Following a stormy month that culminated with wayward star Charlie Sheen attacking his employers in vitriolic public rants Thursday, CBS and Warner Bros. announced that they would cancel the rest of the season of the hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men," casting a pall over the fate of TV's most-watched comedy.
Interviewed on the radio program "The Alex Jones Show," Sheen, who is said to be vacationing in the Bahamas, called his boss, Executive Producer Chuck Lorre, "a clown," and referred to him as "Chaim Levine" (Lorre's birth name is Charles Michael Levine). In a later interview with the website TMZ.com, Sheen said, "I violently hate Chaim Levine," and accused Lorre of taking money from him.
Within hours, the studio and network issued a joint statement: "Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of 'Two and a Half Men' for the remainder of the season."
The decision will put at least 200 show staffers out of work indefinitely, as well as deprive No. 1-ranked CBS of the anchor of its Monday night comedy lineup. Sheen has a deal that carries him through May 2012, although it's unclear now whether CBS will risk ordering the show again for next season.