[UPDATED 3-2-11 at 6:30 a.m with Moonves comment about wanting show to return]
CBS Chief Exec Leslie Moonves broke his silence today on the ongoing drama surrounding Charlie Sheen and “Two and a Half Men,” the L.A. Times reported in its Company Town blog.
Among the highlights, Moonves, speaking during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications conference in San Francisco, said the sudden shutdown of the show in the midst of its eighth season could actually benefit CBS financially, at least temporarily.
Moreover, and most importantly, Moonves added about "Two and a Half Men," "I hope it’s back. We’ll see," according to the Associated Press account of Moonves’ remarks.
"Short-term, financially, it is actually a gainer for us," Moonves said, "Doing eight less original episodes saves us a lot of money."
Moonves refused to predict whether the hit CBS show would come back for a ninth season. But he took a mild jab at Sheen’s recent self-declared war with the network and the show’s producers, and the star’s whirlwind media appearances this week. "He’s been on the air a lot," Moonves said. "I just wished he would have worked this hard to promote himself for an Emmy."
Sheen’s spotlight continues tonight with a special “20/20” episode on ABC.
The star’s appearance Monday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” doubled the show’s usual audience, Entertainment Weekly reported, earning Morgan his best numbers yet in the adults 25-54 demo.
The latest Sheen appearances have also pumped up ratings for NBC’s “Today” (6 million viewers) and ABC’s “Good Morning America” (5.9 million), EW reported.