken from the wardrobe closet at “Two and a Half Men.”)
He settled on a white, button-front Detroit Tigers jersey with the name Warlock on the back, which inspired some cheers. Other attempts to rally hometown favor were not as well received. “How many people here are holding crack?” he asked. “I’m not smoking crack,” said Mr. Sheen, who has notoriously bragged about “banging seven-gram rocks” of the stuff in the past. “But if I were smoking crack, what better place than Detroit?” Oddly, the wave of applause he seemed to expect did not materialize.
The problem was not that Mr. Sheen’s material was offensive. You are likely to encounter much more obscenity, crude sexual humor and aggression at any comedy club in America, at least on a good night, and the patrons will be in no mood to complain. The problem was that Mr. Sheen did not really have any material, and certainly nothing new. After a loud montage of movie clips — mostly violent snippets from films starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and other actors whose ranks Mr. Sheen might at one time have aspired to join — he delivered a kind of mock State of the Union address that sent the evening tumbling irretrievably toward disaster.
With a gonzo grandiloquence that suggested some acquaintance with the early work of Allen Ginsberg — or at least the possession of a thesaurus, the collected rants of Dennis Miller and a pile of Rolling Stone back issues — Mr. Sheen reeled off what he called a “Manny-fest-oh.” “Tonight we trade our vanity for insanity,” he bellowed. “Our stupidity for smart-idity.” Declaring himself the “battle-tested leader” of a vaguely defined movement for freedom, he invited Detroit to bask in “a night of absolute redemption, a night of winning.”
Then — not to bore you with too many details — Mr. Sheen, star of the beloved “Major League” movies, played a little catch, showed part of a short film he wrote and directed long ago, sampled some fan videos and presented some of his own, including a remix of the interview that appeared on “20/20” last month. In short, the best parts of the show were either already available on, or best suited to, YouTube. And Mr. Sheen, whose skill and professionalism as an actor have remained steady through much of the tabloid mayhem of his personal life, proved not to be sufficiently nimble or inventive as a live performer to hold the attention of a large and restless mob.
That is the technical interpretation of what happened Saturday. The show was no good, and the public protested. But then there is the cultural analysis, which in the end is only slightly more interesting. Mr. Sheen is hardly the first celebrity to mistake morbid, hysterical curiosity for adoration, or to think that he could extend his fame by finding the right alloy of self-mockery, bravado and false populism. His act, such as it was, vacillated between sentimental declarations of solidarity with the audience and reminders of his own superiority. “I have two goddesses,” he said to one heckler. “How many do you have?”
Of course the people in the seats — fans, rubberneckers, critics — were guilty of a complementary hypocrisy. We profess dismay at Mr. Sheen’s long history of drug abuse and violence against women, but we have also enabled and indulged this behavior, and lately encouraged his delusional belief that he could beat the toxic fame machine at its own game. The price of a ticket to one of his shows represents a wager that it is impossible to lose. The audience that walked out of the Fox could feel righteously ripped off and thus morally superior to the man they had paid to see, who seemed to feel the same about them. Win-win!
So now the question is: Will the shows go on? Will career suicide become Mr. Sheen’s new career? Or is he finished? I know I am.
So, in many ways, yes, Charlie Sheen is still winning...for now.
I saw on the news that his performances had been received better after the first one. I'm at a loss to understand any of it. I don't know what the show is about exactly, and I don't know what the audience expects to see or wants to see.
Charlie Sheen to star in 'Anger Management' series
The mercurial actor will also have 'a significant ownership stake' in the proposed show based on the 2003 film. It has yet to find a TV home.
By Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times
July 19, 2011
The "rock star from Mars" has landed — in another TV show.
Four months after getting axed from CBS' "Two and a Half Men" when he publicly attacked his bosses, Charlie Sheen was officially announced Monday as the star in "Anger Management," a proposed sitcom adaptation that seems destined for basic cable and is loosely based on the 2003 movie starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler. Sheen will play the Nicholson character, a provocative doctor with some odd therapeutic techniques.
According to a release, Sheen will retain "a significant ownership stake" in the show, whose producers will include former Walt Disney Studios chairman and Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth. Lionsgate Television will be among the producers while the company's distribution arm, Debmar-Mercury, will scout for network partners. That assumes, of course, that Sheen — who made "Duh! Winning!" a national catchphrase — can win back the TV industry's trust enough for network bosses to roll the dice with him again.
"I chose 'Anger Management' because, while it might be a big stretch for me to play a guy with serious anger management issues, I think it is a great concept," a characteristically cheeky Sheen said in a statement. "It also provides me with real ownership in the series, a certain amount of creative control and the chance to be back in business with one of my favorite movie producers of all time, Joe Roth."
Through a spokesman, Sheen and Roth declined to be interviewed.
Sheen had reportedly been negotiating for the project, but many crucial details are still being worked out. The release sent out Monday morning does not say when filming will start, who his costars or lead writers will be or, most important, which network might air the project.
Debmar-Mercury, which syndicates fare such as "The Wendy Williams Show," says that for "Anger Management" it will use an unusual sitcom business model it helped pioneer. Traditionally, TV producers spend months developing a pilot and then angling for a series order from network bosses. But in this case, a network partner will be asked to order a limited number of episodes upfront — perhaps 10 or fewer. If the early episodes deliver good ratings, the network will then be obligated to order 90 more episodes — thus enabling the syndicator to hit the magic number of 100 that makes it easier to sell lucrative reruns to local stations.
Debmar-Mercury has employed this approach for a batch of Tyler Perry sitcoms on TBS, including "House of Payne," "Meet the Browns" and "Are We There Yet?"
Sheen was one of TV's highest-paid stars on "Two and a Half Men," with a per-episode paycheck that approached $2 million. He could conceivably see another astronomical payday as a profit participant on "Anger Management" — but only if the series taps that rich syndicated market.
The big question now is which network might bite.
An NBC spokesman declined to comment, but an insider said the network won't bid on Sheen's new project. A CBS spokesman declined to comment, but it's a long shot at best that the nation's most-watched network would bid on Sheen's new comedy after enduring a high-wire drama with the actor the past several years. Representatives for Fox and ABC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sheen's drug problems forced "Two and a Half Men" to shut down production two years in a row; in the middle of his at-home rehab earlier this year, he took to bashing his bosses on radio programs, Internet and TV news shows, calling his boss, executive producer Chuck Lorre, a "spineless rat" and dubbing himself a "rock star from Mars" who did not play by the usual human rules. That kind of record would make Sheen — whatever his outlaw appeal to many fans — a risk to any broadcaster worried about advertising and viewer reactions.
"His personal, professional and business unpredictability make him a real gamble for any channel that would be considering him," said Jeffrey McCall, a professor of media studies at DePauw University. "I can't imagine any of the big four networks taking a chance on him, not just because of the unpredictability, but because of the potential bad PR that could accompany the association."
But a smaller cable network could be another story, McCall added. "Cable channels are not necessarily expected to provide cultural or programming leadership, so there is less to lose if the Sheen program crashed for whatever reason," he said. "I can see this show ending up on TBS, FX, USA or some other cable outlet that does original programming, but to smaller, targeted demos." (A sale to TBS could prove problematic, however, as the outlet is owned by Time Warner, whose TV studio fired Sheen from "Men" and is currently embroiled in litigation with the actor over his removal from the series.)
Roth and Sheen previously worked on several movie projects together, including "Major League," one of Sheen's biggest hits.
"Who better than Charlie Sheen to tackle 'Anger Management,'" Roth said in the release. "With Charlie's incredible talent and comedic gifts, he remains the leading man of TV sitcoms. I'm excited to collaborate with him once again."
The producers of "Two and a Half Men" eventually hired Ashton Kutcher to replace Sheen and the No. 1-ranked comedy is slated to return to CBS Monday nights in the fall.
The good news for Sheen is that he likely has yet to exhaust the patience of American viewers, who seem to have an unquenchable thirst for celebrities who behave badly.
As McCall put it, "In this day and age, it is hard to see any American celebrity as permanently damaged goods."