First of all, I’m not out to kick Charlie Sheen when he’s down. I sincerely wish him godspeed in getting past his personal problems and turning his life around — which right now might be viewed as a lesson in how money can’t buy happiness.
That said, I think it may be time to pull the plug on “Two and a Half Men,” his CBS sitcom that has been shuttered while he seeks rehab.
I admit I’m not a particular fan of the show. Though I liked the first season, the repetitive sex and fart jokes grew old fast. Still, there’s no denying it draws the numbers. But for how long?
The show has been on for seven seasons now. It’s actually at the point where a title change might be in order (to “Three Men” or at least “Two and Three-Quarters Men”).
Title aside, though, I think it’s quite likely that “Men” has peaked and will likely see ratings declines going forward. CBS reportedly has already renewed the show for two more seasons. Now may be the time to reconsider.
It’s always a bit painful to watch a once-hit show reach the “Is that still on?” phase. It’s better to go out on top. It’s better to be “Everybody Loves Raymond” than “According to Jim.”
Also, CBS has a ready replacement in “The Big Bang Theory,” which is enjoying climbing ratings and currently follows “Men” on Monday nights. Like “Men,” it’s produced by Chuck Lorre and could easily slide into the 9 p.m. slot. Lorre’s multicamera pilot “Mike and Molly” would be an easy choice to fill the timeslot vacated by “Big Bang.”
Both shows would likely follow the 8 p.m. hour combo of “How I Met Your Mother” and (from the creators of “HIMYM”) “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
By leasing out “Men” now and promoting “Big Bang” to Monday’s tentpole slot, CBS can maintain the vitality of the night’s schedule before ratings erosion takes hold.
Just a thought.