Today I want to talk about why sometimes ‘calling it a day’ and stopping work on a project could be the worst thing you could do. Obviously you should never ‘flog a dead horse’ as they say but sometimes you will hit a period where you think ‘it is time to stop what you are doing’ or ‘that you cannot go any further with a project’ and I want to tell you that those kinds of thoughts could be harmful to your business and that it might be too soon to stop.
This article is based on the American comedy Two and a Half Men, I am not a big lover of American comedy shows to be absolutely honest with you, unless it is in animation form like The Simpsons or Family Guy, but recently after a hard day’s work on the computer I have started to wind down by watching Two and a Half Men in bed.
For those of you that don’t know what it is about the show is set around two brothers Alan and Charlie Harper and Alan’s son Jake. Alan was divorced by his wife and he had to find a place to live but unable to afford his own place he was forced to ‘temporary’ move in to his brother’s large beach front home.
Alan is a chiropractor paying out in child support to his ex wife and struggling financial where Charlie is a successful musician who wrote the theme tunes to TV shows and advert jingles and is doing a lot better financially than his brother. He is also a womaniser who loved to party and drink.
The show mainly revolved around the two brothers, their relationship with each other, their relationship with their mother and with Jake amongst other things such as relationships with women.
The part of Charlie was played by Charlie Sheen who, just liked the character he portrayed, loved to party. He had a (well documented by the media) drink and drugs problem and was admitted to rehab several times while filming the show.
The show first aired in the States in 2003 but during the 7th and 8th seasons things began to fall apart as relationships between Charlie Sheen and the producers became a little hostile.
Charlie Sheen began to rant and complain about the show’s creators and producers and quit at the end of the 7th season when he said that the $1 million per episode CBS offered him was too low to carry on. (I know the feeling?!?!?)
It was reported that he was offered $1.78 million per episode for two more series but the show was stopped during the 8th season when Charlie returned to rehab for a 12 month stint. During that time relationships became more strained with law suits and court cases being fought out over loss of earnings for Charlie Sheen and the production staff due to the 8th season being unfinished.
Eventually Charlie Sheen and the TV company parted ways. Now would be the right time to ‘call it a day’ after all, there cannot be ‘Two and a Half Men’ when the main character, the one with the main home is no longer in the story… can there? I mean, what is Two and a Half Men when there is one missing? It is One and a Half Men right?
Well it seems there can be, Charlie was written out of the show, and in the finale of the 8th season Charlie flies off to Paris where he gets killed when he falls under a subway train. And so ends an era… and starts another.
In the 9th season Charlie is replaced by Ashton Kutcher who plays an internet billionaire who buys the beach front house. Alan and Jake move in with Alan’s mother but soon return when Ashton’s character Walden Schmidt invites Alan and Jake back to live with him as he needs friends. Being an internet billionaire is a lonely business apparently.
Now I am going to be honest, I have not seen any of the Ashton Kutcher episodes yet and have only really seen a few of the Charlie Sheen ones but I do remember reading all about the fall out and because I like the ‘old’ format and think it is sad that it ended so badly I wanted to learn more. So out of interest I decided to read more which is where the information for this article comes from.
Charlie Sheen’s departure is not the only change the show had to make. It seems that the show continued to change when the son Jake eventually joined the army and is shipped to Japan making less appearances on the show to eventually being replaced by a girl who turns out to be ‘Charlie’s’ unknown daughter.
So that means that… ‘Two and a Half Men’ is now ‘One Man, his Landlord and his Dead Brothers Daughter’ really. That is a very different show altogether!
Now this is what I find really interesting, not only did the show become something very different to the original story line but the show actually became more popular. It ran for a further 4 seasons and the last four which featured Ashton Kutcher were seen by more people per show than any of the previous 8 seasons. The controversy and fallout during the final Sheen seasons gave the show a lot of publicity.
What was originally a nightmare period leaving many to think that the end of the road was close and that the show should probably be scrapped turned out to be a big turning point for the show.
‘The attention Two and a Half Men received due to the change in characters gave the series a boost. Average total viewers during the 2011–2012 season rose 13% to 15 million, and the 5.2 rating in the 18–49 demographic rose by 27%. Kutcher’s debut as the character Walden Schmidt, in the episode entitled “Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt”, was seen by 28.7 million people on September 19, 2011.
The Nielsen ratings company reported that figure was higher than for any episode in the show’s first eight seasons, when the series starred Sheen. At the 2012 Emmys, Two and a Half Men was nominated for four awards and won three of them, the most Emmys the show has won in a single year since it began. In 2012 Kutcher replaced Sheen as the highest-paid U.S. actor, receiving $700,000 per episode.’ – Wikipedia
So it is fair to say that losing Charlie Sheen and completely changing the format yet at the same time keeping much of the old has worked brilliantly for ‘Two and a Half Men’ or should I say ‘One Man, his Landlord and his Dead Brothers Daughter’
The show has now completely finished and is no longer made but not only did they managed to last a further four seasons they were the four best seasons for the shows creators in many ways even if many of the original die hard fans did not like the new episodes.
Which is another great point, it is ok to have loyal fans (customers) but allowing them to dictate what you or your business does can also be foolish. Imagine if they had stopped making the show at the end of the 8th season all because some people didn’t like the idea of the show carrying on.
Not every change in direction is successful but when things are not working out or things are going wrong it is not an automatic sign that you should stop and ‘call it a day’ It might be a blessing in disguise as they say. It could be nothing more than a turn in direction, one which could take you down a better road to more success.