In a surprise development Tuesday that casts doubt on the rest of its season, television's top-rated sitcom, "Two and a Half Men," halted production after its star Charlie Sheen announced he was checking into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic.
"We wish him nothing but the best as he deals with this personal matter," said a statement attributed to CBS, Warner Bros. and executive producer Chuck Lorre, who, according to sources familiar with the situation, were caught off-guard by the actor's move. Studio and network officials would not address the issue further on the record.
Sheen did not show up for work on Monday and his bail -- which requires that he not consume drugs or alcohol -- could be revoked in Colorado, where he is awaiting trial on domestic-violence charges. The actor's spokesman, Stan Rosenfield, described his client's decision to enter rehab as a "preventative measure" and added he would "take some time off" from the series.
Sheen's personal problems over the last two months now threaten to overwhelm the popular TV show, in its seventh season. Earlier this month, he was charged with a felony after his wife Brooke Mueller called Aspen police on Christmas Day and said the star had threatened her at knifepoint. Published reports have said that Mueller also entered rehab, apparently at a facility separate from her husband's, but that she checked herself out after her privacy had allegedly been breached.