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+.


They should have a different actor play Charlie's character in every episode. Everything should be written as normal, and the other actors should play their parts as normal, except the actor who plays Charlie would be free to interpret his part however he sees fit. Adam Sandler, Kevin Spacey, Jim Carrey, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Ricky Gervais, Hugh Laurie, Ben Stiller... It would be a good trivia question twenty years from now, to name all of the other actors who played his character.


I think James Spader would be a perfect fit. He can do comedy..He's the BEST at being lecherous AND he and Jon Cryer worked together in "Pretty in Pink".. (Steff & Ducky reunited) and the movie "Shorts".


How about brining in Sheen's real life brother, Emilio? I know he did a guest spot once, but he would be good too


Woody Harrelson?


Adam Sandler could work here! Charlie moves to someplace far away to take care of the woman he finds out he knocked up, go figure, and their kid. Adam is now renting the house in L.A. Adam is friend of the family. Allen still lives in the house. Adam is rich and Allen sponges off of Adam, who also allows it.


My sister & I who love this show think that Charlie should be killed off in a blaze of hookers & alchol fueled orgy & his will leaves everything to Allen and BERTA!!! LMAO!!! Yes, Berta!!! Wouldn't it be funny to watch her as the lead??? I think so!!! They could give Herb a bigger part (Ryan Stiles is AWESOMELY FUNNY...have you ever seen The Drew Carey Show?) Then you would have 2 1/2 men...hmmm...makes one think maybe Herb divorces Judith too and moves in with Allen & Berta...there's a whole NEW dynamic and still 2 & 1/2 men!!!


How about beefing up the mom's role? Don't kill Charlie off, he may recover and come back, just send him away somewhere. Then the mom could move in with Alan and cause him even more misery than Charlie ever did. I love her.


I think he is cute and funny, so I like the idea of Rob Lowe replacing Charlie, but he never seems to stick around very long on any shows.


My vote is for Andrew McCarthy as a long lost cousin.. they could make some Ducky jokes maybe some pink references.... no???


I have never missed an episode, if I can't be there to watch it I DVR it. Charlie Sheen is Charlie Harper and this past few weeks is proof of that.....this is his life drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornstars, and hookers. Yes it is sad, but it is what it is and as long as he goes to work makes everyone money and pays his child support who cares. Thats Hollywood!

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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.