After Charlie Sheen's rants to the media about his war on CBS and against "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre, there's little doubt that the hit series is headed toward oblivion unless the producers opt to make some major changes.
Sorry, Charlie. The actor may think he's the only guy who can fill the role of playboy Charlie Harper, but Sheen should remember that his own career got a jump-start when he took over for departing Michael J. Fox on “Spin City.”
And booting Sheen from the hit sitcom may not mean the end of "Men." "CSI" survived the departure of William Petersen, and Simon Cowell's exit from "American Idol" hasn't hurt the ratings juggernaut. Plus, "The Office" is forging ahead despite star Steve Carell's upcoming exodus. "Men" just needs to find the right replacement and a fresh direction.
And that massive $1.8 million that Sheen is rumored to get per episode? That can go a long way in securing top talent to allow the series to go on.
Here are seven ideas producers could consider using to save "Two and a Half Men":
'Have You Met My Brother?'
In this scenario, Charlie and Rose toddle off to live in Crazy Town. Alan thinks he’s finally inherited the Malibu home. Nope. Charlie has turned over the keys to a third brother, played by Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins on "Friday Night Lights"). You get the hot bad boy and bring in some younger viewers at the same t ime.
Who says the loose boozehound has to be a guy? Step on up and meet the distaff Charlie, Chelsea Handler. She could come on as Charlie’s ghostwriter. Those jingles weren’t spouting from Charlie’s alcohol addled brain, so he teamed up with an advertising whiz whose business association with Charlie makes her Alan’s new landlady.
Don’t say you haven’t noticed how the Showtime series offers its own cable version of a drug- and alcohol-loving sex addict. Former "X-Files" star and current "Californication" lead David Duchovny could fit right in with his acerbic wit as Charlie — after he returns to Earth from an alien abduction.
"Contrary to the rumors, I am not replacing Charlie Sheen on 'Two and a Half Men.' However, Martin Sheen has asked me to be his son," John Stamos tweeted on Feb. 25. Bummer. The man we once loved as Uncle Jesse on "Full House" has a cleaner image than Sheen, but I think he could go rogue and slip into the role of Charlie just fine after Charlie attends rehab. Don’t worry. He can relapse.
'Who’s the Boss Now, Baby?'
Who actually owns the home Charlie had to mortgage to pay for his decadent lifestyle? Why, it’s the charming former Brat Packer Rob Lowe, who figures it’s time to take over Charlie’s bachelor digs for some sweet loving, and of course, quality family time with Alan and Jake.
'Dude, Who Stole My Home?'
Turns out that Charlie never did own the home. Years before, a buddy let him use it while he went on an extended surfing tour. But now that Charlie’s gone, his buddy — played by Matthew McConaughey — wants it back. Yes, even if it means living with Charlie’s brother and nephew, the squatters who refuse to leave.
After Charlie finally goes on one bender too many, he shuffles off this mortal coil. Who takes care of brother Alan and nephew Jake now? Why a trio of gorgeous women played by Jessica Alba, Summer Glau and Megan Fox. Are all those male viewers really going to miss Charlie after seeing that lineup?
Susan C. Young is a writer in Northern California. Want the latest reality TV and television news? Follow The Clicker @TODAY_Clicker.