Profit participation stake substantially ups salary

Details emerged Tuesday on the blockbuster two-season deal that Warner Bros. TV inked late Monday with “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen.

Sheen’s upfront salary is pegged at right around $1.25 million per seg, not the $1.8 million-$1.9 million previously reported ( Daily Variety , May 18). But Sheen’s sizable profit participation stake in “Men” has sources close to the deal pegging the value of the additional 48 episodes at as much as $100 million to the thesp. Sources on the studio side, however, disputed that figure as ambitious. Reps for Warner Bros. TV and Sheen’s camp declined to comment.

A good portion of Sheen’s take will ultimately depend on the value of the barter advertising time in “Men’s” syndie runs.

Based on “Men’s” performance as the top-rated off-network sitcom for the past three years and the recovery in the ad market, it’s a safe bet the barter revenue from “Men” will remain strong through the duration of Sheen’s two-year pact. “Men’s” syndie ratings will also get a boost this fall when reruns bow on the FX cabler in addition to running on local broadcast stations.

Deal keeps Sheen on “Men” for the show’s eighth and ninth seasons, which had already been secured by CBS. There’s speculation that CBS might move the show in the fall from its Monday perch to anchor the net’s Wednesday comedy block.

The “Men” star safely remains the highest-paid thesp on a contempo primetime series, just as he was under his previous deal that paid him about $850,000 an episode, not including backend.

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