March 19, 2012 4:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Two and a Half Men' Enlists Kathy Bates as Ghost of Charlie Harper
CBS' Two and a Half Men has found a way to bring Charlie Sheen's character back to the series.
The network said Monday that Harry's Law star Kathy Bates will guest star in the April 30 episode as the ghost of Sheen's Charlie Harper.
During the episode, Jon Cryer's Alan suffers a minor heart attack, and the ghost of Charlie Harper will play a visit to his hospital bedside.
Sheen's alter ego was famously killed off in the season premiere after the actor was fired from the top-rated series after blasting creator Chuck Lorre.
Ashton Kutcher replaced Sheen, joining the show as billionaire Walden Schmidt. Kutcher's contract expires at the end of the season, and the network in talks about the future of Two and a Half Men, with contractual discussions likely delaying the expected renewal.
The Lorre comedy has grown both in ratings and buzz in the wake of Sheen's departure. Now in its ninth season, Men has lured nearly 14 million viewers and a hugely impressive 4.7 demo rating on Monday nights with Kutcher as the show’s lead.
Kutcher has not yet inked a deal to remain with the series, but he assured PaleyFest attendees this week that he “wants to work with these guys” and was waiting to hear from “the powers that be.”
For her part, Bates has a history of guest starring in comedy series. The actress -- repped by ICM, the Susan Smith Co. and Greenberg Glusker -- most recently recurred on NBC's The Office.