Let me be the first to say replacing Charlie Sheen on Two And A Half Men is a terrible idea. He is the show. It’s not like writing Dr. Burke off Grey’s Anatomy or sending Eric away from Wisconsin on That 70s Show, which by the way, was also a miserable plan. There are essentially only three characters on the program that matter, and Charlie far outshadows them all. It’s like having the two Darryls take over the in on Newhart. People might watch briefly, but it seems ridiculous to assume it could ever work over the long haul. That being said, producers seem hellbent on trying this second rate Dukes Of Hazzard cousin swap, and a few names are starting to emerge toward the front of the pack.

According to Whats Playing, combative creator Chuck Lorre is toying with the following candidates: John Stamos, Rob Lowe, Jerry O’Connell, Martin Sheen and Heather Locklear. You may notice they each essentially fall into one of three categories. #1) More of the same. This would be Stamos, Lowe and O’Connell, all noted and handsome womanizers who would likely pick up right where Charlie left off. None of these choices would work because they’ll all just make viewers miss the original. Doing something eighty percent as well is never the right call. #2) Wild attention grab. If Martin Sheen took over for his fired son, the first episode ratings would break all kinds of records. Also, it would cause irreparable harm to the father/ son bond, be boring after three or four episodes and ultimately be cancelled within a year. #3) Total format change. Heather Locklear might sound ridiculous, but I see her more as an agent of change. If Two And A Half Men completed reinvented itself with success, it could potentially go for a few more years.

For the record, I think someone from the first category, though not necessarily one of the three men mentioned, will ultimately take the reigns. People will hate it, Charlie will become even more important to the show in retrospect, and Two And A Half Men will limp to cancellation. But hey, if that’s what Chuck Lorre is going for, by all means, give it a whirl.

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