News Nuggets: Why did Charlie Sheen skip out on the ‘Two and a Half Men’ series finale Thursday?

Why was Charlie Sheen absent from the “Two and a Half Men” series finale Thursday night? The actor was fired from the CBS comedy four years ago after a drug-fueled tirade. Creator Chuck Lorre says, “I know a lot of you might be disappointed that you didn’t get to see Charlie Sheen in tonight’s finale. For the record, he was offered a role. Our idea was to have him walk up to the front door in the last scene, turn, look directly into the camera and go off on a maniacal rant about the dangers of drug abuse. He would then explain that those dangers only applied to average people. That he was far from average. He was a ninja warrior from Mars. He was invincible. And then we would drop a piano on him. We thought it was funny. He didn’t.” USA Today

Who made a shocking return on “Scandal“‘s episode Thursday night? Coming “out of the woodwork” to save Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was a character not seen since the first season: Stephen Finch (played by Henry Ian Cusick). Working now in Russia, Olivia tried to return him to Washington, but he wanted to stay there. Both thanked each other for saving their lives past and present. E! Online

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A full list of presenters for Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards is unveiled. Scheduled to appear on the ceremony are Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain, Ellar Coltrane, Zach Galifianakis, Ethan Hawke, Scarlett Johansson, Jared Leto, Ewan McGregor, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, David Oyelowo, Emmy Rossum, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Emma Stone, Miles Teller, Kerry Washington, Kristen Wiig, and Oprah Winfrey. Spirit Awards

New Fox drama “Empire” continues to defy ratings experts. Its total viewers have gone up every single time during its first six weeks. That includes this Wednesday’s episode, which hit 12.9 million viewers. The only show defeating this program starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in the coveted demo of adults 18-49 is “The Walking Dead.” Entertainment Weekly

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For the 50th anniversary of “The Sound of Music,” stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer discuss the film musical about the von Trapp family singers. When asked what he would have changed, Plummer says, “I would have changed me altogether and gotten somebody else.” Andrews says she would “probably change a couple of renditions of how I sang something, because it always feels wildly high to me when the movie begins.” Yahoo Movies

The third season premiere of “Orphan Black” will not only air on BBC America. Now that that network is part of AMC Networks, the group will debut the first episode April 18 on AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance, and WE tv. The new season storyline starring Tatiana Maslany will “plunge the close sisterhood into a new territory with the realization they’re not alone.” Deadline

Tom Hanks will be the first guest on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” The British comedian and actor will debut his new variety show March 23 on CBS as a replacement for Craig Ferguson. Others during the premiere week include Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, and Kevin Hart. The Wrap

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