Ashton Kutcher Will Play Internet Billionaire on 'Two and a Half Men'

9:31 AM PST 08/03/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
CBS

"We have an extraordinary actor in Ashton Kutcher. You have someone who is committed to doing their job and is incredibly professional," said CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler.

BEVERLY HILLS -- CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler revealed some details about Ashton Kutcher's character on Two And A Half Men. He'll play an Internet billionaire named Walden Schmidt, she told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Tassler didn't reveal how Kutcher's character will come into the orbit of Alan Harper (Jon Cryer) and his son Jake (Angus T. Jones), but he is not related to any of them.

"He is a unique character," she said, declining to confirm that Charlie Sheen's character is killed off.

Tassler praised Kutcher's "commitment" and his professionalism in general in what could be interpreted as a veiled knock on Sheen.

"We have an extraordinary actor in Ashton Kutcher. You have someone who is committed to doing their job and is incredibly professional," she said, adding that Kutcher is "an extraordinarily talented, funny and gifted actor."

Tassler said she was at a table read of Monday and noted that the cast and writers have "embraced" Kutcher.

Asked what she learned from the Sheen saga, Tassler sighed, "Oh where to begin?"

"Who could have predicted that we'd be here six months ago," she said. "The show will be as irreverent as it's ever been. Our programming standards and practices team is already on high alert."

Tassler was pressed about why the network did not mount a Two And a Half Men panel at TCA. She explained that the cast and writers are in production and "very focused" and added that "you could cut the air with a knife" on set.

She said the network has no plans to modify how they deal with actors who may be showing signs of a downward personal trajectory.

"I don't think we would change the practice with which we hire actors," she said. "It's an artistic creative process. I don't think we would change the way we hire actors."

 

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