After the Two And A Half Men renewal went down to the wire the last two years as the show raced against the clock to lock in its leading man, first Charlie Sheen, then his replacement Ashton Kutcher, things may get done ahead of time for a change this year. Sources close to the situation say that noone at CBS, which is leading the negotiations with the actor, “is concerned that the deal would be derailed.” “It is moving in the right direction and will get done,” one source said, adding that a new pact with Kutcher and a renewal for Men will probably be announced in a few weeks. Securing Men is key to CBS’ plan to possibly expand its comedy presence on Thursday and air two-hour comedy blocks on both Monday and Thursday. Along with the renewed How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls, veteran Men would provide a building block for the anchor positions at 8 PM and 9 PM on both nights. As for Kutcher, who has indicated numerous times publicly that he would like to come back (“I’m absolutely adoring the time that I’m having,” he said recently at the Paley Fest), his paycheck is expected to get a bump and may cross the $1 million per episode mark.
Chuck Lorre Was Very Close To Ending ‘Men’, Ashton Kutcher Wants To Stay On, There Was No Lorre-Sheen Feud: TCA
UPDATED: Walden Schmidt is dropping the beard and getting a haircut. That was one of the headlines from TCA’s Two And A Half Men session this morning, which featured star Ashton Kutcher with a new clean-cut look. The onscreen transformation will happen on the show’s upcoming episode Monday.
During the panel, co-creator Chuck Lorre talked about how close he came to ending Two And A Half Men after the controversial exit of original star Charlie Sheen. “We absolutely considered it,” he said. “We never imagined we would be in a position to consider it any other way. It looked as slightly impossible and ridiculous thing to do.” Eventually, he and co-creator Lee Aronsohn opened up to the possibility of continuing the show with another star. “We thought if we fail, no one will be psychically harmed. It seemed like such a heartbreaking way to end (the show).”
Kutcher, whose deal is up at the end of the season, was asked about the prospect of him continuing on the show next fall. “The deal we structured was kinda a test deal,” he said. “The show is outperforming the numbers from before I was here, and I think people are responding to it. For me having a show people like and want more of will dictate my decision. Right now I’m looking at (summer) as a hiatus, I have a lot of fun and would love to come back.”
Also at the panel, Aronsohn addressed speculation about the behind-the-scenes fight between Lorre and Sheen, which was fueled by comments during the actor’s rampage last spring. “I never saw it, that was never the case,” Aronsohn said. “Chuck has always been extremely respectful of Charlie, and Charlie has been respectful of Chuck. What has been built up as a feud never existed.”
Garry Marshall’s romantic comedy New Year’s Eve from New Line has a new trailer showing its ensemble cast preparing for the big night. Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Sarah Jessica Parker and Halle Berry are seriously ready to get this party started on Dec. 9.
With basic cable networks buying more original series, and digital companies such as Netflix starting to license reruns, “there’s never been a better time to be in the television content and distribution business,” Warner Bros Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. His operation still depends on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC for most of its profits — even though they typically favor the shows they produce. WB’s been the top TV supplier for 20 of the last 25 years by being everyone’s second choice. “If you get enough at-bats, it adds up,” Rosenblum said. WB has 27 primetime shows on broadcast TV this fall including 11 newcomers. The exec is especially enthusiastic about Two And a Half Men with Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen. “CBS is very, very excited about it,” he says. Rosenblum says he isn’t worried yet that sales of older shows in continuing series to online streaming services will lure viewers away from new episodes on network TV, although “it’s something we’re watching.” But he says the digital companies have an opportunity to stand out if they purchase reruns of cable network series — networks don’t like to buy these from each other — and serialized dramas that often don’t appeal to TV stations.
As part of the promotional campaign for the relaunch of CBS’ Two and a Half Men, stars Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones presented the “Top Ten Reasons to Watch the New Season of Two And a Half Men” on the Late Show last night. Frankly, they …
The taping of the season premiere of Two and a Half Men was last night, and early feedback should allow CBS and producer Warner Bros TV to breathe a sigh of relief. People who were at the taping or have read the script, praised the writing as being as sharp …
CBS Reveals Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Men’ Character’s Name And Background
During TCA’s CBS executive session, the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler was asked about lessons the network has learned from the Charlie Sheen debacle that culminated in his public firing. “Oh, where do I begin…,” she said. “What we learned is that we have an extraordinary cast — I was at the table red on Monday — we have extraordinary writers and actors, and there is a great value in hiring an actor like Ashton Kutcher, a talented, funny, gifted actor coming in with tremendous commitment and enthusiasm. What you learn is that the show is brilliantly written, extraordinary produced and you have the opportunity to move forward to create this exciting new character and do a great show.” She later added that Men will be as “smart, irreverent and risque” as it’s ever been. “Standards and Practices is already on high alert.” After the session, Tassler was asked to elaborate on her line from the Q&A that “you could cut the air with a knife” at the Monday table read. “The anticipation was great,” she said. “Hearing an actor utter the first line was a relief.” She also revealed that Men co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre opened the table read with what she described as “touching speech.”
UPDATE: ‘Two And A Half Men’ Premiere To Feature Charlie Harper’s Funeral, His Girlfriends Back & His House For Sale
UPDATE MONDAY: I’ve got more information on the shrouded-in-secrecy ninth-season premiere of CBS’ comedy Two and a Half Men, which will feature the debut of new star Ashton Kutcher and which I now hear will be a two-parter. I have been able to confirm that Charlie Sheen’s character Charlie Harper is indeed dead and the season premiere will feature his funeral. Charlie’s girlfriends will come back for the occasion, and his house indeed will be put on the market. The episode will feature potential buyers coming to see the house (as I reported earlier, the list is expected to include real-life celebrities and stars from Men co-creator Chuck Lorre’s other series), with Ashton Kutcher among them. However, I hear he will not be the rightful owner of Charlie Harper’s digs by the end of the premiere episode, with the storyline expected to be extended into Episode 2. As part of CBS and Men producer Warner Bros. TV’s efforts to keep details of the premiere under wraps, I hear the cast has been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, something potential audience members for the Friday taping will be required to do too.
PREVIOUS SUNDAY 6 PM: Speculation over the plot of the rebooted Two and a Half Men is expected to go into overdrive next week when production on the upcoming ninth season begins. Co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre has been mum on the setup for Two and a Half Men 2.0 and the way new star Ashton Kutcher will be introduced to the series. In keeping with the secrecy, I hear the cast members of the show were supposed to get their scripts for the