TV Writer's Real Genius May Lie in the Fine Print

In brief post-sitcom flash, CBS shows Lorre's public journal
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2008 4:03 PM CDT
Chuck Lorre, right, with Charlie Sheen, the star of Two and a Half Men.   (Courtesy Variety)
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(Newser) – Television viewers are familiar with "vanity cards," the industry term for images crediting a production company at a show's end. But the cards at two CBS sitcoms are different: Producer Chuck Lorre uses the instant of screen time for a changing public diary, the Wall Street Journal reports. Impossible to read at first, they become legible when paused on a digital recorder.

The installments—following Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory—have become some of the most talked-about writing in Hollywood. Over 200 cards have ranged from a letter to his late father to gossip about network execs. CBS, while indulgent, has had to censor a couple of questionable entries. "I've always had the character flaw of wanting to bite the hand that feeds," Lorre said.