CBS is temporarily halting production of television's top-rated comedy, "Two and a Half Men," following news from Charlie Sheen's publicist that the actor is in rehab and is taking a break from the show.
Publicist Stan Rosenfield announced Tuesday that Sheen has entered a rehab facility "as a preventative measure." He asked for privacy for Sheen, 44, and did not specify why the embattled actor was seeking treatment.
Sheen's bosses expressed support for the actor in a statement that said they were temporarily stopping production of the show.
"CBS, Warner Bros. Television and (Executive Producer) Chuck Lorre support Charlie Sheen in his decision today to begin voluntary inpatient care at a treatment center," the statement said. "We wish him nothing but the best as he deals with this personal matter."
The statement offered no timetable for when the show would resume taping.
The decision comes roughly two months after Sheen was arrested after a fight with his wife at his Aspen, Colo., home. Prosecutors later charged the actor with felony menacing and misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault and criminal mischief. The most serious charge carries a maximum three-year prison term.
Sheen has not entered a plea and is due back in court on March 15.
Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said Tuesday he hadn't heard that Sheen had entered rehab and couldn't discuss what bearing it might have on the case.
Sheen's wife, Brooke, is also in rehab seeking treatment for an undisclosed reason, her attorney Yale Galanter said Monday. She is still asking that the charges be dismissed, he said.
Galanter and Rosenfield confirmed Monday that Los Angeles child protective services workers visited the actor and the couple's infant sons over the weekend. Galanter and Rosenfield said it was a routine, previously scheduled visit related to the Aspen court case.
Galanter did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday.
Until Tuesday, Charlie Sheen's legal problems hadn't disrupted taping of "Two and a Half Men," one of CBS' top shows and TV's top-rated comedy.
The show was averaging 14.7 million weekly viewers before Charlie Sheen's arrest. Recent new episodes have drawn nearly 18 million viewers, and 10.6 million people tuned in last week for a rerun, according to ratings released by the Nielsen Co.
"Two and a Half Men," about the romances and family life of two brothers (Sheen and Jon Cryer), is the anchor of CBS' Monday comedy lineup, which also includes "The Big Bang Theory" and "How I Met Your Mother."
In early January, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said the network was being sensitive to what it considered a "very personal and private matter for Charlie."
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