As a producer, what do you do when you've got a hit show and a big-name star whose becoming more problematic and delusional everyday?
If you're Chuck Lorre and the show is the popular Two and a Half Men, the rumor is that you replace human coke straw Charlie Sheen with dapper leading man John Stamos.
Stamos has denied the rumors that he's auditioning to take over the show (though he did joke that Martin Sheen asked him to assume the role of his son), but with production shut down for the season over Sheen's increasingly bizarre antics and Sheen (who is already the highest paid actor on TV) demanding $3 million per episode, something has to give. If the show ceases production Warner Bros. stands to lose about $250 million in syndication fees and advertising revenue.
After some reported face time over the weekend with CBS president Les Moonves, it looks like Stamos might be changing his mind. And with his role on Glee a disappointment, why not?
According to the rumors Stamos would play a newly introduced character, but we don't see any reason why there needs to be more change. It's not like "Charlie," the rich, hard-partying womanizer is such a complicated role only a dedicated method actor like Sheen could handle it.
Television is full of similar switcheroos. The original switch — of leading man Darren on Bewitched — was to accommodate original actor Dick York's increasing pain from an old injury that was aggravated by performing. No one seemed to mind replacing Aunt Viv halfway through The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but I was always annoyed by the rotating Beckys on Roseanne and I still hold Sarah Chalke personally responsible. There are others — the sister in That '70s Show, the neighbor on Married With Children — and the formula seems to say that the replacement must only be more attractive than the original.
So unless pasty sweats are your thing, I think Stamos has this one in the bag.