LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A report that Charlie Sheen wants to leave CBS' "Two and a Half Men" has raised uncertainty about the future of one of TV's top-rated comedies.
People magazine reported Thursday that Sheen is leaving "Men" after the current seventh season, saying the actor has rejected a contract-renewal offer and wants to exit the show.
The report came as news to CBS and the show's producing studio, Warner Bros., with some insiders thinking the news might simply be a negotiation tactic.
Yet sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the People report is no April Fools joke and that Sheen is indeed serious about wanting to leave.
Last year, CBS picked up "Men" through its ninth season, which keeps the show on the air through 2011-12. With Sheen's contract up and CBS having committed to additional seasons, the actor is in prime position to call the shots during his negotiations.
If Sheen does exit, it will create a difficult-to-fill vacancy in the delicate balance of a popular broadcast sitcom. Rarely have networks successfully replaced a departing star.
Though companion "Big Bang Theory" has stepped up at 9:30 p.m. and edged out "Men" as the top Monday comedy, "Men" is still a ratings powerhouse in that evening's block.