In last week's Alex Jones radio interview, Charlie Sheen's career appeared to implode. But instead of slinking away from the spotlight, the Two and a Half Men star decided that his own version of damage control would be scheduling a series of bizarre television sit downs. In preparation for his offensive, Sheen gave hint (from the Bahamas) of this weeks fireworks to his friend Pat O'Brien where he vowed, "It's about to get really gnarly!"
The gnarliness is only just beginning. Naturally, eager networks are all too willing to oblige Sheen. ABC's Good Morning America was the first to grab a still babbling Sheen for an exclusive interview set to air in several parts this week ("I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen" is the first soundbite to arrive).
ABC--which also aired the Oscars last night--was chomping at the bit to do promotional spots for the Sheen interview during the awards, but the Academy decided that they would rather not be associated with a ranting TV star during Hollywood's biggest showcase. Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke, who first reported the story, quoted one insider saying "They have the 'get' of a lifetime but the Academy won't let them promo it on the Oscars."
NBC, however, may have just yanked the Sheen carpet right out from ABC. NBC's Today show also sent a correspondent to Sheen's Beverly Hills compound for an exclusive meltdown spectacular. The takeaway lines from NBC so far? "I'm tired of pretending I'm not special, a rock star from mars. People can't figure me out, process me. I don't expect them too, you can't process me with a normal brain," he said, noting that he should be getting $3 million dollars an episode instead of $2 million for his now-cancelled CBS sitcom. That couldn't have been fun for the Good Morning America folks to learn about, sitting on their big and--they thought--exclusive interview material.
What's Sheen's motivation to go on this ill-advised PR offensive? Well, he could be laying the foundation for a $320 million lawsuit against CBS--that's one guess. Another? We'll just have to see how his grand strategy evolves during his next five interviews.