SHEEN’S REHAB COULD PROVE COSTLY TO CBS, WARNER BROS.
Bringing to mind the comments made by NBC executives when ratings for The Jay Leno Show began to tank in 2009, CBS maintained Sunday that its decision to put Two and a Half Men on a production hiatus would not affect the company’s bottom line. In a statement, spokesman Chris Ender said, “Looking forward, the financial impact of the shutdown is not material to CBS. … Any ratings declines will be more than offset by the reduced programming costs for episodes lost this season.” That essentially was the argument made by NBC in 2009 — that Leno’s lower ratings would be offset by the network’s lower costs for the expensive dramas that it previously aired in the 10:00 p.m. hour. However, the Los Angeles Times noted today (Monday) that Sheen’s absence certainly hurts Warner Bros TV, reducing its syndication revenue. Moreover, it’s not clear whether the studio will continue paying the salaries of cast and crew during the hiatus. Sheen himself, who reportedly was pressured into entering rehab by his father, Martin Sheen, and producers of the show, has implied that he lacks the motivation to alter his behavior. He sent a message to the online gossip site RadarOnline, saying: “People don’t seem to get it. Guy can’t have a great time and do his job also?” Later, he sent another message: “oh my man, I’m fine…The story is totally overblown and overplayed.”