Tags: Charlie | Sheen | to | leave | Two and a Half Men | Michael Jackson | Tyler Perry

Charlie Sheen to Leave 'Two and a Half men'?

By    |   Tuesday, 13 April 2010 01:49 PM

The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Charlie Sheen to Leave 'Two and a Half Men'?
2. Revealed: Manslaughter Defense of Michael Jackson’s Doctor
3. Tyler Perry Does It Again With 'Why Did I Get Married Too'
4. Jay Leno Triumphs in the Ratings
5. Disgraced Chicago Pols Become Stars

1. Charlie Sheen to Leave 'Two and a Half Men'?

Charlie Sheen may leave his hit TV show, “Two and a Half Men,” according to People magazine.

Various press leaks have indicated that Sheen rejected a contract renewal offer and wants to exit the show.

This was news to CBS and the No. 1 sitcom's production studio, Warner Bros. Both companies were no doubt planning to continue milking their cash cow.

For at least a week now Hollywood agents, lawyers, and execs have been buzzing about the Sheen story and most are of the opinion that the lead star is looking for more money.

All the talk about leaving is reminiscent of other television stars who, when their contracts expire and bargaining time begins, start signaling that they just may move on.

Sheen's contract is up at the end of the current seventh season.

CBS already picked up the show through its ninth season, though, and the network and Warner Bros. had planned to keep it on the air through 2012.

Sheen knows that the combination of his expiring agreement and CBS’ long-range planning has put him in a strong negotiating position, if he can keep clear of legal and other troubles.

Sheen’s recent problems over a Christmas altercation with his wife have already caused two of the show’s episodes to be canceled.

A final determination on the matter by the court has not yet been made, and a possibility exists that Sheen may have to do some time behind bars.

If it turns out that the actor is serious about wanting to leave, it is unlikely that CBS would rename the show “One and a Half Men.” Instead the network would probably try to find a replacement actor.

Conveniently, Kal Penn from “Harold & Kumar” fame, is leaving his stint at the Obama White House to return to his acting career. The former “House” TV star may be a candidate to take Sheen's place on “Men” as soon as he finishes the third installment of the “Harold & Kumar” franchise.

Perhaps Sheen’s real-life brother, Emilio Estevez, might be able to slip into Charlie’s old bowling shirt.

2. Revealed: Manslaughter Defense of Michael Jackson’s Doctor

Dr. Conrad Murray's legal defense in the Michael Jackson manslaughter case is being reported by TMZ, and if true, it is a shocker.

The accused physician is allegedly going to contend in court that the pop singer gave himself a fatal dose of the operating room drug, propofol, when Murray stepped out of the room for a two-minute restroom break.

Michael's father is reportedly “horrified” by the Murray defense. Joe Jackson told TMZ, “I don't believe it. It's not true. Why would he [Dr. Murray] hide all the bottles if such a story were true?”

The King of Pop's dad also said, “The coroner's report shows the story is not true,” adding, “this really upsets me to hear this.”

Michael’s father plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Murray.

Murray admitted giving Jackson 25 mg of propofol (about an eighth of a bottle) at appropriately 10:50 a.m. He says he stayed in the room for the next hour while Michael slept.

The defense plans to argue that, during a brief absence around noon, Jackson woke up and because of frustration due to his inability to sleep, took the remainder of the contents of the propofol bottle through an intravenous line, which ultimately led to the pop singer's death.

Pictures from the Los Angeles coroner's office show an empty propofol bottle under the table next to Jackson's bed.

To counter the allegation that he hid propofol bottles, Murray's defense team will argue that if the doctor were trying to hide evidence he would have removed the empty bottle that was found under the nightstand.

Will a jury buy the story, or is it merely a positioning strategy by Murray's lawyers to try to obtain a plea bargain?

Just one in a series of many legal twists and turns to come.

3. Tyler Perry Does It Again With 'Why Did I Get Married Too'

Tyler Perry may be the most consistent figure in the entertainment business.

“Why Did I Get Married Too” finished second at the box office over the weekend, with about $30 million in ticket sales.

Critics hated the movie, but the studios love the profit margin.

The film is a celebration of marriage, with its familiar joys, sorrows, and real-life problems, which are wrestled with by Perry's affable characters.

Perry is perhaps the last person one would have expected to become a Hollywood power player. But, much to the shock of the entertainment establishment, the devout Christian is just that.

He has become a cinematic force as a playwright, screenwriter, producer, director, and actor.

Perry's original first name was Emmitt after his dad. He grew up an abused child, once attempting suicide in an effort to escape his father's beatings. He changed his name at age 16 to Tyler in order to distance himself from the violent past.

Although Perry never finished high school, he did earn his GED. He was twenty-something when he happened to tune into “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” where he heard that writing can be therapeutic.

Perry started writing plays. He failed for six long years, but his initial lack of success didn’t deter him. His plays took off and created a huge demand for videos of the performances.

Hollywood took note and gave Tyler $5.5 million to make a movie. His first film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” grossed $50.6 million domestically. Reviewers slammed the flick, starting a Tyler Perry pattern of being kicked around by critics while cleaning up at the box office.

Perry's films have grossed almost $400 million worldwide. Maybe it’s because they are creatively crafted with Christian themes and peppered with comic realism, which translates into sweet box-office success.

4. Jay Leno Triumphs in the Ratings

Based on the ratings, it looks like NBC execs made the right decision in returning Jay Leno to his old “Tonight Show” time slot.

According to a statement issued by the network, Leno consistently trounced David Letterman’s show throughout the month of March. Jay was ahead of Dave in total viewers and in the demographic group that advertisers target.

Since returning to late-night television, not only has Jay led in total viewers, “The Tonight Show” has bested Letterman's “Late Show” in viewers ages 18 to 49 on 18 of 20 nights.

For Leno, this is familiar territory. He was the late-night TV ratings king before he gave up his chair to Conan O’Brien last year. According to Nielsen, for 14 years Leno led Letterman in total viewers as well as the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.

NBC needed the ratings to help the beleaguered network regain profitability. Parent company GE is pleased since it is in the process of selling its majority stake in NBC Universal to Comcast.

It’s a safe bet that there is at least one guy in New York who isn’t celebrating the “Tonight Show” resurgence. And maybe even one guy in D.C.

5. Disgraced Chicago Pols Become Stars

For Chicago politicians, committing a crime and doing time is apparently sort of a steppingstone to a brand-new career in Hollywood or broadcasting.

Budding reality-TV star Rod “Blago” Blagojevich has a two-hour Sunday show on WLS, a Chicago AM talk radio station.

Blago once had another high-profile gig as governor of Illinois but was impeached and has a federal corruption trial coming in June.

But before Blago there was Dan. Back in 1996, congressman and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Dan Rostenkowski pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and was fined and sentenced to 17 months in prison.

Two years later a Fox affiliate, WFLD, put Rostenkowski on the air as a commentator. It was a sign of things to come.

James Laski was a Chicago city clerk but ended up in the slammer for 11 months, due to corruption charges. That was back in 2008. In a month from now, Laski will debut a new radio show, which will air weeknights on WGN, a prominent AM station in the Windy City.

Laski has never done radio broadcasting but was introduced to the idea when he did some substitute hosting on WGN. His claim to fame is knowledge of the same Chicago political tradition that’s part and parcel of the current White House.

“I sat down with the Daleys and the Blagojeviches and the Madigans,” Laski told The New York Times. “I’ve been there and done the good and bad. Here’s the thing: It’s time to move forward.”

If you want to hear former alderman of the 20th Ward Cliff Kelley spout off, you can tune into AM station WVON. Kelley also has a special understanding of Chicago-style politics, having been convicted in 1987 of taking bribes.

Even if some of those engaging in Windy City malfeasance end up on the wrong side of the criminal justice system, no worries. A hot microphone is waiting for them on the shady side of Chi-town.

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at HollywoodHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Charlie Sheen to Leave 'Two and a Half Men'? 2. Revealed: Manslaughter Defense of Michael Jackson s Doctor 3. Tyler Perry Does It Again With 'Why Did I Get Married...
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Tuesday, 13 April 2010 01:49 PM
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