On Mark Cuban’s lengthy list of bad ideas — short-term deal for Dennis Rodman, long-term deals for Raef LaFrentz and Brendan Haywood — the notion of making Charlie Sheen his partner in a TV deal sits at the top. Untouched. All alone.
Cuban drew laughs during the weekend when he described his desire to create some sort of show with Sheen for his programming-challenged HDNet. I don’t know how to begin to describe Sheen’s tirades and interviews of the past week in which he said he’s not bi-polar, he’s “bi-winning.”
Sheen’s pretty clearly a man on the brink of something bad — we just don’t know yet what it is. But then that’s Hollywood, and we understand that’s a place that comes with its own morality (or lack thereof).
Cuban, however, is above all else, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and when he talks about creating a show with Sheen, saying, “Actually, I like Charlie; he’s pretty cool,” people have the right to at least ask about one’s definition of cool.
This particular “pretty cool” guy began last week’s meltdown, which led to a temporary cancellation of his show “Two and a Half Men” before Sheen was fired by Warner Bros. on Monday, by making blatantly anti-Semitic remarks about the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre.
Basically, this is the man who has provided Sheen his platform and his pot of gold (check Sheen’s filmography since Major League 20 years ago), and Sheen lit into him after saying “Chaim Levine, yeah, that’s his real name.”
Actually, his given name is Charles Levine, but never mind that. Sheen and his representatives have denied there was any anti-Semitism involved. But in the course of a rant about how Lorre has made so many millions off of him and not the other way around, why would Sheen raise the subject of Lorre’s more Hebrew-sounding roots other than to further a stereotype about Jews and money?
If you’re untroubled by that, maybe Sheen’s history of abuse toward women including charges filed by two ex-wives and others is something that Cuban might want to examine. Sheen has mostly managed to settle these things without doing jail time, and if you choose to equate that with innocence, be my guest.
Look, I realize it’s tough with hundreds of channels out there. If Cuban could find a stronger lead-in for the evening’s programming, who knows how many viewers might make their first visits to Bikini Destinations and Drinking Made Easy?
But that leads to the next problem with Cuban in that his propensity for thinking outside the box has long been overrated. When it comes to the Mavericks, he has made two coaching changes, and neither was remotely outside the box.
Avery Johnson was basically groomed for the position, and when his time to go was at hand, Rick Carlisle was the obvious choice to replace him.
I’m not criticizing either hire, certainly not the second one. But a man who prides himself on being so far removed from his fellow NBA owners actually makes his major moves much like all the rest.
As for this one, Sheen picked up about one million twitter followers in one day last week. There’s no question he was the story of the day, the week, whatever.
Cuban envisions instant attention for HDNet. But is Sheen’s staying power as one of Hollywood’s crazies going to outlast Lindsay Lohan’s?
Are you not already tired of people talking about “tiger blood?”
Personally, I think Cuban should focus his attention on buying the Stars and taking full control of American Airlines Center (to further benefit the Mavericks if he so chooses). However, he may continue to see the NHL as a losing proposition, and he may not be wrong about that.
But whether or not a show involving Sheen would temporarily boost HDNet’s ratings, there is plenty of real evidence that this actor is about many things that cannot in any way be portrayed as “winning.”