Image Credit: PR PhotosRob Lowe has Charlie Sheen in his Korner.
Sheen took the radio airwaves this morning and endorsed the Parks and Recreation co-star to replace him on CBS’ Two and a Half Men. The two are considered friends, and some in the industry have speculated that Lowe, if offered the post, wouldn’t take the job out of respect for Sheen. But the fired actor suggested he wouldn’t protest a deal.
“He’s a buddy of mine, he’s a beautiful man, a brilliant actor, and I hope he does it and kicks its ass because I still get [paid],” Sheen told Los Angeles radio station K-EARTH 101.
Sheen believes his contract mandates that he will be paid for his role on Men for all the non-produced episodes that were originally planned for this season, as well as all the episodes from next season.
“I don’t even know if they would call the [character] ‘Charlie’ anymore,” Sheen said. “How does the show transition? Do you have [executive producer Chuck Lorre] — that silly sad troll — do you have him talk in the camera and say, ‘Here’s what happened,’ and then Rob Lowe comes out? Or do they just do it, without explaining it, and hope no one notices?”
Then again, given how much antagonism that’s been built up between Sheen and CBS/Men producers, you have to wonder: Is having Sheen’s recommendation a plus?
If the producers of Men decide to replace Sheen (and sources suggest that is, indeed, their intention), they should have no trouble finding actors willing to take the job.
“There are a lot of actors in their 40s who aren’t getting the same movie roles they used to,” noted one source.
If it’s a star on the level of Lowe, Matt Dillon or John Stamos —who are all rumored to have been approached—they could ask for a starting salary of $150,000 to $200,000 per episode, the going rate for big stars for first-year gigs. While it’s a hefty salary, it’s nowhere near the money Sheen was pulling down. That’s why the per-episode price could go even higher; it all depends on the actor (and his negotiating team).
Image Credit: Greg Gayne/CBS“Anything below $1.2 million will still be a bargain [to the studio]” says one high-powered suit close to CBS.
As for those names being circulated, Dillon would be a surprise, since he has never shown much interest in doing TV despite a recent turn on Modern Family. Studio insiders, meanwhile, have downplayed reports about Lowe and Stamos, who’s been showing up on Glee. Still, both men are skilled comedy performers (which is harder than it looks).