Returning strong last week after a long winter break, both ABC’s Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy took a hit last night. Back for the second week since its break, the Shonda Rhimes produced political intrigue series drew a 2.8/8 among adults 18-49 last night. That’s a sharp 18% drop from last week’s results. The Washington D.C.-based show was led in by Rhimes’ Seattle-based Grey’s, which also had returned on February 27. The medical drama pulled a 2.6/7 in the key demo – a 16% slide from last week. ABC started the night with the return of another show that had taken a long hiatus. Back with its first new show since December 12, 2013, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (0.8/3) was even with that last original. That left the fantasy-drama tying a series low.
CBS Swaps ‘Two & Half Men’ & ‘Crazy Ones’, Schedules ‘Bad Teacher’ On Thursday, ‘Unforgettable’ On Friday
CBS is tweaking its Thursday comedy lineup and adding two series in late midseason, new comedy Bad Teacher and returning procedural Unforgettable. Beginning February 27, the first week after the Sochi Olympics, veteran Two And A Half Men and freshman The Crazy Ones will switch places, with Men airing at 9 PM, followed by Crazy Ones. This is a more conventional lineup, with established shows (The Big Bang Theory, Men) as 8 PM and 9 PM anchors and newbies (The Millers, Crazy Ones) in the hammock positions behind them. I hear the reason CBS didn’t go with this schedule last fall was to try to protect Elementary at 10 PM, which was losing its drama lead-in as the network expanded its comedy block to two hours. A seasoned performer, Men was slated at 9:30 PM to lead to Elementary. After a huge launch in September behind an hourlong Big Bang, Crazy Ones has been delivering middling ratings, most recently posting a 1.7 in 18-49 last Thursday vs. 2.7 for its lead-in, The Millers, and 1.8 for lead-out Men. Crazy Ones also is a single-camera comedy sandwiched between two multicams, and Men will likely do better airing behind two other shows of its kind, Big Bang and Millers. Crazy Ones will wrap its 22-episode order on April 17 and will be replaced at 9:30 PM by another single-camera comedy, Bad Teacher, on April 24. The Men-Crazy Ones switcheroo is being done in part to prepare a launch pad for Bad Teacher, based on the hit feature, which will have three weeks to prove itself to CBS brass before they set the schedule for next season.
Those people (and TV critics) wondering why Will Arnett would take a role on a CBS multi-cam sitcom with a running fart gag in the pilot, for crying out loud, even if it is exec produced by Greg Garcia, need look no further than Forbes’ just-out list of the highest-paid TV actors. It’s topped entirely by CBS comedy stars. (Note the somewhat apologetic tone of Arnett’s recent multi-cam explanation to Digital Spy: “I’ve spent the last 10 years doing single-camera shows, from Arrested Development to 30 Rock to Running Wilde to Up All Night and, it sounds lame, but I just thought it would be really fun.”) Ashton Kutcher is ranked No. 1, paid $24 million between June of ’12 and ’13, because he’s the guy who enabled Warner Bros TV to retain a big franchise and CBS to hang on to an important piece of its campaign to take over comedy on Thursday nights while maintaining a four-comedy slate on Mondays — a good thing too, given the early demise of We Are Men. Kutcher’s co-star Jon Cryer, who last fall won an best-actor Emmy for having survived the Charlie Sheen years, is No. 2 on the list. Heck, even the show’s Angus “Don’t Watch This Filth” Jones made the list, which presumably eases the pain of being phased off the show this season, after which he will have to make do with his earnings from the show’s syndication. Former CBS star Ray Romano is No. 3 on the list, owing, Forbes says, in large measure to the money he’s still making off of Everybody Loves Raymond repeats. And, at No. 4: Neil Patrick Harris, star of CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother, tied the network’s Mark Harmon, who is star of the country’s most-watched scripted series NCIS.
UPDATE: Ashton Kutcher & Jon Cryer Set For Just-Ordered Season 11 Of ’2.5 Men’, Angus T. Jones Won’t Return As Regular
2ND UPDATE MONDAY 9 AM: CBS just put out a release officially announcing the renewal of Two And A Half Men for next season, the return of stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer and the departure of Angus T. Jones as a regular. “The renewal comes after new agreements were reached for next season with series producer Warner Bros. Television as well as cast members Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer,” CBS said. “Producers are in discussions with Angus T. Jones about a recurring role next season while he is attending college.”
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY 3:15 PM: CBS’ veteran comedy Two And A Half Men is dropping the “Half” for the upcoming 11th season. I’ve learned that co-star Angus T. Jones won’t return to the veteran comedy, at least not as a regular. He may do guest-starring appearances. Meanwhile, I’ve learned that stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer have closed new one-year deals to return, paving the way for an 11th season renewal of Two And A Half Men, which is now pending. I hear the duo are returning at salaries close to what they earned last season, about $700,000 per episode for Kutcher and just a bit less for Cryer. They remain as the highest-paid TV actors.
Jones’ departure is not surprising. He had indicated his desire to go to college and originally planned to leave after last season until he had a change of heart at the last minute and signed on to return. But with his character Jake in the Army, Jones has appeared only sporadically on the show this season. And then there was the young actor’s ill-advised comments in a religious video testimonial, in which he called Two And A Half Men “filth,” which went viral in November. Jones later apologized and subsequently returned to work.
He’s back! After a month-a-half hiatus, Two And A Half Men co-star Angus T. Jones is returning to the set of the CBS comedy next week to film his first episode following the release of his controversial …
It’s not surprising when a video goes viral for parodies to start cropping up. That is the case with Two And A Half Men co-star Angus T. Jones, whose “‘stop watching’ Men because it’s ‘filth’” testimonial spurred a string of video skits. But entrepreneurial actors who have comedy series on the air are using Jones parodies to plug their shows, as is the case with these mildly amusing videos of Matthew Perry of Go On and Rainn Wilson of The Office. Of course, neither of the shows hail from CBS or Warner Bros. TV, the network and studio behind Men.
EXCLUSIVE: After 13 years in show business, Angus T. Jones is used to living in the limelight. But yesterday, the Two And A Half Men co-star found himself in a different type of spotlight — at the center of a major controversy triggered by statements he’d made in a video testimonial for Forerunner Christian Church. His comments, in which the 19-year-old actor referred to Men as “filth” and urged viewers to “stop watching it,” went viral, but Jones himself remained silent on the controversy until now. In a statement to Deadline released by Insignia PR, Jones expresses his gratitude to Two And A Half Men, co-creator Chuck Lorre, CBS, series producer Warner Bros TV and studio chief Peter Roth for “what has been one of the most significant experiences in my life to date.” He also apologizes “if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed.” Here is Jones’ statement in its entirety:
I have been the subject of much discussion, speculation and commentary over the past 24 hours. While I cannot address everything that has been said or right every misstatement or misunderstanding, there is one thing I want to make clear.
Without qualification, I am grateful to and have the highest regard and respect for all of the wonderful people on Two and Half Men with whom I have worked over the past ten years and who have become an extension of my family.