Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Shooow Bennnis
I think I may be the only one in Los Angeles, perhaps most of the country, who hasn't written something about Charlie Sheen. Maybe it is time, maybe I just ran out of anything else to talk about this morning. But for some reason I can't escape it, so here goes.
There was a video clip on the news last night showing Charlie's black Rolls Royce, following a police escort, pulling into the Van Nuys Executive Terminal to board a large private GulfStream jet readied to fly to Washington, DC.  He was scheduled to perform his arena show there last night. The commentator said that he would land just in time to walk on stage because he had been in court all day. 
On the other side of the country there were reporters talking about the falling ticket prices for his show and the number of walk outs from his last performance.  On the radio the story was about the conversations his lawyers are having to bring him back to "Two and a Half Men" next year, a conversation that Warner Brothers denies entirely.
At lunch with a couple of writer friends the conversation turned to the idea that, after all of this commotion with Charlie Sheen, the ratings would go through the roof  for the season premier of "Two and a Half Men" if he actually returned.  Of course it would send the wrong message to every other actor and celebrity in the business.  
I don't think it has a chance of happening even though Mr. Sheen has been quoted that there was an 85% chance that he would come back. You would think that a show biz veteran like Charle would understand the reason, there is no way the studio or production company could insure him.  Every production has to have insurance, not just for the accidents that might happen, but a performance bond as well.  To have several hundred people on salary staffing a show and not be able to film because of a drug fueled bender the lead actor tied on the night before would cost a fortune. Every production pays for insurance to protect them from that kind of a loss.  The threat of losing insurance was the reason the production company insisted he go to rehab earlier this year.
It will be interesting to see what happens to CBS's number one show this fall.  We won't have to wait that long since May is the month when the networks announce their schedule and do the up fronts with advertisers.  All concerned will have to make a decision soon.  
Part of me wants "Two and a half Men" to go on like other shows who have lost actors during the run.  "Mash" survived the departure of McLean Stevens, "Cheers" prospered without Shelly Long, no one remembers that David Caruso was ever the lead on Law and Order.  Back in the 60's they recast Darrin on "Bewitched" mid season with the blink of an eye and no one really noticed.  But these are different times and the competition for network programing has never been tougher.
The moral to the story is this: If you are lucky enough to wake up one day and realize you are making 2 million dollars a week acting on a television show.... sober up, shut up and enjoy the ride. 
As you were,
Jay

3 comments:

Bob Conrad said...

2 million a week! Is that job still open, I'm sober!

Roomie said...

"We'll drink to that!!!"

the other one said...

WORD!