Charlie Sheen wins in the end
Remember how you all yelled at me when I said I was enjoying Charlie Sheen’s TORNADO OF AWESOME earlier this year? At the time I noted that his behavior, as bizarre as it was, was ultimately about a contract dispute and I believed that he could rein it in when needed. Which is what ended up playing out in court over the summer and into early fall. At the end of the day, Sheen walked away from CBS/Warner Brothers and Two and a Half Men a hundred million dollars richer.
Yep. That’s right. The winning warlock of truth, or whatever he was calling himself, ended up getting A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS for his crazy. How did it happen? In an out-of-court settlement. While Sheen was unquestionably nuts, as I noted back in March, the legal grounds of his lawsuit against CBS/WB TV was much murkier than one would think. By cancelling the end of the Men season, CBS left Sheen some legitimate legal grounds, and in the end, Sheen must’ve been making a good case because he got $25 million up front with $75 million more payable over 10 years through syndication rights for Men.
The last couple of months have seen Sheen on a different tour, this time one of contrition. He was roasted on Comedy Central and he took it remarkably well. He appeared at the Emmys, wishing the Men crew seemingly heartfelt best wishes for their new season with Ashton Kutcher (which got off to a strong start but has seen ratings decline). Late night talk show appearances and interviews indicate that Sheen at least understands he needs to put a good face on his post-crazy attitude. Like I thought, he was able to rein it in when he needed to.
And now he’s poised to return to television in 2012 with a comedy on FX, a network that has built up an impressive stable of comedy shows (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Louie, Wilfred, Archer, The League). The show is Anger Management and it’s loosely based on the Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson movie of the same name—Sheen will play the Nicholson “crazy therapist” character. FX agreed to a 10-episode season that, if ratings are good, will get a 90-episode order. It’s a pretty huge deal, especially given that Sheen has got to be tough to insure these days.
So, now that Sheen has walked away $100 million richer and has a new show on the horizon, can we all agree that it’s okay to laugh at his absurd behavior? (Lainey: as is so often the case, sympathy for celebrities is often a waste of time.)