Two And A Half Men series chop leaves Nine with scheduling headache

Nine’s slow start to the 2011 ratings got tougher today, with CBS and Warner Bros ending production on the current season of Two And A Half Men, blaming star Charlie Sheen’s conduct.

In a statement today, the studio is reported as saying the decision was based on the “totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition.” Production had already been on a break.

Nine relies heavily on Two And A Half Men for its weekday programming in the 7pm to 8pm slot with a mixture of new and repeated episodes. This week it will have aired seven episodes.

As the experience with Friends has previously demonstrated, when viewers realise there are no new episodes available, ratings for repeats drop off dramatically too.

Nine has had a tough start to the ratings year and its new positioning as “the home of comedy”.

This week it took Ben Elton’s Live from Planet Earth off air after three poorly rating episodes.

And its extension to the Underbelly franchise, The Underbelly Files failed to deliver the kind of audiences the three Underbelly series have.

The network has already made a string of scheduling changes around its three CSI franchises and also The Mentalist.

So far this week, viewing of Seven’s primary channel is at 25.2% while Nine’s share is 20%.

The announcement made no mention of when production might start on another series of Two And A Half Men.


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