UPDATED: After rants against series creator Chuck Lorre, CBS and WB halt production of the No. 1 comedy — Sheen lashes out again
Update 7:10 pm PST:
Conversations with Warner Brothers Television insiders suggested that they have no intention of paying Charlie Sheen the remaining salary for his contract as the lead of “Two and a Half Men,” TheWrap has learned.
Sheen earns $1.8 million per episode, but is out of work as of Thursday, when CBS and Warner Brothers cancelled the remaining four shows of the season.
Lawyers will still have to fight out the matter, but television’s highest paid star would have to sue the production company to get the rest of his fee, which was re-negotiated last spring.
Update 7 pm:
Charlie Sheen sent a letter to TMZ in response to the decision by CBS and Warner Brothers to pull the plug on his show, once again attacking Chuck Lorre. This time he called the producer "a contaminated little maggot."
A TMZ insider said that Sheen threatened to take his letter elsewhere if the gossip site did not print it.
Meanwhile, a Warner Brothers insider said it was unlikely the television production company would ever work with Sheen again.
"Do you really think this guy is gonna come back from the Bahamas and turn his life around?" the insider asked.
It’s over for Charlie Sheen.
After a day of unhinged and unsolicited comments ripping his show’s executive producer Chuck Lorre and assorted enemies — Alcoholics Anonymous and Thomas Jefferson, among others — the star finally went further than CBS and Warner Brothers Television could take.
The network and TV production company announced Thursday that they had pulled the plug on television's top-rated comedy, "Two and a Half Men," which was scheduled to restart production on Monday.
"Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of “Two and a Half Men” for the remainder of the season," the companies said in a joint statement.
A spokesman for Sheen — not that he appears to be relying on one these days — had no immediate comment.
The show, which airs on Mondays at 9 pm and has been on hiatus since Jan. 28, has shot 16 of 24 episodes this season. The final eight will apparently not be shot.
To replace "Two and a Half Men," CBS has ordered more episodes of "Mike and Molly," another Lorre-produced show, and "Rules of Engagement."
But even with Sheen's public misbehavior, his show has been performing in the ratings, remaining the most-watched comedy on TV with about 13 million viewers per week.
Last Monday, the show was again the top-rated comedy of the week, with even a repeat episode garnering 11.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.
Needless to say, Sheen does not appear to be following a rehabilitation program that he'd supposedly committed to in the past few weeks.
An individual close to the show said that Sheen had taken the program seriously for the first two weeks, with doctors, a nurse and a chef moving into his house. That fell away in the past two weeks, he said.
In his rant on right-wing AM talker "The Alex Jones Show" on Thursday, Sheen let loose on his boss and erstwhile friend, Chuck Lorre, as if he were deliberately baiting them.
"It's nothing this side of deplorable that a certain Haim Levine, yeah, that's Chuck's real name, mistook this rock star for his own selfish exit strategy, bro,” Sheen said. “Check it, Alex. I embarrassed him in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that his unevolved mind cannot process."
He continued: "OK, last I checked, Haim, I've spent, I think, close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold, and the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is write. Clearly someone who thinks he is above the law. Well, you've been warned, dude. Bring it."
Sheen said he didn't believe in the Bible, which was full of "talking snakes."
And he advised Sunday churchgoers: "(You're) missing a lot of good sports, people."
There were also some additional, confusing references to ninjas.
Later in the day, Sheen contacted TMZ with more of the same bile. "I violently hate Chaim Levine (Chuck Lorre), the site reported Sheen sayng. “ He's a stupid, stupid little man and a p**sy punk that I'd never want to be like." Sheen added, "That's me being polite."
Sheen had taunted Lorre, CBS and Warner Brothers before, saying that he was ready to go back to work even though he was meant to be taking time off to "recover" from several weekend binges with prostitutes and drugs, one of which landed him in the hospital.
The actor has been in the headlines since late October, when he was found in his suite in the Plaza hotel, naked and ranting with a porn star in the bathroom. His representatives claimed his hospital visit that followed was due to a reaction to medication.
CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler told the Television Critics Association on Jan. 14 that she and the network had a "high level of concern" over the actor’s antics.
Two other weekend frolics in Las Vegas similarly raised concern with the network and television production company, but at first the corporate parents said they had no recourse if Sheen showed up to work.
That position changed after a final 36-hour bender in late January, when Sheen was finally pressed to go to rehab. Instead, he chose to take "treament" at home.
CBS Chairman Les Moonves and Warner Brothers Television President Bruce Rosenblum took the decision together on Thursday to cancel the show.
Dominic Patten contributed to this report