Reporting in the internet age - particularly entertainment reporting - often turns into one elaborate, silly game of Telephone. The need for content now-now-now gives legs to stories that should have remained seated, lets rumors be treated as fact and makes even facts seem somewhat questionable. For a perfect case in point, go read Dan Shanoff's amusing/scary investigation into how the "news" of Brett Favre being considered for the latest "Dancing with the Stars" cast spread.
I don't know that the rumors of Rob Lowe being in contention to replace Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men" started the same way - Chris Connelly, for instance, first suggested it on Bill Simmons' podcast a week or so ago - but they've spread to the point where even Sheen himself is commenting on what his old pal Lowe might want to do with the gig.
There's only one problem: Lowe already has a gig - and is giving one of the funniest performances of his career (see the clip I've embedded below) - as unflinchingly exuberant Chris Traeger on "Parks and Recreation," and he's under contract as a series regular. Lowe started out as a guest star for his first 8 episodes on the show, but then agreed to join the cast after that. So if "Parks and Rec" is back next season, then so is Lowe.
At last night's Paley Festival event for the series, co-creator Mike Schur said he was "extremely optimistic" about renewal. After the Paley session, I e-mailed him to ask for a clarification on Lowe's status, and he wrote back:
"It's complete gibberish. Maybe it was just a case of people tossing around names and then the internet spun it way out of control, but whatever the case: Rob is a full-time cast member, he has a multi-year contract, we love him, end of (non)story."
So there you go. Resume partying.