Charlie Sheen fired: Should 'Two and a Half Men' live on without him?

Two-Half-Men-CryerImage Credit: Greg Gayne/CBSLet’s start with the facts: Charlie Sheen was the highest-paid actor on television… who has now been fired… from the highest-rated sitcom on TV. Now the question: Should Two and a Half Men live on without its biggest draw? (That is, if we judge by paydays. We still love you, though, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones.) Granted, it’s unlikely we would have seen Charlie Harper in the same light had Sheen not been let go from the show after we witnessed his recent “winning” (losing?) media blitz. But from a pure business standpoint, it seems a risk to go on without him — yet also a risk not to go on without him. Airing a Sheen-less Two and a Half Men means airing a show without its biggest star, who would disappear suddenly and noticeably from the plot. But not airing a Sheen-less Two and a Half Men means risking losing a show with a massive built-in audience. (After all, after Valerie Harper’s contentious exit from Valerie in 1987, the show lived on an additional four seasons, albeit retitled as The Hogan Family with star Sandy Duncan.) Oy, my head hurts. What to do, PopWatchers? Tell me how to think in the poll below. And for more on Sheen, visit our Charlie Sheen hub.


Read more:
Charlie Sheen Central
Losing: Why Charlie Sheen was fired
Charlie Sheen fired from ‘Two and a Half Men’
Charlie Sheen admits first ‘Sheen’s Korner’ sucked, dedicates second episode to dead pug Betty
‘Sheen’s Korner’: Not a winning broadcast
Charlie Sheen to land his own show on HDNet?
19 Public Celebrity Meltdowns
PopWatch’s Charlie Sheen coverage
InsideTV’s Charlie Sheen coverage

Comments (296 total) Add your comment
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  • stu

    hire David Arquette

    • Heidi

      Good choice – though I think David may not want to take it if it means making fun of Charlie. I personally like Matt Dillon for the role. Not AS Charlie, but a new character. Someone else in the building, or a long lost brother to Jon Cryer. “Charlie” could be in rehab and then living in New York or something – have a few phone calls, a letter or two, and mention him less and less until he’s history.

      • Gazza

        kill him off. easy.
        (no, I mean on the show)

      • Uncle Joe

        Maybe going the “Frasier” route would work with Allan moving somewhere to start a new practice. One of the other doctors could be a Charlie-like character. Hilarity ensues.

    • wizard62

      Why is it that everyone thinks The Office can live on without the beloved Steve Carrell, but yet it’s unthinkable for 2 1/2 Men to move on without the loathsum Charlie Sheen? Let me give Mr. Sheen some advice that boss’s across America tell their employee’s every day – NO ONE IS IRREPLACABLE! A few examples: Farrah Fawcett on Charlie’s Angels (hello Cheryl Ladd!). David Caruso on NYPD Blue (hello Jimmy Smits!). Suzanne Sommers on Three’s Company (hello Priscilla Barnes!). Shelley Long on Cheers (hello Kirstie Alley!). The list of show’s that continued to succeed after a main star leaves goes on and on whether it be an amicable split (George Clooney from ER) or an ugly divorce (Isaiah Washington from Grey’s Anatomy). CBS should most definitely replace Charlie Sheen. The right casting could infuse new life into the show and keep it running for years to come. I for one would love to see it continue. Why throw the baby out with the (dirty) bath-water?

      • JonnyT

        The Office is more of an ensemble type show than 2 1/2 Men. Steve Carrell is the lead, but there are enough characters that a story line can happen without him. Charlie Sheen is another story. But I do agree that they can go on without him.

      • Liz

        I think it’s totally doable to take Sheen out. It will be a test for the writers to see if they can make the show into something without him. I mean Cryer is no slouch but I don’t think he can anchor the show. They just need to replace Sheen with somebody else who would be able to anchor the show.

      • Jenna

        Lets not forget that SHannen Doherty left Charmed in its 3rd season and was replaced with Rose McGowan. And that show went on for another 5 years. Two and a half men can totally make it without Charlie.

      • Sammy

        i disagree with your statement about steve carell being replaceable. he is not, to me steve carell is the office. no one could be that zany and still be believable. i will definitely still watch the office after he leaves but i give it one season. the office has been on a downward slide ever since jim and pam got married.

      • GeeMoney

        Dude… if Sheen were THAT replaceable, they wouldn’t be paying him $1.6 million dollars an episode!

        All of the shows you named were ensemble-cast based shows. And besides, most of the people you named were either supporting characters or they didn’t necessarily have their own solitary storylines. Unfortunately, 2 and 1/2 men will be recast and then die a slow death, b/c people ulitmately watch that show for Chalie Sheen, and not anyone else.

      • wizard62

        Gee Money I respectfully disagree. While some of the shows I mentioned may be ensemble cast based shows, no one was hotter than Farrah Fawcett at the time she left Charlie’s Angels. Cheers was built around the Sam & Diane relationship when Shelley Long left. None of these actors, with the eception of Isaiah Washington was a supporting character – they were all stars of their shows. Two and a Half Men is not the Charlie Sheen show. It’s a relationship comedy that plays off the difference’s of it’s 2 leads, much like The Odd Couple, Will & Grace and Lavern & Shirley. It’s not a comedy built around one character such as Fraiser, or Rosanne or Seinfeld or Mary Tyler Moore even. If it was, the show would have been named the “Charlie Sheen” show. Lots of actors negotiate high salaries if their show is a hit. The studios pay the actor what they want because they make billions off of the show in syndication and they don’t want to screw around with the formula. That doesn’t mean they are irreplaceable though. The truth of the matter is, we won’t know if the show can go on until they recast and the new show is produced. Only then will the audience decide if it lives up to the original. Fraiser worked. Joey (from Friends) didn’t. Either way, the studio gets another year or so out of the original ageing show, they make their money, and Charlie Sheen ruins his career in the end. It’s a story as old as the hills… I didn’t write it.

      • GeeMoney

        You said it best, wizard62 – It’s a relationship comedy that plays off the difference’s of it’s 2 leads, much like The Odd Couple, Will & Grace and Lavern & Shirley. And honestly, if one of the two leads of those shows mentioned got fired or left the show, it would have sunk.

        Trust me – the show will fail without him, which is sad, but it’s a fact. I’d bet the farm on it.

      • Rock Golf

        There are counter-examples where replacing the star/stars flopped miserably: Dukes of Hazard, Wiseguy, Scrubs, Donna Reed on Dallas, John Goodman on Roseanne.

      • jules

        Agree with Wizard62 (both posts). I think 2 1/2 Men could survive without Charlie. Spin City was written around Michael J. Fox’s character but it worked with Charlie Sheen too. Granted for not as long but it wasn’t a total disaster. I think it’s worth it to give it a try, rather than sink a highly rated show in it’s prime. I actually think Rob Lowe isn’t a bad choice, given his own shady past.

      • charley starr

        i like charlie and wish he would continue but, it would be interesting to replace him as one comment said by having cryer move his practice and having a simular plot or something ?
        i dont think CBS should have fired him in the first place….

      • lets rock

        This show is based off of three main characters. Two brothers and a kid. Not two friends and a kid. Someone said something about a show going three seasons then continueing after they left for five years. Charlie has been with 2 and 1/2 men for eight seasons. any people had the chance to connect with him more than the other show.

    • j

      Air a finale around Charlie harpers death with old guest stars and recurring characters ruturning Tie up loose ends but don’t continue without Sheen. It just won’t work.

      • awe

        Just get a better looking guy (like Stamos) to take his place. No rewriting necessary. Though the show is basically just potty jokes.

    • Haters

      You people are trippin. The show was Sheen’s show. History has shown when a major character leaves a show, it falls apart. EVERYTIME! That’s like replacing Will Smith on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” That’s like replacing Kiefer Sutherland on “24”. That’s like trying to replace Kristen Stewart as “Bella” and Robert Pattinson as “Edward”. It just doesn’t work with anyone else because their chemistry is so strong. That’s like replace Daniel Radcliffe as “Harry Potter” and Rupert Grint as “Weasley” and Emma Watson as “Hermione”. It just doesn’t work!

      IT DOESN’T WORK!! CHARLIE SHEEN WAS “TWO AND A HALF MEN”!

      Just let the show go. The ratings will never be the same. Just hire him back or let it go!

      • Brian

        You mentioned Bella and Edward and I stopped reading. Beanpoles could replace them with variable success.

      • Jenna

        Charmed seemed to do fine even when its main character was replaced with another sister. Shannen Doherty thought she was irreplaceable but Rose McGowan managed to step into her shoes just fine.

      • Sara

        They replaced the mom on “Fresh Prince”.

      • JLC7930

        Yeah, sorry but you killed your argument when you mentioned Bella and Edward. Worst casting ever.

    • TMB

      I hear Sandy Duncan’s available…

      • KBC

        This IS winning!

    • anazagarus

      Let Angus Jones have the lost screen time, he could totally fill in the shoes of the Charlie character, especially if Charlie kicks the bucket, and leaves him everything in the will. He could be a lazy womanizing drunk, and love it. Imagine the humor opportunities from having his Dad need to ask his permission to stay in the house. Jake must be 18 by now, or close. Then maybe he or his dad, could have a baby, creating the quite necessary half man. I think there are possibilities for the show.

      • cowflap

        I love the idea that Jake inherits everything and Allen is at his mercy.
        In addition, Evelyn’s ‘secret son’ one year older than Charlie, needs a place to stay after his horrible divorce and comes to live at Chez Harper. Berta has the hots for him and Rose transfers her addiction to him. Allen is still low man on the totem pole and all is as it ever was. Love the idea of John Stamos-
        as the other drunken, wayward son.

      • anne

        i think the writer can do it and i do think jon stamos would be a very good replacement. and no one needs to tell the writer how.but if the writer gives up the show that too will be… but i think it can be done. sorry sheen couldn’t handle his life. but maybe he can get his life on track before doing t.v. or anything. and lets all just wait and see … thats all we can do.

      • charley starr

        that sounds like a plan…

    • Jim

      I only have to say this: ENOUGH WITH CHARLIE SHEEN!!!!

    • SLB

      David Arquette is an idiot.

      • Full Name

        Perfect replacement then? Actually, I do agree that he is not a good replacement though. I like the idea of Jake taking over as head of the household, otherwise Rob Lowe would work as a step-in for CS.

    • tvfan

      NO!!

    • donald

      The answer is obvious: Ted McGinley!

  • Jerry

    Take it off the air along with the other Lorre sh!t.

    • jts

      Never watched it anyway, so who gives a flying fig?

      • Maria

        @jts: Do you have any concept of how stupid and trite the “who cares” post is? If you genuinely don’t care then why would you spend time posting a comment? Do you truly have no better way of spending your time?

      • Fingerlakes Dave

        Right back at you Maria. I could care if the show stays or goes. I’d boycott just on principal at this point.
        “As for who cares”, that’s really how important this is when your unemployed, it’s 19F outside, gas is $3.59/gal, etc.
        Just too many more important things.

      • Carol

        But not more important than posting on an internet gossip site. Pathetic.

  • Rob

    Bill Hader

    • Jim

      Oh man… I just peed a little…

      • Pete

        Do you know how I know you’re gay?

    • Will

      How about Gary Busey. Just give everyone else a script but him, and see what happens

      • dacb

        Thank you Will! I literally laughed out loud when I read this because I think Gary Busey would be hilarious in this show!

      • Full Name

        He may actually end up being more stable in the long run (if he lives for that long)

  • Nathan

    Just end it, no Sheen no show, period.

    • Patricia in TX

      totally agree. I don’t want to see a good show die a slow painful death trying to survive this.

      • Janet

        well said

      • Caracticus

        …but it’s not a good show WITH Sheen. Perhaps it COULD be with someone else?

      • Wha’ever

        Cough choke cough !! You don’t want to see a “good” show die… ?
        Seriously, I think they should replace him, it might even get better.

      • mia

        A “good” show?? You poor thing.

      • Full Name

        In all fairness, it has it’s laughs but it was never a *good* show. (compare to “Arrested Development” or “Seinfeld” for instance). Charlie Sheen may have been popular, but I always liked Jon Cryer more on it anyways.

    • moi

      Agreed.
      I mean first of all, I dont want to show to end cause I freaking love it. And I’d hate not knowing whether “charlie” and rose end up together but man oh man, you can’t replace his character. Won’t work without him.

      • mia

        How can anyone possibly “love” that unfunny pile of crap? seriously.

      • tvfan

        I agree. Jon Cryer is great but CS really was the man. Without CS, it won’t be the same.

  • Stacey

    It’s done. The show is in it’s eighth season. Not it’s second. It was built around Charlie. Otherwise no show. It might get a big first show; but without Charlie. Sorry, no reason to keep it. Alan is boring. And the kid is a teenager; boring. And a new person would be a replacement and a false replacement. I only watch when I do, because of Charlie. So I can’t see the show continuing, and doing well… It’s kaput.

    • John

      I agree.

  • Anne

    Christian Slater

    • Carol

      Actually, that’s a very good choice. I thought Matthew McConaughey would be a good choice if you could pay him enough.

      • Wha’ever

        Meh, Matthew McConaughey ? Not at all !! This TV show was not about showing off pretty faces (well, male, for that matter).

    • Jeremy

      you just made me snort my milk! that man has had TWO shows canceled! Forgotten and My own Worst Enemy he needs a stable show lol

    • TMB

      How about Michael J. Fox (in a bit of role reversal)?

      • Jenna

        He’s way too sick with Parkinson’s to work a sitcom.

  • Mr. Holloway

    You guys have a “Charlie Sheen hub” now? GREEAAAATTTTT.

    • MelindaB

      My thought exactly.

    • b

      Seriously, a Sheen hub? Wow, I’ve lost so much respect for EW.

  • Summer

    My big worry is that – with all the jokes of how the show shouldn’t be called Two and a Half Men anymore since Angus T Jones is all grown up – the show will bring in an obvious, horrible Cousin Oliver.

    • MelindaB

      Hey, I bet Robbie Rist could use the work.

      • Robbie Rist

        I heard that!

  • E

    I’ve been waiting for this show to go off tv for years now. But really, it was Sheen that annoyed me.

  • Dumbledore Fluffernutter

    Next season begins with Charlie’s funeral after his sudden death. Make it look it like maybe Rose is responsible. Just go from there. Jon Cryer is funnier than Sheen anyway.

    • fay

      Charlie is killed in a freak accident and a long lost brother shows up that was given up for adoption and he’s played by Emilio Estevez………

      • shdrew

        I was just thinking the same thing!

      • Me

        Me like…

      • Mr. Holloway

        At this point, Charlie Sheen looks so bad that Martin Sheen could play Charlie Harper just as believably.

      • Melokesm

        John cryer is funnier.

      • Meg

        …who made bank coaching little league hockey…

      • ree

        i was thinking that too!!

      • Mike B.

        Ummm…Emilio was already on the show as a guest star…and they killed him off.

      • Kraue

        Charlie get killed, at the reading of the will he leaves everything to his “Daughter” with the clause that his brother and nephew remain in the house as long as they want. Hmmmm. That could be interesting. a Female Charlie.

      • Jeremy

        Mr. Holloway you are awesome Charlie sheen looks like crap his face is emaciated lets have martin sheen finish the show!

      • TMB

        Stephen Baldwin?

      • LA

        Mike B – they’ve had the actress who played Chelsea on several different times throughout the earlier seasons as some of Charlie’s flings, before finally bringing her on as a cast member. I think it could work to bring back Emilio as someone else.

    • JD

      Excactly. Jon Cryer is a super funny guy.

      Alan gets custody of his second child, Angus T. turns 18 and reinvents his deceased uncle’s ways, and this way it could be a new and improved ‘Two and half men’.

      And to all the haters: I think a lot of you see a show like 2andahalfmen and think of television of the past…. duh, that’s called classic sitcom style and it is what led the format to become the most succesful on american tv, ever! Lorre’s shows reinvents this classic style, mostly in Big Bang Theory thou, and can be just as funny, which is what comedy is really about, as the many single-camera comedies that I do love as well; Community, 30Rock, The Office, Parks’n Rec etc.

      And you do realize there is an audience there, right? Just as in 1952 with I love Lucy, your tv takes you to a theater where there is a hilarious comedy on. It’s not old hat, it’s american comedy television incarnate!

      If sitcoms hadn’t moved on from this classic style, I too would be frustrated by the fake-looking sets, unrealistic lighting etc. But now, the classic style that 2andahalfmen did well, and Big Bang Theory does way better, is just one out of three; there is also single-camera, and single camera-mockumentary.

      All I’m trying to say is; If your gonna share all this seemingly kneejerk hate for a show… know your tv history.

      • cowflap

        The adoption angle is interesting, but then it wouldn’t be 2 1/2 men- it would be 2 men and a girl…..
        They need the counterpoint of the low life for Allen to play off of- and Jon Cryer is ragingly funny.
        Angus T. Jones has great comic timing also- it would be interesting to see if this excellent cast could pull off the old switch-er-00, using a similar but not-Charlie character.

      • Nona

        @JD. You don’t need to know about television history to know if you like a particular television show. If I think a painting is ugly and you say “my dear that is a Monet”. Then I say to you sir that Monet is ugly.

  • sabrina W

    what a breath of fresh air network execs killing a bona fide money making machine of a hit show! don’t see that happen often lol, can’t say i feel bad what with so many great shows who got the ax prematuraly!

  • lynn

    Hey the two Darren’s worked on Bewitched!!!! Have his character go in for a face lift an come out as someone else.

  • Jose

    End it already. I’ve always hated this show so I’m not going to lie, I would love to see it end, but after all of this would people still watch this show?

  • Laurie

    I think it would definitely work without Charlie Sheen. I don’t know why he was paid the most out of his castamtes…I laughed more at Alan and Jake’s jokes anyway.

    • SLB

      There is no way the show will work without him.

      • Full Name

        So which one of his pornstar goddesses are you anyway? At the very least you are a very persistent cheerleader.

  • frank

    kill him off and let the show have a final season. I don’t watch the show, but it will be in reruns until the Apocalypse, so who really cares. Let them wrap up the shows, and give the stars who aren’t A-holes a final goodbye to the fans. Sorry Charlie, but who needs you!!

    • bored with ANTM

      agreed

    • Sue1

      Also agree.

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