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Charlie Sheen's Rehab Might Cost CBS, WB Millions

| 31 Jan 2011 21:05
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The Two and a Half Men star is headed for what sounds like a much-needed three months in rehab, but that time could mean big money for CBS and Warner Bros. Television.

Before Charlie Sheen went on a weekend-long bender, one that reportedly included a few escorts and a lot of cocaine, the creative forces behind his hit show Two and a Half Men were worried. Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment, recently made public the concerns CBS had for the actor's well-being, noting that CBS has, "a very good relationship with Warner Bros., but there have been no discussions about contingency plans in the event Sheen becomes unavailable." Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, and it looks like CBS and Warner Bros. may be wishing they had a contingency plan in place. After being admitted to the hospital for severe abdominal pain, the actor has shifted his recovery to an unspecified rehabilitation facility, where he plans on staying for at least three months. Men only has two shows in the can, and is going on a production hiatus. The potential cost of the whole affair could top $250 million. Sheen gets a reported $2 million per episode, though, so there's one cost saved.

Men is in its eighth season, and has been renewed for a ninth. If Sheen's demons force the show's cancellation, airing network CBS could lose millions in advertising revenue: THR reports, "CBS sells 30-second spots in Men for more than $200,000, according to media buyers, generating more than $3 million per episode...the show grossed CBS more than $155 million in ad revenue last season alone." According to the same source, production company Warner Bros. Television stands to lose "nearly $2 billion for the first two syndication cycles that extend through the 2020-21 season." $250 million of that is for the done syndication deals for the current eighth and upcoming ninth seasons.

Two and a Half Men is, for some reason, the second most popular comedy for viewers 18-49, and the most popular primetime comedy overall. It's also the most popular comedy currently in syndication.

In a stroke of inappropriately funny coincidence, the first of the two completed episodes left to air is called "Three Hookers and a Philly Cheesesteak."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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