Been away, now back, and have finally caught up with Charlie Sheen's verbal tsunami . . . All of it, and most particularly, the TMZ interview with Mike Walters that streamed live at 1 p.m.
The sober and hardly sad conclusion -- "sad" is for people in Haiti, not this guy -- would seem to be that it's over. The show, certainly, and very probably the career -- at least the TV portion, although because the same people who control the studios control the TV studios, that's likely gone as well. He has not only flippled off everyone, but he did the one thing that is inexcuseable in this business -- air the besotted laundry, insult the powerbrokers, insist their manhood is questionable, declaim his virtue, and finally push this line: "Their model sucks and it's built by losers. Somebody debate me on this."
But there is a third possibility, too: This'll all blow over and Charlie will be back on "2.5 Men" next season, and maybe with a bit of a raise, too. Crazy? Not as a crazy as the stuff he said today, but maybe a possibility, too.
There is so much Sheen news out of this complete flip-out that it's hard to compress right here, but here goes:
-- Stan Rosenfield, his longtime publicist, quit Sheen this afternoon, althought when Sheen heard he quit, insisted he was fired instead. Rosenfield, by the way, has handled all manner of difficult personalities -- David Caruso, as one example. Difficult is his speciality. Rosenfield quit -- I'm going with that version -- because he knows Sheen is over.
-- Sheen, also per TMZ and others, is planning on suing CBS and Warner Bros. for revenue lost from the eight episodes not produced. If true, then all his talk about total war -- and his insistence that he will win this "war" with "zeal and focus and violent hatred" -- may be an obvious reference to his salted earth legal strategy, whatever that could possibly be at this moment. But again, CBS's ongoing silence could suggest that it's preparing final termination at this moment, and allowing Sheen to talk himself out of a courtcase as well.
-- Reports are circulating -- oh hell, E! has been touting them as loudly as it can for the last hour or so -- that John Stamos is being courted to replace Sheen. Probably true, but you have to wonder how far down that road CBS or Chuck Lorre want to go. Stamos is a funny guy certainly, or can be, but will fans accept him as the next Charlie Harper? Hardly. The fabled Long Lost Brother? Even a more remote possibility that fandom will embrace that. Sheen is Harper -- that's the whole point of the show. Stamos is a guy who's got a bit part in "Glee," for crying out loud, brought in to "ER" during its waining days, and who was once a teen hearthrob many, many years ago. Even the fact that CBS has let this rumor get out via E! suggests that it's either a.) desperate or b.) playing the old game of "you can't threaten us -- we'll fire your ass first and replace you with name-a-star."
-- Finally, the possibility that this will end in some sort of amicable Hollywood-BS way? Don't discount that, and crazier stuff has happened. Recast Sheen and the possibility arises that the many TV stations (here and around the world) that bought this series decide they don't want to pay as much for the syndication rights. Oops! That'd hurt. Or: Advertisers won't back a Stamos show. CBS and Warner Bros. don't have to do anything right now -- just let Crazy Boy twist and shout, and after he's done blowing, then finally get back to talking. They could even turn it into a storyline for season 10 -- complete with the Goddesses, etc.
So it goes.
Watch the Jeff Rossen interview from "Today." Sorry I'm getting it up so late, but have been traveling. I'm back in Sheenland now, though, friends!