That's Rich: Replacing Charlie Sheen...

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In case you haven't heard, Charlie Sheen has been in the news a lot this week. Something about tiger blood... and F-18s... and warlocks... and terrestrial realmed goddesses that help him win at... something.

It's all one interview-driven haze, but one thing is clear: there's no way Sheen takes on the persona of Charlie Harper again. Two and a Half Men has been shut down for the season and Chuck Lorre has repeatedly said he'll never air the series without this star.

I can't help but wonder: why the heck not?!?

This is Rich

I've never seen the show - I prefer sitcoms that are original, mature, funny - but friends tell me Sheen really does carry the whole thing (sorry, Jon Cryer). Still, that was said about George Clooney on ER, David Caruso on NYPD Blue, William Peterson on CSI. Lead actors often move on and a few fans are lost - but popular programs remain popular.

CSI is probably the most apt example. By most accounts, the drama has suffered creativity problems since Peterson's departure. It's no longer the ratings juggernaut it once was.

But it brought in a big name (Laurence Fishburne), still makes CBS millions per year and is still among the top 20 most-watched shows on TV. Is CSI more of an ensemble than Two and a Half Men? Yes. However, consider the following scenario:

Sheen is fired (I'm ignoring all legal ramifications here because that's a different issue, and it also appears as though the actor and network will be battling it out in court regardless of the show returning or not); a known actor comes on board; and the series premieres in September behind more (free) publicity than it's ever enjoyed before.

You're telling me 20 million people won't tune in for that return episode?!? Assuming the jokes are at the same level, most will stick around. And even if Two and a Half Men eventually settles in at half the ratings it's been garnering over the past few years, it will still double those of Community. Incredibly depressing, but true.

So this just leaves one question: who should replace Sheen? CBS has reportedly met with John Stamos. Chris Connelly suggests Rob Lowe. I like both actors, although the thought of Lowe leaving Parks and Recreation makes me sadder than Ron Swanson at a meal without meat.

Here are my top three choices to join the show as a new character:

  1. Tony Danza: Show Cryer who the new boss in town should be!
  2. Kelsey Grammer: Just replace one veteran sitcom star/womanizer with another.
  3. Rob Schneider: His sense of humor is pretty much on par with Two and a Half Men, isn't it? Many dramatic actors are making the move to the small screen. Why not a comedic one?

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


I'm not gonna watch it without Sheen.


Someone on another forum thought Jake could grow up, and inherit the house. Then his dad would be stuck sucking up to him instead. Nice role reversal. Jake is too old to be the "1/2" anyways - though not exactly sure how to fill that spot.


Jimmy Fallon should replace Charlie..........
story line: charlie dies .......then at the funeral a long lost brother shows up (an illegitimate child) of that crazy mother of theirs that she didnt tell the other two about!!!! .........ta da show goes on..........


I disagree. The reason why Two and a Half Men works, and why Charlie was a huge success, was because his character was so much alike his real life. People tuned in (including me) because his comebacks and his one liners, even though were not written by him, did not sound fake in his mouth. He is Charlie Sheen!! and we all knew he did all of those things just as much Charlie Harper did. A new actor, no matter how good an actor he is, would be doing that, acting! the show worked because Charlie made his character believable and there are very few actors out there that can make Charlie Harper, the character, believable like Sheen did. I have seen Two and a Half Men since the beginning. I have loved the show ever since. But if they replace Sheen, yes, I probably would watch the return episode, just to see how it goes. But i don't think i would be that much interested in the show anymore.


I've been a fan of Two and a Half Men for a while, and despite his recent lapses of judgment Charlie Sheen is a good actor. Ok so he has been fired, and can no longer play Charlie Harper, I don't think the show could continue in the same vein as it has been without him. A couple of you have had some interesting ideas, like Charlie dying and leaving the house to Berta, or Judith divorcing Herb, and Herb moving in with Alan, after Charlies death or disappearance. Personally I think the writers should make Charlie disappear for a while in case C Sheen recovers, and apologizes and wants his job back. Maybe to Mexico, or England. Have Alan take over the house and have to rent a room to a boarder, that way if the new actor isn't working out they can get rid of them and bring in someone else.


Yes definately Herb moving in would keep the show alive. John Cryer and Ryan Stiles have way more chemistry together. The episodes they are in are hilarious. Plus it would make more sense seeing as they are both married to Judith, so they'd have something in common, which would add more story lines. If Warner Brother's hires John Stamos to replace Charlie Sheen, then they're stupid. Ryan Stiles all the way.


I agree with Sadie! Have Herb and Judith divorce, Herb moves in with Alan (who was left the house when Charlie died) and there you have 2 1/2 Men again. Jon Cryer and Ryan Stiles are much more gifted at comedy than Charlie Sheen anyway. Jon Cryer has won an Emmy or two for his role, whereas Sheen hasn't won at all.


Charlie may be the lead, but he does very little on the show that requires acting. His salvation is that he has the best comedy writers anywhere. He has beady eyes, a really big and ugly pointed nose, sparse hair, rotting teeth, and bony chicken legs. Ugh! He looks much older than he is, and even if he kicked the addictions, he is never going to be a handsome leading man. To have a womanizing bachelor, they should cast a much younger and handsome ACTOR!


I think they should handle it like the soaps do: Charlie has a disfiguring accident, undergoes plastic surgery, and reappears played by another actor! Matt Le Blanc would have been perfect, but he's now starring in the very funny series Episodes. Re: Rob Lowe, I agree w/ Ethnae that he leaves shows too often, but at least he has the good looks to be convincing as a serial womanizer whereas Spader, Sandler, etc. do not!


Anybody could replace Sheen. This kind of acting is not a hard thing to do.

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Two and a Half Men Quotes

Alan: What's the forecast?
Charlie: High tonight, low tomorrow, 100% chance of hangover.

Charlie: For every gorgeous woman out there's a guy tired of banging her.
Alan: But that guy is never me.