At the beginning of today’s CBS day for the Television Critics Association press tour, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler answered questions about Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher and, sort of, Charlie Sheen.
“Who could have predicted that we would have been here six months ago?” Tassler said. “The great news is that the show will be as irreverent as it has always been. Our program practices people are already on high alert. That’s some of the good news coming out of it.”
By irreverent, read more sexual innuendos. She would not confirm the season premiere would be Charlie’s funeral, but introduced Kutcher’s character. “His name is Walden Schmidt and he is an Internet billionaire with a broken heart and it will be a two-parter over two weeks. A little bit of the mystery is part of the marketing, but he is a unique character. As we said in the marketing plan, all will be revealed on X date. The mystery is a part of the marketing. It’s going to be a big event. The chatter and the conversation and the discussion about it is part of what the fun of it can be.”
When asked what she learned from the Charlie Sheen situation, and the suggestion that many people would have predicted his meltdown six months ago, Tassler spun it into a positive future.
“We look at where we are today. I look at where we were six months ago. Our whole focus right now is moving forward. We have an extraordinary actor in Ashton Kutcher. We have someone who is committed to doing their job, to being there, an incredible professional. So as I said, six months ago today, we’re worlds apart. We made the decision, everyone made the decisions relative to the situation at hand.”
Asked if the Sheen situation would change CBS’s casting practices when considering actors with potential issues, Tassler responded, “That would probably be every actor in the business so it would be kind of hard. I don’t think we would change the practice with which we hire actors now. It’s an artistic creative process. You have actors audition. It’s professional, so I don’t think it would change the way we employ actors.”