Looking to land his next sitcom, Chuck Lorre has apparently looked back at a major controversy involving one of his previous shows for some inspiration. THR reports that Lorre crafted a script for a half-hour sitcom dubbed Sex, Drugs, and a Sitcom, and it’s directly based on his experiences working with Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men. Sheen had starred in the sitcom alongside Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones before having a very public meltdown in 2011, part of which included heavy criticism leveled against Lorre and the network. Sheen was fired from the series and later replaced with Ashton Kutcher.
Lorre’s new script has a June 2022 date, and according to the new report, it has been shopped around without any success thus far in landing a home on a network or streaming service. The scripted pilot begins with a note how everything that happens in the story is true, except for “cutting the boring sh*t and making up a bunch of stuff,” suggesting some creative liberties will also be taken. The pilot then begins with Sheen’s famous interview with Matt Lauer before going back “nine years before it all turned into a septic clusterf*ck,” detailing how the series came to be in the first place. It’s also said that the pilot ends with text joking about Lorre portraying himself in a positive light.
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The text reads, “In this telling of the story, Chuck Lorre is portrayed as witty and sympathetic. There is another version where he’s arrogant and insecure. Somebody else can write that one.”
Per the report, the pilot also features notable names involved with other sitcoms Lorre has helped create, such as Roseanne, Cybill, and Dharma & Greg. Warner Bros. TV’s chairman Peter Roth and former CBS boss Les Moonves were also written in as characters.
Two and a Half Men Featured Charlie Sheen as Bachelor Charlie Harper
Two and a Half Men was co-created by Lorre and Lee Aronsohn. Charlie Sheen played Charlie Harper, a wealthy jingle writer whose bachelor lifestyle completely changes when his down-on-his-luck brother Alan (Jon Cryer) moves in along with his mischievous son, Jake (Angus T. Jones). Meanwhile, Charlie must balance his love life with the constant pursuit of a local stalker named Rose (Melanie Lynskey) while keeping things cool with his temperamental and sarcastic housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrell).
When Sheen was fired from the series in 2011, Ashton Kutcher was cast as Walden Schmidt, a billionaire who buys Charlie Harper’s mansion and allows Alan to stay. It was suggested in the series that Rose had murdered Charlie after he’d been unfaithful to her, but he reappeared in the series finale, albeit with the use of a stand-in as Sheen did not return. It was revealed that the character had survived after all, but he’s then killed by a falling piano in the closing moments of the show. Perhaps Lorre still felt like he had some unfinished business with Sheen, killing off his character a second time as one final shot before the end of the show.
You can stream Two and a Half Men on Peacock.