Producer Chuck Lorre paid tribute to former Warner Bros. TV Group chief Peter Roth as “our happy hugging hero” in a message featured on his custom vanity card that aired tonight at the end of the four Lorre-produced comedies on CBS’ Thursday lineup.
For vanity card No. 669, the prolific producer penned a cheeky poem that he dubbed “Peter at the Hug (With apologies to ‘Casey at the Bat’).”
Roth led Warner Bros.’ mighty TV group for 21 years before leaving early this year amid the massive shakeups on the Burbank lot that have followed AT&T’s 2018 acquisition of Time Warner. Channing Dungey, an alumnus of Disney/ABC and Netflix, was named Roth’s successor as WBTV leader in October.
Lorre’s salute to the ex-chief makes mention of Roth’s penchant for hugging (“So many years he cheered us on/our happy hugging hero”) and pulls no punches against “the gentiles” at AT&T.”
“Retirement’s not an option for men such as he/Peter’s thinking show biz/while he’s sitting down to pee,” Lorre wrote.
Lorre’s saucy tale recounts how Roth recruited him to Warner Bros. with an overall deal, and just when it looked like a rich contract was going to yield nothing, Lorre and comedy writer Lee Aronsohn delivered “Two and a Half Men” — and eventually more than a $1 billion in gross syndication revenue. Lorre’s note references Leslie Moonves, the longtime CBS kingpin who was fired from his longtime perch in 2018 because of sexual misconduct allegations.
“But long before the virus raged/before the age of SVOD/a deal was struck to reel in Chuck/and pray he please the Les god,” Lorre wrote.
Lorre has penned custom messages for his vanity cards since the days of his ABC sitcom “Dharma and Greg,” which ran from 1997 to 2002. The Roth card aired four times last night as CBS’ Thursday lineup has become Chuck Lorre Theater with a four-stack of Warner Bros. TV comedies from 8-10 p.m.: “Young Sheldon,” “United States of Al,” “Mom” and “B Positive.”
One of the most successful TV producers of all time, Lorre has a fifth comedy on the Eye’s lineup, “Bob Hearts Abishola,” as well as Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” starring Michael Douglas.