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Image: Charlie Sheen on NBC
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Charlie Sheen, right, with NBC's Jeff Rossen, went on a media tour during his ongoing battle with Warner Bros. and CBS.
TODAY staff and wire
updated 3/7/2011 9:18:03 PM ET 2011-03-08T02:18:03

One side in the ongoing battle between Charlie Sheen and the companies that produce his hit sitcom finally blinked on Monday.

"After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen’s services on "Two and a Half Men" effective immediately," the company announced in a statement.

A source familiar with the decision to terminate Sheen’s contract said that Sheen was informed of the news, “shortly before” the statement was released, at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET. At approximately 4 ET, Sheen tweeted, “#winning.”

"This is very good news," TMZ.com quoted the actor as saying. "They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at whatshisc--k again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension."

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In a text to The Associated Press, Sheen responded, with the F-word and "They lose," followed by the word "Trolls." Asked if he planned to sue, Sheen texted back, "Big." As for his next move, Sheen texted, "A big one."

Video: Will ‘Two and a Half Men’ survive without Charlie Sheen? (on this page)

Sheen told "Access Hollywood's" Billy Bush that he wasn't told of the firing in person, but electronically. "I got a text or something," Sheen said. "Here's another thing -- these guys are such yellow cockroaches that they didn't even have the decency to call me."

The actor blamed his firing not on his recent interviews, but on his bosses. "I guess if you can't process a guy, or realize his value, you must terminate him," Sheen told Bush. He also said that he plans to move forward with legal action against his former bosses for breach of contract.

"It's so juvenile. It is the work of infants," he said. "It is the work of silly infants and it's just -- if this is what it had to come to, to get me out of those silly shirts, then so be it. So maybe I'll wear one, just on the final day when I go and remove all of their bazillions."

Audio: Access Hollywood interviews Charlie Sheen after firing

A call to Sheen's attorney, Marty Singer, for comment was not immediately returned.

TMZ.com posted an 11-page letter reportedly sent by Warner Bros. to Singer. The letter laid out Sheen's troubles over the past months and states "there is ample evidence" that Sheen "has committed felony offenses ... including but not limited to furnishing of cocaine to others as part of the self-destructive lifestyle he has described publicly."

Story: How much is too much Charlie Sheen?

In an interview on TODAY Feb. 28, Sheen insisted that the drug- and alcohol-fueled behavior he described as “epic” never interfered with his work on “Men,” and that despite all the headlines, all his bosses saw when he showed up on the set was “a guy hitting every mark, nailing every line, every joke, with a full house screaming.” He claimed he never missed a day’s shooting: “Not a day that cost anybody any money,” he said. “I missed practice. We’re talking about practice ... practice is for amateurs, you know?”

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The Warner Bros. letter denies Sheen's claims that he has turned in "brilliant" performances on the hit sitcom. "Not true," the letter reads. "As outtakes of the filming show, Mr. Sheen had difficulty remembering his lines and hitting his marks. His conduct and condition created substantial tensions on the show." The letter went on to say Sheen would come to work without having slept the night before and would need scenes to be reorganized so he could lean on furniture to keep his balance.

Now comes 'Worldwide Unfollow Charlie Sheen Day'

The letter also praises Sheen's nemesis, show creator Chuck Lorre, saying "Lorre is a co-creator of the show, its head writer and creative heart. ... (Lorre is) one of only three people whose failure to render services can reduce the number of guaranteed episodes." It noted that Sheen has called Lorre a "turd" and a "clown," among other names, and appears to have mocked his Jewish heritage by calling him by his Hebrew name, "Chaim Levine."

It goes on to say "(Sheen) is not entitled to payment for the episodes cancelled due to his own conduct or condition" and notes that per contract, the dispute must be submitted to arbitration.

As for the future of “Two and a Half Men” and whether it will go on without Sheen, a rep for Warner Bros. tells TODAY.com, “No decision has been made about the future of the show.” Sheen had a contract with the show that runs through to the end of the 2012 TV season.

CBS halted production on the hit show Feb. 24, pulling the plug on the season’s scheduled four remaining episodes. Earlier that day, Sheen — the highest paid actor on U.S. television — had called into a nationally syndicated radio show to attack the program’s producers and say it couldn’t survive without him.

Can he be replaced?
While Sheen's text to AP suggested his next major role could be that of plaintiff in a lawsuit, the immediate question for Warner and CBS was whether to keep the show alive by bringing in a new cast member to join Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones — the one-and-a-half men left.

Shows have replaced stars before and lived to fight for ratings another day. When Valerie Harper left "Valerie" after the 1986-87 season in a dispute with producers, the show was renamed "The Hogan Family," Sandy Duncan was brought in to play a new character and the sitcom continued until 1991.

Drew Carey, who starred in and co-created "The Drew Carey Show," was asked about the possibility recently, before Sheen's firing.

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"All you have to do is bring in someone you can plug into a Charlie Sheen-like character and deliver those kinds of lines. There are 100 actors who could do it," said Carey, host of "The Price Is Right."

Carey said he wasn't dismissing Sheen's comedic talent and acknowledged that ratings might suffer if viewers are reluctant to accept a new actor in a new role. But Holland Taylor, who plays Sheen's mother, called him "the brand of the show" in an interview last summer.

The studio, however, could save money by paying the substitute far less than Sheen's salary and extend the life of the lucrative series by another season or two.

Sheen had emerged from a home rehab stint bent on winning the hearts and minds of viewers, radio listeners, web users and everyone else who would listen or tune in.

Sheen’s longtime publicist, Stan Rosenfield, resigned on Feb. 28 after the actor gave a live interview to TMZ.com in which he seemed to suggest Rosenfield lied to cover up for Sheen.

On his TODAY appearance, Sheen said CBS was “trying to destroy my family.” He demanded a raise from approximately $2 million to $3 million per episode to return to the show.

Story: Charlie Sheen is hiring; actor wants an intern

Also on TODAY, Sheen said he was owed an apology by CBS: “A big one. While licking my feet.”

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Video: Will ‘Two and a Half Men’ survive without Charlie Sheen?

  1. Closed captioning of: Will ‘Two and a Half Men’ survive without Charlie Sheen?

    >>> warner brothers television did its part to end the charlie sheen drama by firing him from the hit comedy, "two and a half men." warner brothers released a statement reading after careful consideration, warner ? brothers television has terminated sheen's services on "two and a half men" effective immediately. tmz obtained the lawyer sent to sheen explaining the termination. it cites a clause in the contract that says the studio can terminate his contract if he commits, quote, a felony offense involving moral turpitude . there is ample evidence supporting warners brothers reasonable good faith opinion that mr. sheen has committed felony offenses involving moral turpitude , including but not limited furnishing cotaken to others as part of the self destructive life-style he described publicly that interfered with his ability to fully and completely render all material services required under the agreement. sheen's powerhouse los angeles lawyer tells a hollywood reporter she will counter sue for breach of contract . sheen was supposed to appear in eight more episodes this season, 24 next season. that lawsuit will include "two and a half men" co-creator chuck lorre , or as sheen calls him in a just released statement, well, you'll see. this is charlie 's statement. this is very good news, they continue to be in breach like so many whales. it is a big day of gladness at the sober valley lodge because now i can take all the about a zillions, never have to look at that what's his -- greg, what can i say. i can't fill in those two letters, right? so what's his, it refers to the body part , the last four letters that nobody will have trouble guessing, again, and i never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in this terrestrial dimension. joining me now from a terrestrial dimension, jeff rossen . thanks for joining me.

    >> feels terrestrial, doesn't it, another dimension.

    >> jeff, no matter what happens, charlie says he's "winning." have you talked ? to him today?

    >> i did talk to him today. i texted with him basically as soon as this announcement happened. said how are you feeling, he said great. we talked on the phone a short time later. he reiterated what he reese leased in the statement, he feels like a free man, that he cares more about getting his kids back than the nonsense. he hates the bowling shirts, if you watch "two and a half men," you know what i am talking about. i think you expected this to come. by the way, an important note in the letter. warner brothers not only fired him, they say they're going after him for damages. not only are they say we don't want to pay you for the episodes you're not going to produce, we want money from you for the money we're going to lose, warner brothers , because we can't produce the episodes. this could really end up in court. i think charlie sheen knows that. for the first time today, he sounded almost a little worried in that he didn't want to just make any wild statements on the phone to me. didn't want to come on camera yet at the advice of his lawyers. that's one of the first times i've seen him actually take his lawyer's advice.

    >> this is a classic example of why you take the lawyer's advice. the contract says you're in breach if you've done these felonious things. normally seems to me the only way you'd have a felony is it would have to be a verdict rendered in court. but if charlie goes into interviews and talks about using cocaine and talks in these interviews as he has including startling interviews with you what his lawyers had to be worried about all along, he is going to say something to you that warner brothers can find as a breach in his contract.

    >> and if you look at the warner brothers letter, they specifically reference sound bites from the interviews, including the ones on nbc. they actually use those in the letter as proof. it is almost like charlie sheen provided the evidence they needed for them. they also claim they have outtakes from shows that prove he couldn't deliver his lines. he was for getting his lines, and couldn't hit his marks. the outtakes could end up ? in court as well that they claim to have.

    >> there's a lot of outtakes of a lot of actors, couldn't hit the marks or remember lines. i am sure charlie will have a come back on that.

    >> he is vowing to fight, as you mentioned, vowing to take them to court. i mean, look what happened to his life in the past week. lost his kids and lost his job, one week.

    >> do you have any sense from your proximity to charlie how he is actually doing financially? he seems to me to be the classic hollywood actor who could be hugely exploited by money people around him. he made a huge amount of money, but has blown a huge amount of money. is he really set for life? he was set to make $2 million an episode on this going forward.

    >> i think you and i would be set for life making that kind of money, but it is very expensive to live at charlie sheen . he lives in his beautiful, beautiful mansion, inside a beautiful gated community , takes private jets to the bahamas as he did a couple weekends ago. that's the kind of life-style he lives. i am told he spends a lot of money. clearly he is very open about the fact he needs the money. i mean, if you look at some of the home video from the date line special friday that he shot, he was in business. he was talking about making t-shirts. this is an a-list hollywood celebrity out of work a couple of weeks already talking about making t-shirts. and he has an internet web cast with sponsors. so perhaps i am not sure that's indication he wants a platform to speak or he actually needs the money from it.

    >> does warner brothers believe they can keep the series alive, recast the part?

    >> that's a good question. there was talk of john stamos , warner brothers talking to john stamos , he said they get what they get if they choose somebody else to fill my role. people will watch one episode and tune out. "two and a half men" is a cash cow for cbs. whether that has to do with the show as a whole or with charlie sheen specifically, i don't know. maybe cbs wants to take that gamble, try it out. it is ? hard to say.

    >> and if they do recast it, is there any notion of when they could get it back on the air? any possibility they could get it the remainder of the season?

    >> i can't answer. i don't know.

    >> jeff rossen , thank you very much for the latest on charlie sheen .

Photos: Charlie Sheen

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  1. Family affair

    Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen's real-life father plays Martin, on Charlie's show "Anger Management." (FX) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Smoking man

    Sheen, left, holds a necrotic lung affected by tobacco use and a healthy lung as he talks to Dr. Oz during a taping of "The Dr. Oz Show," in New York. Sheen, who is a heavy smoker, also discussed his manic behavior and anger issues in the January 2013 episode. (Barbara Nitke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Star power

    Sheen, left, speaks as former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 10, 2012 in Hollywood, Calif. (Joe Klamar / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Play ball!

    Sheen acknowledges the fans before throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on July 7, 2012 in San Diego. (Denis Poroy / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. In the hot seat

    Comedy Central roasted Sheen in one of their infamous specials on Sept. 10, 2011. (Christopher Polk / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Enter the Warlock

    Sheen shows off his Detroit Tigers jersey during his performance at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on Saturday, April 2, 2011. Promising "the real story," the 45-year-old former "Two and a Half Men" star hit the road for a month-long, 20-city variety show tour, with the first stop a sold-out show in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Thumbs down

    A Sheen fan offers her review while leaving the Fox Theatre in Detroit on April 2, 2011. (Geoff Robins / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. The gang's all here

    Sheen, second from left, is joined by Joey Scoleri of Live Nation, left, and "goddesses" Bree Olson and Natalie Kenly, right, at the after party for his Chicago tour stop at Enclave on April 3, 2011. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Blood thirst

    Charlie Sheen is seen on the rooftop of the Live Nation building drinking "Tiger Blood" in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2011. The "Two and a Half" men star was fired from the show earlier in the day by Warner Bros. (Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Two for one

    Sheen poses with the two women he refers to as his "goddesses" in the kitchen of his Los Angeles home during the first week of March 2011. Natalie "Natty" Kenly, left, a model, and Rachel Oberlin, aka porn star Bree Olsen, gained fame during the actor's media blitz over his fight with CBS and Warner Bros. television. (Michael Austin / NBC News) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Plenty to say

    Adult film star Capri Anderson, the woman who was in Charlie Sheen's hotel room the night he allegedly trashed his suite, talks with ABC about the incident. Claiming to have feared for her life upon being locked in the bathroom, Capri said, "I'm not going to stand down and be completely be walked over." Anderson filed a harassment lawsuit, Sheen then countersued for extortion, and the case was dropped. (ABC via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Before the storm

    Sheen joins his ex wife Denise Richards and their daughters Sam and Lola in a trip to the American Museum of Natural History in New York on Oct. 25, 2010. Their museum visit ended a weekend together in which the four of them went shopping at an American Girl store, dined at Serafina Broadway and took in the Broadway show Mary Poppins.

    Sheen was later hospitalized after he was found drunk and naked with an alleged escort in his trashed room at The Plaza hotel. Damages to the room reportedly totaled $7,000. The actor's rep later said Sheen had had an allergic reaction to medication. (INFphoto.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Back to rehab

    Sheen, second from right, arrives with his attorney Richard Cummins, second from left, for a sentencing hearing at the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen, Colo., on Aug. 2, 2010. Sheen was sentenced under a plea deal to get a 30-day sentence to be "administered and executed" at Promises rehab facility in Malibu, Calif., for assaulting his wife Brooke Mueller during an alcohol-fueled Christmas Day quarrel in Aspen. (Rick Wilking / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. See you in a month

    Sheen, right, leaves the Pitkin County Courthouse with his attorney Richard Cummins in Aspen, Colo., on Monday, June 7, 2010. A sentencing hearing for the actor in his domestic assault case against wife Brooke Mueller was continued until July 12. (Ed Andrieski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. More troubles

    Sheen's Mercedes was apparently stolen from his Shermon Oaks, Calif., home in early 2010. It was found overturned hundreds of feet down a nearby cliff. On June 15, 2010, police reported a second Mercedes suffered the same fate. (Gus Ruelas / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Not-so-merry Christmas

    Brooke Mueller Sheen called police on Christmas Day, 2009, reporting that Sheen attacked and threatened her. (Riccardo S. Savi / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Got my designs on you

    Sheen has collaborated with the owner of the Rock & Roll Religion clothing line to create a line of shirts called the DaVinci Collection by Charlie Sheen. Sheen's "Two and a Half Men" character wears similar shirts. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Viva ALMA!

    Sheen, born Carlos Estevez, captured the outstanding male performance in a comedy TV series award at the 2008 ALMA Awards. The honors are given to Latino performers who promote positive portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment field. Sheen's paternal grandparents were Spanish, his maternal grandparents Irish. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Trying marriage again

    In 2008, Sheen married real-estate investor Brooke Mueller, seen here with Sheen and his daughters, Sam and Lola. The couple's twins, Bob and Max, were born on March 14, 2009. A Christmas Day fight that same year has sent Sheen's latest round of marital woes back into the tabloids. (Donato Sardella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Play clothes for the posh

    Fashion executive Michael Berens, Sheen and clothing designer Suzanne Ciulla pose with children wearing clothes from Sheen Kidz, a couture children’s sportswear inspired by Sheen’s daughters, Sam and Lola. (Donato Sardella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A 'Platoon' reunited

    Actor Willem Dafoe, director Oliver Stone, an unidentified guest, Sheen and Tom Berenger reunited for a screening of their classic film "Platoon" at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival in France. (Francois Durand / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. 'Bounce' back

    Sheen starred in "The Big Bounce," a critical flop, in 2004. Although the film was based on a novel by Elmore Leonard and features Owen Wilson and Morgan Freeman in addition to Sheen, it was a disaster, and cost $50 million to make. It earned back only $6 million. (Warner Bros.) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Men, men, men, men, manly men

    Sheen and Jon Cryer play brothers with opposite temperaments in the CBS hit comedy "Two and a Half Men." Sheen reportedly earns $825,000 per episode on the show. (CBS via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Till divorce do us part

    Sheen married actress Denise Richards in 2002, and they had two daughters, Sam and Lola. Richards filed for divorce in 2005, and the details of their marriage, estrangement and custody battle quickly became tabloid fodder. Richards accused Sheen of abusing drugs and alcohol, and threatening her with violence. (Robert Mora / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Keep the Globe spinning

    In 2002, Sheen won the Golden Globe Award for best performance by an actor in a television comedy or musical series for his role in "Spin City." (Scott Nelson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Putting a 'Spin' on things

    Sheen, shown with Barry Bostwick and Heather Locklear, played Charlie Crawford on "Spin City" from 2000 to 2002. As he does in "Two and a Half Men," Sheen played a character with the same first name as himself. Tony Danza Syndrome, perhaps? (ABC via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. X marks the film

    Sheen teamed again with brother Emilio Estevez to play real-life brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell in 2000's "Rated X." The Mitchells were pioneers in the pornography and strip-club industries in San Francisco in the 1970s and '80s. (Showtime via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. In court

    Drug issues have troubled Sheen for years. In 1998, he appeared in a Malibu, Calif., courtroom, where a judge ruled that the actor, who nearly died of a drug overdose five months before, could be released from his rehabilitation facility. (Nick Ut / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. He'll be there for you

    Sheen kisses Lisa Kudrow in his appearance on the hit show "Friends" in 1996. (NBC) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Geronimo!

    In 1994's "Terminal Velocity," Sheen starred with Nastassja Kinski in a film about a skydiver who apparently dies on her first jump, but turns out to have faked her death. (Walt Disney Studios) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Family of stars

    Sheen, father Martin Sheen and brother Emilio Estevez unveil Charlie's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. (Jim Smeal / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. All for one, and one for all

    Sheen played Aramis, one of "The Three Musketeers," in the 1993 film version of Alexandre Dumas' classic story. Kiefer Sutherland played Athos, Oliver Platt played Porthos, and Chris O'Donnell played D'Artagnan, who longs to join the trio. (Walt Disney Studios) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Daddy and daughter

    Sheen and his daughter, Cassandra Jade Estevez, attended the 1992 premiere of "The Mighty Ducks." Sheen was just 19 when Cassandra was born. (Ron Galella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Mullet man

    In the comedy spoofs "Hot Shots" and "Hot Shots Part Deux," Sheen plays Navy pilot Topper Harley. "Part Deux" parodies the action-movie genre, particularly the Rambo films. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Brothers at work

    Sheen and brother Emilio Estevez teamed up in 1990's "Men at Work," about two garbage collectors who discover a corpse. (Triumph Releasing) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Three strikes, yer out

    Sheen, right, and Tom Berenger starred in 1989's "Major League," a comedy about a fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians. Sheen played Ricky Vaughn, an out-of-control pitcher who improves once he gets glasses. (Paramount via Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Bang, bang, my baby shot me down

    In 1990, before Kelly Preston wed John Travolta, she was engaged to Sheen, who gave her a 2.5 carat pink diamond engagement ring. The engagement ended shortly after he accidentally shot her in the arm, causing a wound that required stitches. (Ron Galella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Guns blazing

    Sheen, middle right, and Emilio Estevez, front, starred with Lou Diamond Phillips, Kiefer Sutherland, Casey Siemaszko and Dermot Mulroney in 1988's Western, "Young Guns." (20th Cenury Fox via Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Greed is good

    Sheen starred in 1987's "Wall Street," where he plays Bud Fox, a young, ambitious trader who falls under the spell of ruthless millionaire Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas. Reportedly Sheen and director Oliver Stone parted ways after Stone approached Sheen to star in "Born on the Fourth of July," but then cast Tom Cruise without telling Sheen. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Fighting the war outside and the war inside

    In 1986's "Platoon," Sheen, center, starred with Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger in Stone's critically lauded Vietnam War movie. The film was based on Stone's own war experiences, and is regularly listed by critics as one of the best war films ever made. (Orion Pictures via Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Putting the moves on Ferris Bueller's sister

    Sheen and Jennifer Grey starred in 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," with Grey playing Ferris Bueller's snotty sister Jeanie and Sheen a rebel she meets at the police station. (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. WOLVERINES!

    Sheen got his movie start in 1984's "Red Dawn." His fellow young stars included Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey. (MGM) Back to slideshow navigation
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Timeline: Charlie Sheen's ups and downs

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