SOURCES CONFIRM: Ashton Kutcher Will Join 'Two and a Half Men'
Ashton Kutcher appears to have won the Two and a Half Men sweepstakes.
Two sources close to the deal-making tell The Hollywood Reporter that the actor is putting the final touches on a deal to replace Charlie Sheen as the star of TV’s No. 1 comedy. CBS, studio Warner Bros. and Kutcher’s reps at CAA declined to comment on the situation but a deal is said to be all but signed. The exact dollar figure he will be paid is not known but a source says Kutcher is getting a “huge payday” to join the hit sitcom.
The deal came together quickly in the wake of Hugh Grant passing on the opportunity to join the show. Now sources say Men creator Chuck Lorre has crafted a storyline to introduce Kutcher in a way that satisfies the network and studio. “It’s really funny,” says one source. “People are going to love it.”
Broadcasting & Cable reported Thursday that Kutcher’s name was surfacing as a possible Sheen replacement. The actor, who starred in the winter hit No Strings Attached, would be taking first regular series gig since catapulting to stardom on Fox’s That 70’s Show. He also executive produced the hit MTV hidden-camera series Punk’d, among others.
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Kutcher brings a youthful fan base to the CBS show, as well as a big online profile with 6.7 million Twitter followers, which could help CBS promote the show.
"Chuck's really happy," another source says.
For his part, Kutcher is remaining silent except for a cryptic message he wrote on Twitter: “I'm starting to become convinced that people put my name in articles just to improve their SEO or hoping I'll tweet it.”
Sheen was fired from Men in early March, after a weeks-long media circus that had the actor attacking everything from Alcoholics Anonymous to Lorre.
He then launched a Web series, Sheen's Korner, in which he continued his rant against his former bosses, and embarked on a nationwide tour, My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option, which kicked off in early April with a disastrous show in Detroit. The monthlong tour proved to be hit or miss, with some crowds booing the star and walking out mid-show, while others gave him standing ovations.
At some tour stops, he expressed his desire to return to Men, even saying he would apologize to get his old job back.
The tour ended earlier this month in Seattle, but Sheen recently announced that he was going to continue the tour in Australia and Europe.