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Ratings hold for post-arrest Sheen sitcom episode

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[December 31, 2009]  LOS ANGELES (AP) -- CBS' "Two and a Half Men" held steady in the ratings this week as star Charlie Sheen faced charges stemming from his wife's Christmas Day allegations that he threatened her with violence.

HardwareThe sitcom's full cast is expected to resume production Monday after the holiday break, a person close to the show said Wednesday. The person, who was not authorized to comment publicly on the status of production, spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Two and a Half Men," TV's top-rated comedy, drew an estimated 11.1 million viewers Monday for a repeat, according to preliminary Nielsen Co. ratings. That's similar to last season's audience of 11.9 million for the post-Christmas episode.

Network viewership typically dips during the holidays when series reruns predominate. For the season so far, "Two and a Half Men" has drawn an average of 14.7 million weekly viewers.

The show, about the romances and family life of two brothers (Sheen and Jon Cryer), is the anchor of CBS' Monday comedy lineup that includes "The Big Bang Theory" and "How I Met Your Mother."

On Wednesday, lawyers for Charlie and Brooke Sheen, 32, said the couple wants to reconcile despite her allegation to police that he held a knife to her after she said she wanted a divorce and they began arguing. Her lawyer, Yale Galanter, said they are in love and want to "work it out."

Charlie Sheen, 44, was arrested Dec. 25 in Aspen, where the couple was on vacation.

He told police the couple slapped each other and that he snapped two pairs of her eyeglasses in front of her, but he denied the knife allegation.

He faces charges of felony menacing, domestic violence, second-degree assault and criminal mischief and is free on $8,500 bond. A hearing was scheduled for Feb. 8 in Aspen.

Sheen's TV and film career, which includes "Major League" and "Wall Street" and its upcoming sequel, has weathered a series of personal crises dating back to 1990, when he checked himself into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.

In 1998, he was hospitalized for a drug overdose.

In 1995, a woman sued him alleging that he struck her in the head several times when she refused to have sex with him.

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He admitted in videotaped testimony at the 1995 federal trial of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss that he ordered her call girls at least 27 times, running up a tab of more than $50,000.

In early 1996, Sheen said he planned to divorce model Donna Peele after less than six months of marriage.

Later that year, Sheen announced he was a born-again Christian and that fast-living "was a lot of fun, but there is such a thing as too much fun. ... It gets redundant. How many times can you wake up and struggle to remember your name, her name and where you are?"

Sheen's 2002 marriage to actress Denise Richards, with whom he has two children, ended in a bitter divorce in 2006.


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[Associated Press; By LYNN ELBER]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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