For a few weeks in early 2011, we all got a laugh out of Charlie Sheen. Remember these Korners?
But Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, who battled publicly with his show's lead, tells TV Guide Magazine this month that he and CBS higher-ups weren't finding the actor's actions very funny. At all.
"The [studio and the network] chose to make a moral decision as opposed to a financial one," Lorre says. "This was not a game. This was drug addiction writ large. This was big-time cocaine, and in his own words, an 'epic drug run' that could have ended with either his death or someone else's."
Lorre said he chose to reboot the franchise with Ashton Kutcher because he had little to lose, adding that everything with Sheen simply spiraled out of control:
"He was a great friend and partner for eight years. And every time he got himself into trouble, we believed that there was healing that was going to come. I certainly believed that sobriety is something that he wants in his life, and I was wrong."Why did he shut down production on Two and a Half Men?
"I didn't want to be writing a sitcom while my friend died. Or worse, hurt someone else. We couldn't be complacent. There was a tragedy unfolding right in front of us. There was violence and blackouts. On a certain level, if you're looking the other way, you're responsible.
"You couldn't do that much cocaine and work. It was falling apart. It was heartbreaking to be around here then."
Now, all seems okay for all parties, though. Two and a Half Men remains a wildly-popular show (around 15 million viewers per week) and Sheen has a new FX sitcom in the works. Lorre's final words for his ex-underling?
"I hope he's happy, I hope he's healthy. I hope he's able to be there for his kids."