After unleashing a media tsunami, trashing “Two and a Half Men” producers and threatening legal action against his employers, could Charlie Sheen, in his own inimitable way, be trying to kiss and make up?
Not content with having saturated mainstream TV news for the past seven days, Sheen took to the Internet on Saturday night for what was billed as the first seg of a recurring chatfest dubbed “Sheen’s Korner.”
The 50-minute program, streamed via Ustream, was a remarkable display of meta-media culture, as Sheen commented on his slew of TV interviews and showed off the latest edition of People with him on the cover. But in sum, the webcast originating from Sheen’s home in Sherman Oaks seemed calculated to portray him as the charming rogue, possibly in an effort to convince the honchos at Warner Bros. and CBS that he’s not too nutso to be employed on “Two and a Half Men” for a ninth season.
It was also likely no accident of timing that Sean Penn mentioned Friday that Sheen plans to join him in Haiti for humanitarian work in the near future.
The “Sheen’s Korner” webcast amounted to a window on Sheen’s frenetic thought process, as egged on by his entourage (which was down by one “goddess” for reasons that were not entirely clear). In those unfiltered 50 minutes, there was a discernible shift in Sheen’s rhetoric and attitude. There was no talk of wanting to do violence with his “fire-breathing fists,” there was no bragging about prodigious drug use, no talk of “the Octagon,” only minimal mentions of Warner Bros. and CBS and no bashing of “Men” creator Chuck Lorre at all (though there were several references to PR maven Stan Rosenfield’s resignation). Sheen proudly showed off a new tattoo on the underside of his left wrist — “Winning” — and even pulled out the volume of poetry he self-published 20 years ago to read a selection.
At times the webcast had the feel of an episode of “Two and a Half Men” — the one where Charlie Harper decides to host his own Internet show. Webcast drew a little more than 100,000 viewers for its 7 p.m. PT live airing and had topped 680,000 views by midday Sunday.
The shift in Sheen’s tone came on the heels of the actor’s outreach late last week to a key decision maker involved with “Two and a Half Men.” A source said there was a brief conversation in which Sheen was characterized as somewhat contrite.
However, Sheen’s threat of unleashing a mega-lawsuit remains a big impediment to any discussions with Warner Bros. and CBS on the possibility of getting “Men” back on track for the 2011-12 season. Some in the biz have interpreted the lack of a formal filing as an indication of hope that things may yet be patched up for next season.
The ongoing drama of allegations that Sheen continues to make violent threats against his ex-wives, along with his child custody issues, are also not helping his cause with the studio and net.
Meanwhile, Sheen and the news nets aren’t the only ones capitalizing on the public fascination with his antics.
Spike TV announced it will carry a half-hour animated special, “Charlie Sheen’s Winningest Moments,” on Wednesday from Taiwanese toon firm Next Media Animation. The spesh will feature a “countdown” of recent Sheen events, including his trashing a hotel room and his fantasy of assembling a big “porn family” in his mansion.
There was also chatter over the weekend, fueled by comments billionaire Mark Cuban made to Radaronline, of Sheen teaming with him to do a program on Cuban’s HDNet.
However, the vibe from “Sheen’s Korner” indicates that the show Charlie really has his eye on is the one that airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBS.