"I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen. It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."I've been talking to some friends in Hollywood, and here's the secret plan being developed to replace Charlie Sheen in the role of Charlie Harper on the CBS show Two and a Half Men:
"I'm tired of pretending I'm not special. I'm tired of pretending I'm not a total bitchin' rock star from Mars."
"I'm supposed to be out there all humble and asking for my job. No, I don't do that. I don't understand what I did wrong except live a life that everyone is jealous of."
"Come Wednesday morning, they're going to rename it Charlie Bros., not Warner Bros."
Rose, the crazy stalker neighbor, kidnaps Charlie Harper and holds him captive in her basement with a bag over his head. You never see Charlie, and his voice is muffled, so he can be played by anyone.
An extra working for scale would cost almost nothing. Charlie Sheen was getting $2 million per episode and wants $3 million now that he's suffered the indignity of pretending to go to rehab for the show. That's a savings of $50 million to $70 million over a 24 episode season.
Rose makes it look like Charlie disappeared in the surf outside his beach house and may be dead. Other characters speculate Charlie ran off with another woman or to avoid one of his ex-girlfriends.
Rose spends several episodes torturing Charlie. The extra playing Charlie would make wimpering sounds. The extra roll playing Charlie could be farmed out to various network executives, producers, and maybe even fellow actors willing to pay for the privilege of whimpering, crying, and begging for mercy.
Eventually, Charlie's brother Alan finds out. But Charlie mistakenly thinks Alan was in on it from the beginning and threatens to kick Alan out of his house when he is freed. So Alan joins Rose in the conspiracy.
To cover her crime, Rose hires a plastic surgeon to change Charlie's appearance. The bag over his head is replaced with bandages. When the bandages finally come off, a new actor is playing Charlie Harper.
To keep up the charade, Rose and Alan start calling him Manny Quinn, the name of her pretend husband. They tell people Manny has gone crazy and thinks he is the long-missing Charlie.
Charlie and Alan's mother Evelyn eventually figures out what is going on. But she also discovers she would inherit Charlie's money as Charlie's next of kin. So she plays along, and tries to have Charlie legally declared dead.
In one series finale being considered, Manny is suspected of killing Charlie out of jealousy over Rose. Manny gets indicted, tried, convicted, and executed by lethal injection. In an art-imitates-life twist, his face melts and his body explodes.
I'll bet CBS can keep the series going on that track for several seasons. They could get one or two seasons out of the trial alone. I'd even start watching again.