Yes, you read that right.
Three years after Charlie Sheen’s infamous public meltdown in which he openly bashed Two and a Half Men creator, Chuck Lorre, resulting in his being fired from the show, Charlie Sheen has reached out to the executive producers of the CBS series to discuss the possibility of the return of Charlie Harper before the show’s final season.
According to Charlie Sheen’s rep, Jeff Ballard, a mutual friend between Lorre and Sheen floated a balloon, so to speak, “and everyone kind of went hmm, that could be kind of interesting. And that is the state where it is at.” From Ballard’s understanding, Lorre is receptive to the idea, and Charlie wants to do it “for all of the fans that watched the show all those years and continue to watch it in syndication.” (E! News Interview)
Sheen’s run on FX’s Anger Management, which was initially booked for 100 episodes, has come to an end, and they are waiting to see if it will be picked up for an additional 50 episodes. Either way, Ballard states that Charlie will be “making himself available to do Two and a Half Men.”
It is clear that Charlie Sheen is all in for a Charlie Harper comeback; the real question is how the CBS execs feel about it. Chuck Lorre commented last month, saying that “we haven’t discussed that, really. We’ve been really focused on finding a storyline that puts Jon and Ashton front and center in a really interesting, provocative hopefully fun story. That was our priority going into this year, was to do a storyline that puts these two guys right in the middle of it. So, outside characters will come in as they do, but that’s not the focus.” (E! News Interview)
In case you weren’t aware, Kutcher and Cryer’s characters will be engaged in a gay-marriage storyline this upcoming season, so I’m sure the Two and a Half Men execs will be very focused on building that storyline out properly. The replacement of Charlie Sheen with Ashton Kutcher was an interesting one, but it proved to be extremely fruitful for CBS. For the first time in history that a hugely successful television show fired its headlining star, the ratings were kept significantly high due to the efforts of Kutcher and Jon Cryer. I’m sure Chuck Lorre is mindful of this as he considers the future of the show’s final season, airing this October 30th, 2014.
On replacing Charlie with Ashton, Lorre said, “I was delighted that it kept everybody working for another three years. It’s really light and nobody takes anything terribly seriously and the fact that people have continued to watch the show, you can’t count on that. It could have gone the other way, it really could have. But we’ve got these two great leads in Ashton and Jon and they’re imminently funny and watchable, so it worked out OK.” (E! News Interview)
Since the Charlie Harper character was killed off during his headline-making exit, I’m sure we are all curious to see how Sheen and the Two and a Half Men executive producers are going to handle the return, should it actually happen. Jon Cryer gave us some insight, stating that he knows “that the story doesn’t include his character in any way, and I don’t know how they’d do it in any way. But, this is Two and a Half Men, and often the show goes off in ways that you don’t expect it to go, so I’m not ruling it out.” (E! News Interview)
Lastly, after announcing the end of Two and a Half Men on the 2014 Summer Press Tour, CBS President Nina Tassler deflected all questions regarding Charlie’s potential return, saying, “I would like to see whatever Chuck would like to. [He] knows his show better than me…he has a lot of surprises in store, I don’t know if that’s one of them.”
Regardless of whether or not Charlie Sheen returns to Two and a Half Men, I’m sure we can all agree that the final season, airing October 30 on CBS, will be an interesting one.
Two and a Half Men airs in syndication at 7 pm on FoxCT.