CBS comedy halts production as star enters treatment center

The short-term future of CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” suddenly became cloudy after word emerged Tuesday that star Charlie Sheen is voluntarily entering rehab.

Production on the Warner Bros. TV series shut down abruptly after Sheen’s praiser, Stan Rosenfield, released a statement confirming that the thesp has entered rehab.

“Men,” TV’s most-watched comedy, was in production this week on the 19th episode of its 24-episode season. Sheen’s entry into rehab comes on the heels of his legal troubles stemming from his arrest for allegedly threatening his wife, Brooke Mueller, with a knife in Colorado on Christmas Day. Sheen is facing a domestic violence charge in the case. He’s awaiting a March 15 court date to formally enter a plea.

“As a preventative measure, Charlie Sheen has entered a rehabilitation facility,” read the statement. “He has asked that his privacy be honored. No further statements are planned.”

Sheen’s decision clearly caught the Eye and Warner Bros. by surprise. There was no word from the network or the studio on whether they’ll try to work around Sheen for some segs or if production will be tabled entirely until Sheen is back. CBS has three “Men” segs in the can that have yet to air. Rosenfield would not comment on whether there is a timetable for Sheen’s treatment.

In a joint statement, CBS Entertainment prez Nina Tassler, Warner Bros. TV prexy Peter Roth and “Men” exec producer Chuck Lorre expressed support for Sheen.

“We wish him nothing but the best as he deals with this personal matter. Production on ‘Two and a Half Men’ will be temporarily suspended,” the statement said.

Sheen is hardly the first primetime star to have personal issues potentially disrupt a production sked. In 2007, “24” star Kiefer Sutherland pleaded no contest to a drunken-driving charge. He intended to serve a staggered 48-day sentence around the show’s pre-planned production hiatuses. But as it turned out, production was halted by the 100-day WGA strike, which allowed Sutherland serve his sentence in one fell swoop.

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