Sheen bitter, Cryer "jazzed" as Kutcher joins "Men"

Fri May 13, 2011 8:41pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Ashton Kutcher is joining a revamped version of the top-rated TV comedy "Two and A Half Men", CBS said on Friday, ending months of disarray after the acrimonious firing of wayward star Charlie Sheen.

Kutcher, 33, the husband of actress Demi Moore, is joining the cast for the upcoming ninth season of the money-spinning show that is scheduled for broadcast in the fall of 2011.

Jon Cryer, the other principal male lead on the sitcom, said he was "jazzed" about the show returning and the addition of Kutcher.

Friday's statement from CBS did not say what role Kutcher would play but industry sources said he is not expected to be a direct replacement for Sheen's womanizing bachelor character.

"We are so lucky to have someone as talented, joyful and just plain remarkable as Ashton joining our family," Chuck Lorre, creator and executive producer of "Two and A Half Men" said in a statement.

"Two and A Half Men" is the most-watched comedy on U.S. television with about 15 million regular viewers and has been a lucrative source of advertising revenue for CBS, and syndication fees for its makers Warner Bros. Television.

Sheen, who was fired in March after weeks of erratic behavior and for publicly insulting producers, claimed bitterly on Friday that the show would flop without him.

"Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer ... Oh wait, so am I!", the actor said in a statement. "Enjoy the show America. Enjoy seeing a 2.0 in the demo every Monday, WB," Sheen added, referring to the coveted 18-49 age group of viewers.   Continued...