LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Even before Charlie Sheen's Thursday hospitalization, execs working with "Two and a Half Men" had been waiting for a trigger to get the actor to seek professional help, sources told The Hollywood Reporter this week.
The situation has reached the point that WBTV brass would be happy to shut down the show to give Sheen a chance to enter rehab. They were hoping for some pivotal incident that would give the studio an opportunity to force the rehab issue, something to which Sheen has been resistant.
"They are all afraid Charlie will end up dead," one talent rep close to the show told THR. "It is literally day by day."
"If he did anything to delay production or put it in jeopardy, they'd shut it down and try to force him to go to rehab," another talent rep close to the show said.
Sheen's recent trip to the hospital will not delay the show immediately since "Men" is on hiatus this week. Sheen was taken to the hospital due to "severe abdominal pains" Thursday morning. The website TMZ reported that the actor had a "briefcase full of cocaine" delivered to his home -- and was allegedly using the drug during a 36-hour bender prior to the hospitalization.
Sheen's partying incidents have been well-chronicled on the gossip websites and was even the subject of Ricky Gervais jokes at the Golden Globes. CBS president Nina Tassler said earlier this month that she had a "high level of concern" for the actor.
But holding the studio back from truly forcing help has been Sheen's ability to do his job.
"Charlie has been partying pretty hard but he's showed up and done his job," said one source. "Everyone likes him. he's professional."
Another added: "He knows his character so well. it's a sitcom…It's really a smooth oiled machine."