LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “Two and A Half Men” actor Charlie Sheen checked into rehab again on Friday, causing production on his top-rated TV comedy to shut down for the second time in a year.
A day after being hospitalized following reports of a 36-hour drug and drink-fueled party at his home, Sheen, 45, “voluntarily entered an undisclosed rehabilitation center”, his spokesman Stan Rosenfield said.
“He is most grateful to all who have expressed their concern,” Rosenfield said, adding that Sheen had asked for privacy and that no additional information will be provided.
It is the actor’s third stint in rehab in 12 months.
Broadcaster CBS, and Warner Bros. Television, which makes the show, said production on “Two and A Half Men” — the No. 1-rated TV comedy in the United States — was temporarily suspended as a result.
“We are profoundly concerned for his health and well-being, and support his decision,” they said in a statement.
Sheen, the highest paid actor on U.S. television, was rushed to a hospital with severe abdominal pains on Thursday. He left that night and was earlier said to be planning a return to the set of his TV show next Tuesday. But those plans changed.
It was not clear on Friday how long Sheen would remain in rehab but a typical stay is 28 days. A Warner Bros. spokesman said 16 of the 24 scheduled episodes for the TV season ending in May 2011 had been taped, with 8 remaining to be filmed.
Sheen reportedly earns about $27.5 million a year for his role as a womanizing bachelor on “Two and A Half Men,” which is seen by some 15 million viewers weekly.
The show is a huge source of revenue for Warner Bros. and CBS, the most-watched U.S. network, and it has remained popular despite the well-publicized incidents of increasingly bad behavior by Sheen.
Production on “Two and A Half Men” was suspended in February 2010 when Sheen checked into rehab in what was described as a “preventative measure”.
The actor was again ordered to rehab last August after pleading guilty to attacking his wife in an alcohol-fueled argument the previous December. He also spent time in rehab in 1998 after being hospitalized for a drug overdose.
In October 2010, New York police found Sheen drunk in a trashed hotel room with a naked porn star. His spokesman said at the time he had an allergic reaction to medication.
In early January, media reports said he was partying hard in Las Vegas and came close to missing his show’s set call.
CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler told journalists earlier this month that the network had a “high level of concern” about Sheen’s personal life, but that he had always behaved professionally at work.
Sheen was taken by stretcher to a Los Angeles hospital on Thursday with what were described as severe abdominal pains.
Friends said the pains were the result of a previous hernia injury, but that explanation was met with skepticism after celebrity website TMZ.com claimed that Sheen had held a wild 36-hour party at his house and had been seen smoking cocaine.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte