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CBS is re-launching mega-hit Two And A Half Men without its principal star Charlie Sheen, despite the fact the actor has reportedly been trying to make amends in recent weeks. It’s a gutsy call by both the network and creator Chuck Lorre to move forward without Sheen considering his return would guarantee at least a brief ratings bonanza, but apparently, strong will, stubbornness and old wounds won out over guaranteed money.
This new direction, reportedly conceived earlier this year, is being zealously guarded like the Ark; however, early word indicates it does include a substantial part for current co-star Jon Cryer. It would have to, right? How could it even be called Two And A Half Men if both Sheen and Cryer were minimized or booted altogether? They’re the show. Actually, a case could be made that Charlie Sheen is the show, but clearly, that hasn’t stopped Chuck Lorre from leaving him in the dust.
After Sheen was officially terminated in March, the hot speculation was Two And A Half Men would go with a string of short guest appearances to see whether any of the potential new leads struck a cord with fans. Fox’s Bones did the same thing after Dr. Zach Addy left a few years back, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lorre is looking to implement a permanent new character right off the bat. There's no word on who that might be, but if they're smart, they will go with someone decidedly un-Sheen-like.
If the process begins immediately, it’s still possible Two And A Half Men could be back for a regular debut in September, but more likely, producers will take their time for a mid-season start. Expect a hell of a lot of people to watch its season premiere and a whole lot less to tune in the following week.