CBS loses in Charlie Sheen shutdown
Each episode of 'Two and a Half Men' brings millions of dollars to all parties involved, making the show's hiatus a costly setback.
And that spells trouble for CBS Corp. (CBS), which can regularly count on 15 million viewers for an episode of the show, The Associated Press reports. The show is so popular that even its reruns get more viewers than other comedies' first-run episodes.
"Two and a Half Men" brings major revenue to all parties involved. Sheen gets nearly $2 million per episode. The show's producer, Warner Bros. Television, gets a $4 million payment from CBS for each episode. And CBS more than makes up for that money by selling ads to accompany the show.
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One analyst firm estimates that "Two and a Half Men" pulled in nearly $162 million in ad revenue in 2009 and $114 million for the first nine months of last year, AP reports.
Shares of CBS dropped about 7% after after Sheen was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital last week for severe abdominal pains. The shares are starting to rebound, though not to previous levels.
The cash cow is just as big for Warner Bros. Television, especially because Warner also sold the show to the FX cable channel. When you combine the FX and CBS deals along with syndication payments expected for at least a decade, experts say, the sitcom's value could reach $600 million over the next several years.
All of which makes Sheen's absence particularly painful. It also makes you wonder why CBS and Warner let the actor careen so out of control over the past few years. After that wild night in a New York hotel room and the misdemeanor assault plea in a domestic-violence case, Sheen's well-being should have been a major focus for the network and production company. But in CBS's defense, Sheen reportedly continued to show up for work in a professional manner throughout his personal ups and downs.
CBS has addressed the financial impact of Sheen's rehab, saying that "any immediate programming or financial implications pale in comparison to his long-term health, safety and well-being," AP reports. Any ratings slip for the show will be more than offset by the reduced programming bill, CBS said, adding that putting the show on hiatus is "not material" to the network.
And though it seems impossible to imagine the show continuing without Sheen, that is one alternative. "The Office" will likely go on without Steve Carell, and "Cheers" continued for years after Shelley Long said goodbye.
I guess I understand why most people find it so hilarious, but I'm bored with Charlie - always drunk, always a womanizer, never changes. It's the same joke every night and I don't find it funny anymore.
The other characters are awesome, which is why I'm happy to catch an episode every now and then, but I just don't understand why people get so devoted to it anymore.
They should have fired this jerk a long time ago. I'm not a fan of him or the show, but I know a lot of people watch it. I'm sure there are tons of more talented actors they could bring in to replace him. I think he's a disgusting role model for kids that are fans of t he show. I mean grow up, you have 4 kids of your own and you are still running around with prostitutes, porn stars, and are a drug addict. He'll end up dead at this point.
This show is a horrible example for lots of people. It is on at prime time so the kids can hear it, and they will say anything for an attention grabber. Think of all the children that hear the garbage spewed from this show.
My God, do people not care what their children, nieces, nephews hear?!?!? It's no wonder there are SO many screwed up people in the world. I know, if you don't like it, turn the channel. Believe me I do. But alot of adults and kids don't.
I am not a prude by no means, but jeeez. The show is all about sex, penis, poop, and whatever the hell. We all know it all exists, but why act like perverts about it. wth
I was with Charle on throwing down with five girls at one time, but the coke is a no. Hell if it was me I would be rotating into a new set of five as often as I could - the man is single and rich, coke was not needed. The women still would have been there. I just would not take anything to a point where it is hurting myself, family, co-wokers, and wallet. Money just lets you be more of what you are deep down, and he is not much of a person. So him being a womanizer is okay, but not an addict. Hurting your health, freedom(jail?), and earnings (present and future) is crazy.
The show could do without him for several episodes with the other actors having a chance to shine. We still need to remember it's called "2 1/2 Men" not "1 1/2 Men". the ratings may slip a little, but I would still watch it because of the other characters (bring back Candi).
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