LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Reports of heavy drinking, drug use, porn stars. None of that should be good for a Hollywood celebrity — unless that star is Charlie Sheen.
Sheen’s drinking and drug problems may have caused a temporary shutdown on his “Two and A Half Men” TV comedy, but some of his fans think even more highly of him now than before, according to a survey released on Wednesday by show business newspaper, The Hollywood Reporter.
The actor’s rabble-rousing has done nothing to harm “Two and A Half Men’s standing as the most-watched comedy on U.S. television with some 15 million regular viewers.
In fact, 26 percent of those questioned for the Hollywood Reporter survey done by polling firm Penn Schoen Berland view Sheen “much more” or “somewhat more” favorably after his recent antics.
According to the poll of 700 Americans ages 13 to 59-years-old, 90 percent of those describing themselves as “avid fans” don’t think Sheen’s drug and alcohol problems matter as long as he does a good job on the show.
Sheen, 45, went into rehab — at his home — in January after being hospitalized following a wild, 36-hour party at his home. It is the actor’s third stint in rehab in 12 months and caused production on the show to be suspended.
The three times divorced actor, who plays a womanizing bachelor on the show and in real life has a penchant for porn stars, is expected to return to the set by the end of February, according to his spokesman.
Among all viewers, only 28 percent of men and 42 percent of women said broadcaster CBS and Warner Bros Television, which makes “Two and A Half Men”, should remove Sheen.
Following are some of the other findings in the poll:
— 56 percent think that a future episode of “Two and a Half Men” should address Sheen’s personal issues.
— 96 percent of “Two and a Half Men” viewers want Sheen to return to the show, with just 4 percent wanting him to quit permanently.
— 50 percent say he should take time off to get better and return to the show; 34 percent say Sheen should work through his personal issues and stay on the show.
— 82 percent of women say they will still watch “Two and a Half Men” despite Sheen’s personal problems compared to 76 percent of men.
— 59 percent of all viewers believe that Sheen isn’t acting on the show but actually just playing himself.
— 62 percent say the media should leave him alone.
The survey was conducted on Feb 6 and can be seen in detail in The Hollywood Reporter magazine in its Thursday issue.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte