12 years ago, screenwriter and producer Chuck Lorre fired actor Charlie Sheen from the popular TV series Two and a Half Men in a highly publicized dispute. Now they’ve reconciled and Sheen has a minor role in Lorre’s new miniseries Bookie, which will air on HBO Max in late November. On Wednesday evening, the video library published the first trailer for it.
According to Deadline.com, Bookie is a dark comedy. It tells the story of Los Angeles bookie Danny, played by Sebastian Maniscalco, and his indebted, unreliable or otherwise problematic clients. One of them was portrayed by Charlie Sheen. “I’m going to give you some advice that I’ve never told any client. You really shouldn’t bet,” Maniscalco tells him in the trailer.
HBO will release the first two episodes on November 30, with more to follow every Thursday until Christmas.
Bookie is the latest project of 71-year-old Chuck Lorre, who, in addition to Two and a Half Men, also created the popular Big Bang Theory or, in recent years, the Kominsky Method. “I was nervous about meeting Charlie, but once we got talking, we remembered we used to be friends,” Lorre, who hasn’t spoken to Sheen in 12 years, told Variety.
The story of the miniseries revolves around the possible legalization of sports betting in California, which would threaten Danny’s livelihood. Sports betting has long been illegal in most US states with the exception of Nevada, home to the gambling hub of Las Vegas. In 2018, the decision of the Supreme Court opened the possibility for individual states to legalize sports betting, and thereby create a new source of tax revenue. Today, you can bet in more than thirty states, including New York or Massachusetts, but still not in California.
The miniseries Bookie is the first project in which 58-year-old Charlie Sheen acts in years. The American actor known from the films The Squad or Wall Street received the Golden Globe Award in 2002 for the comedy series All the Mayor’s Men from the environment of New York municipal politics.
Charlie Sheen (right) starred in Two and a Half Men alongside Jon Cryer. | Photo: Profimedia.cz
The sitcom Two and a Half Men subsequently helped him to the peak of popularity, which made him the highest-paid actor on American television with a salary of about 1.8 million dollars per episode. Sheen portrayed a rich old bachelor whose beach house his brother, played by Jon Cryer, moves into after a divorce with his eight-year-old son.
CBS fired Sheen after he publicly criticized her and the project’s creator, Chuck Lorre, with whom he later sued, following repeated drug and alcohol addiction treatment. In addition, Sheen was tried at the same time for, for example, assaulting his then-wife, whom she claimed he threatened to kill.
The company first stopped production of the series and did not finish the series. In the end, Two and a Half Men continued without Sheen, who was replaced by Ashton Kutcher in the last four series.
Since then, Charlie Sheen has only played the main role in the less successful Self-Control series between 2012 and 2014. He has not appeared in a single film or TV series for the past six years.
The thrice-divorced father of five children, Sheen, also drew attention to himself for a long time for excesses associated with alcohol, drugs, sexual excesses and domestic violence, the ČTK agency wrote. In 2015, the actor announced that he has been HIV positive for four years. One of the reasons for publishing the health status was said to be the decision to end long-term blackmail.
In the following months, there was a record interest on the American Internet for information on how to prevent contracting the virus, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors of the study saw about 2.75 million more inquiries about HIV, AIDS, prevention and protective equipment after Sheen’s announcement than they had expected based on previous developments.