Pop Culture

Experts disagree about Sheen's 'freak show' appeal

The buzz about Charlie Sheen’s possible return to “Two and a Half Men” continues to grow, but experts are sharply divided on whether or not such an unexpected about-face is in anyone’s best interest.

During a Tuesday morning appearance on TODAY, media analyst Steve Adubato insisted that, despite high rerun ratings, CBS and Warner Bros. wouldn’t be wise to bring Sheen and his “freak show” appeal back on board.

“The numbers have gone up because he’s a nut job. What I mean by that is it’s a freak show,” Adubato explained. “They’re looking at Charlie Sheen in the past. They’re looking at reruns of the show. I don’t believe Charlie Sheen, as he is today, as he presents himself today, as he looks today, is the same character, and I don’t believe it sells the way that it did before. … He’s a freak show now. That’s not what I believe they’re looking for on a weekly sitcom on a network.”

But trial attorney Linda Kenney Baden disagrees with Adubato’s take. According to Baden, Sheen still has plenty of appeal, and his reemployment would be a boon to everyone involved. Besides, in addition to being a ratings win, Baden believes CBS has legal and financial incentives to bring the actor back.

“In my opinion, they’re going to owe him a lot of money, either on the breach of contract or the discrimination issues, so it’s much cheaper to settle this,” the lawyer said. “You can settle it, and they can both be winners. CBS can be the winner. Les Moonves can look like a hero. Charlie Sheen can be a winner. The cast can be a winner. And more important — the public, who wants him back on this show, can be a winner.”

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