Actor Charlie Sheen has officially pissed away his hit television show, “Two and a Half Men,” after being fired because of his recent out of control behavior. He did so despite the fact that he was ridiculously overpaid. But when it comes to pissing away a hit TV show, Sheen is in good company. Well, replace the word “good” with “stupid,” and you’ll be on the right track. At any rate, here are five other actors who pissed away their hit TV shows.
Charlie Sheen’s new arch nemesis, Chuck Lorre, should be used to his shows getting canceled because of a star’s drug use. Lorre also worked on “Grace Under Fire,” which despite its high ratings, was axed when ABC grew tired of delays caused by actress Brett Butler’s drug addiction. Sadly, Butler was unable to launch a deranged Internet PR campaign, as the Internet was still in its infancy. But I’m sure she would have if she could have.
What started as a long-shot mid-season replacement in 1990 soon turned into an award winning success for Rob Morrow and his fellow “Northern Exposure” cast members. But as the popular show grew, Morrow, who played the fish-out-of-water Dr. Joel Fleischman, felt his salary was not growing accordingly. After several threats to leave, he finally did so in 1995. The show didn’t last long after his departure, but Morrow himself found little success, although he did eventually end up on the CBS series, “Numb3rs.” Granted, “Numb3rs” is much better than anything I’ll ever be apart of, but I’m still OK looking down on it.
Although the show started with low ratings, “Cheers” slowly grew to become the most popular sitcom on television. But that didn’t stop actress Shelley Long from walking away in 1987 after season five. The fact that she was often at odds with other cast members was no doubt part of her decision, but Long claimed she wanted to spend more time with her daughter. Maybe that’s true, but in Hollywood, it’s usually code for “TV sucks, I want to make movies.” The show continued on to become an American classic. Long eventually returned to TV as well, but never matched the success of “Cheers.”
NYPD Blue was one of the hottest new shows of 1993, mainly because of its gratuitous use of ass shots. But David Caruso felt the success had more to do with his acting than horny audiences waiting to see Dennis Franz’s butt. When he didn’t get an adequate raise, he left the show early on in the second season. Caruso then tried his hand at movies, which didn’t pan out so well. “NYPD Blue,” on the other hand, ran until 2005. Luckily, TV is sometimes forgiving, and Caruso later found success on another hit crime show,”CSI: Miami.” Although unlike “NYPD Blue,” “CSI: Miami” is incredibly stupid.
Unlike the other people on this list, Dave Chappelle didn’t leave the hit “Chappelle’s Show” because of money or drug problems. He left in 2005 because the show was becoming too popular, and the success was getting to him. No, seriously. Chappelle disappeared to South Africa while the third season was supposed to be filming, and production of the show was halted. Even after his return to the US, Chappelle decided not to return to the set, despite an open invitation from Comedy Central, and an offer of $50 million dollars for two more seasons. The comedian stated that he left when he felt he was losing creative control, and that he wanted to keep his ego in check. And while I admire that, part of me still believes that it was just a nice way of saying “I was hooked on meth.”