Even before Charlie Sheen's Thursday hospitalization, execs working with "Two and a Half Men" had been waiting for a trigger to get the actor to seek professional help, sources told The Hollywood Reporter this week.
The situation has reached the point that WBTV brass would be happy to shut down the show to give Sheen a chance to enter rehab. They were hoping for some pivotal incident that would give the studio an opportunity to force the rehab issue, something to which Sheen has been resistant.
"They are all afraid Charlie will end up dead," one talent rep close to the show told THR. "It is literally day by day."
"If he did anything to delay production or put it in jeopardy, they'd shut it down and try to force him to go to rehab," another talent rep close to the show said.
Sheen's recent trip to the hospital will not delay the show immediately since "Men" is on hiatus this week. Sheen was taken to the hospital due to "severe abdominal pains" Thursday morning. The website TMZ reported that the actor had a "briefcase full of cocaine" delivered to his home -- and was allegedly using the drug during a 36-hour bender prior to the hospitalization.
Apparently, Sheen spent a large portion of the party in his theatre room, along with one of the porn stars attending his wild binge. Sources at the party say Sheen and his companion watched adult movies for three hours, during which the ‘Platoon’ star critiqued the action on screen. Sheen, who is rumoured to fancy himself as a bit of a porno connoisseur, is alleged to have surprised his porn star friend with the depth of his blue movie knowledge while picking her brain about concepts of body shots and camera angles.
"All I know is, he was having severe abdominal pains and went to the hospital," Sheen's spokesman Stan Rosenfield said in a statement. Rosenfield told Reuters that he had gone to the hospital to see the star of "Two and a Half Men" but was told the actor was sleeping.
It has since been reported that Sheen is suffering from a hiatal hernia, not from a drugs overdose.
TMZ.com said the actor's second wife Denise Richards was also at the hospital, where unspecified tests were being carried out on the actor.
Sheen's partying incidents have been well-chronicled on the gossip websites and was even the subject of Ricky Gervais jokes at the Golden Globes. CBS president Nina Tassler said earlier this month that she had a "high level of concern" for the actor.
But holding the studio back from truly forcing help has been Sheen's ability to do his job.
"Charlie has been partying pretty hard but he's showed up and done his job," said one source. "Everyone likes him. he's professional."
Another added: "He knows his character so well. it's a sitcom…It's really a smooth oiled machine."
Sheen, 45, is the highest paid TV actor in Hollywood, and "Two and a Half Men" is No. 1 comedy on U.S. TV, raking in revenue for CBS and the show's makers at the Warner Bros. film and TV studio, a unit of Time Warner Inc.
TMZ.com said Sheen was taken from his Los Angeles area home on a stretcher and rushed by ambulance to the hospital after a 911 emergency call was placed.
The website said the call followed a noisy party at Sheen's house on Wednesday night. Two women left the house as Sheen was taken out at 7 am on Thursday morning, TMZ said.
Sheen was convicted last year for a December 2009 attack on his, then third wife in Aspen, Colorado, and he was ordered to drug and alcohol rehab.
In October, he was briefly hospitalized in New York when police found him acting drunk and incoherent in his room in the company of a porn star. His spokesman said at the time he had a bad allergic reaction to medication. Media reports said he had trashed his hotel room.
Two week ago, TMZ.com and other celebrity media outlets reported Sheen was at it again, partying hard in Las Vegas with porn stars and coming close to being late for rehearsals in Los Angeles for his TV show.
Sheen has five children from three marriages and he signed up in May 2010 for two more seasons of "Two and Half Men." No filming is scheduled this week for the show.