The LA Times did a detailed look at the effects of Charlie Sheen's arrest could have on his series "Two And A Half Men," currently the top-rated sitcom on TV and the keystone of CBS' Monday night lineup.
Sheen is the highest paid sitcom star on TV, but his arrest after allegedly threatening his wife means that he could be facing up to three years in prison.
As of right now, the show should be able to wrap up production for the current season around Sheen's scheduled court dates without too much disrpution.
But CBS, which has a complicated deal with Warner Bros. TV -- which makes the show, doesn't know what's going to happen with Sheen for next season or the season after that, and it was counting on having "Men" on the schedule. With "Men" raking in big numbers at 9 p.m., it allowed "How I Met Your Mother" to grow into a hit and "Big Bang Theory" to develop into a hit right away. "Accidentally On Purpose" isn't exactly stellar, but CBS could launch another sitcom at 8:30 p.m. and it would have a good shot of success based on the lineup around it.
Sheen's arrest affects the show in a lot of ways, because the producers have to decide if they want to go on making it without him (assuming that Sheen is found guilty and goes to prison), which would presumably make for a weaker show, or stop production, which means the cast and crew would be out of work. That doesn't even take into account sponsors who might drop the show because they don't want to be associated with Sheen's legal issues.
Though Sheen's wife has asked law enforcement to drop the charges, the LA Times article said, it looks as if prosecuters will continue with the case. Sheen's long history of bad-boy behavior isn't going to help him in a courtroom.
It's a shame when celebrities get out of control like this, not just for the impact it has on their own lives and families, but also for the other people affected by them. There are dozens of jobs and millions of dollars riding on the Sheen case, people being affected by someone else's bad actions.
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: For you non-Olympics (NBC, 8 p.m.) fans, "Human Target" (Fox, 8 p.m.) is brand-new, followed by "American Idol."
That's about it for the networks. On cable, it's the season finale on "Leverage" (TNT, 10 p.m.), continuing last week's two-parter that has the gang on the run from the FBI.
"Nip/Tuck" (FX, 10 p.m.) continues to wind down it's final season, while Judd Nelson guest stars on a new "Psych" at 10 p.m. on USA.