6:23am PT by Lesley Goldberg
It's Official: 'Two and a Half Men' to End After Season 12
It's official: The upcoming 12th season of CBS' Two and a Half Men will be its last.
CBS made the announcement early Wednesday when the network presented its 2014-15 schedule, with the veteran Chuck Lorre comedy receiving the Thursday at 9 p.m. slot on the network's fall schedule. (An episode count for the final season has not been announced.)
"Chuck Lorre is creating a season-long event. We did very well last year with announcing final season of How I Met Your Mother here, too. Chuck is very psyched about this; he's got some great ideas and very big surprises," CBS' Nina Tassler announced Wednesday during the network's pre-upfront press breakfast in New York. "We know fans and audiences respond to that and that should really give us a nice boost when we launch our new comedy." The executive also declined comment on whether one of those surprises could be the return of Charlie Sheen to the series.
The decision to wrap the Jon Cryer/Ashton Kutcher starrer comes after CBS gave the comedy an early renewal in March -- a rare move for Men, which typically has to negotiate new contracts for its leading men.
In its 11th season, CBS shipped Men from its prime post-Big Bang Theory slot on Thursdays at 8:30 to the 9:30 p.m. slot in a bid to jump-start Greg Garcia's rookie comedy The Millers. In its new home, the comedy notched a series low, before it was flipped with the since-canceled The Crazy Ones and saw its ratings rebound.
From Warner Bros. Television, the comedy is an expensive one for the studio. Heading into season 11, Kutcher was the highest-paid sitcom actor on TV, earning about $700,000 per episode, while Emmy winner Cryer was compensated about $620,000 per half-hour.
In its recently concluded 11th season, Men averaged about 2.3 million viewers among the all-important adults 18-49 demographic and 9.1 million total viewers. Factoring in DVR, those figures rose to 3.1 million and 11.5 million total viewers, respectively, down year-over-year and off considerably from its Sheen heyday.
The show, the longest-running comedy on broadcast TV, has not been without its controversies. Sheen was famously fired after a public feud with creator Lorre and, more recently, former star Angus T. Jones called the comedy "filth" and asked people to stop watching and referred to himself as a "paid hypocrite." He apologized and his role was downgraded from regular to recurring. Jones hasn't appeared in an episode since May 2013.
Men is one of four Lorre shows on CBS' 2014-15 schedule, joining TV's No. 1 comedy among 18-49, The Big Bang Theory, as well as Mike & Molly and Mom, the latter of which was one of only two rookie shows to earn a second season at the network.
The comedy joins a rapidly growing roster of broadcast and cable series to end their run during the 2014-15 season. Men joins Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, Glee, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, The Newsroom, Mad Men, Strike Back, Wilfred, The Killing, Sons of Anarchy and Justified.