March 12, 2012 9:51pm PT by Philiana Ng
PaleyFest: 'Two and a Half Men' Producers Address Season 10 Chances, Ashton Kutcher's Return
One year ago, the outlook on CBS’ Two and a Half Men was less than rosy.
By early March of last year, the half-hour juggernaut had been off the air and the turmoil surrounding the multi-camera comedy – then led by Charlie Sheen -- regularly made national headlines. (Sheen was fired from the show March 7, 2011.) Two months later, Ashton Kutcher signed on to replace Sheen (who will attempt a TV comeback with FX’s Anger Management this summer).
Last year’s rollercoaster ride was quickly addressed by series co-creator Chuck Lorre on the 11th night of the 29th annual PaleyFest.
“This is a miracle,” Lorre told the crowd at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre. “A year ago today, I know we thought the show was over and it was heartbreaking. There’s no closure. To have the show get reborn like this and have people enjoy us, it’s been a great year.”
It was a mostly subdued panel, save for laughs during an in-depth conversation about Kutcher’s prosthetic penis and an unexpected appearance by alums from Jon Cryer’s high school. Any mention of Sheen or the eight seasons prior were spun in a positive light.
Though Men still remains one of the top-viewed broadcast shows currently on air, there is no indication that the show is guaranteed to return for a 10th season. Much of that also rests on whether Kutcher will return for another year. (He inked a one-year deal to join Men last May.)
When asked about the prospects of him returning as billionaire Walden Schmidt, Kutcher was cagey.
“I haven’t heard from the powers that be yet,” he said.
By the end of the evening, however, Kutcher offered a small hint into his possible intentions on whether he would want to do another season.
“Right now, I want to work with these guys,” he said.
Lorre seemed slightly more confident in Men, which premiered to a series high 28.7 million viewers on Sept. 19, 2011, returning.
“It’s unusual when they cancel a show that’s in the top 10,” he said matter-of-factly.
Here are some other revelations from the Men panel:
- Lorre said that Men is “no longer [about] the bimbo of the week” and that the show is “more mature” now that Kutcher is in the mix.
- The producers want to bring back Judy Greer and Patton Oswalt. Lorre said of Greer, We “have to work around a very busy actress,” but noted there was promise to Oswalt coming back before the season was over. There is hope that he’ll appear in “one more show before we wrap this season,” he shared.
- Lorre revealed that Angus T. Jones’ Jake will graduate high school by the end of season 9.
- When asked whether he would be willing to do a fourth show (Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly), Lorre said, “No, I couldn’t possibly do another show.”