If a recent TMZ report is to be believed, ousted "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen is currently in "deep negotiations" for a new network series, which could debut as early as January 2012.
While the Vegas bookmakers haven't weighed in on the possibility of Sheen landing another small-screen gig, you might not want to hold your breath waiting for the actor's return to television, triumphant or otherwise. (For the record, Sheen's representative had no comment for TheWrap on the report.)
There are a number of factors that could prevent a network from investing in a new starring vehicle for the volatile thespian. Below, we present the top 5 reasons that Sheen's supposed new show is probably nothing more than a pipe dream.
1. Can Sheen Stay Clean?
As he struggled in the spotlight to regain his "Two and a Half Men" role, Sheen passed drug tests with reporters as witnesses. But securing insurance for Sheen to participate in a new project — given his history of abuse — could be tricky.
2. Sheen's Work Record Is Spotty at Best
Think back to any job interview you've ever been on, and you realize that the question, "Why did you leave your last position?" can be a real deal-breaker. Sheen's high-profile feud with Warner Bros. Television and "Men" executive producer Chuck Lorre (Sheen's $100 million lawsuit is pending) doesn't leave a lot of room for fudging about the nature of his departure.
3. Can Charlie Sheen Play Anybody Besides Charlie Sheen?
By Sheen's own admission, his "Two and a Half Men" character, the womanizing boozer Charlie Harper, was basically himself in barely fictionalized form — and that's been his gig for the last eight years. At this point, is Sheen capable of playing a non-autobiographical character, especially considering how much energy he's invested in his own brand? Remember the 22 trademarks filed in April?
4. Sheen Has Cried Wolf Too Many Times Before
Even as CBS was in the process of completely cutting Charlie Sheen loose, the actor insisted that he was negotiating a return to the show. Then there was the supposed HBO series "Sheen's Corner," for which he was supposed to be paid $5 million per episode — turns out that wasn't totally accurate either. Given the track record, is there any chance that this is anything besides more pie-in-the-sky bluster?
5. Does Anybody Even Care About Charlie Sheen Anymore?
With Charlie Sheen in the starring slot, "Two and a Half Men" consistently commanded top ratings for CBS. And surely, his meltdown was a boon for the celebrity-gossip industry. Since then, Sheen's stock appears to have plummeted. Despite the mega-publicity generated by his shenanigans, the actor's "My Violent Torpedo of Truth" live show played in theaters that hovered in the 2,500-5,000 capacity range — and even with that limited audience, some people still booed him.