Ashton Kutcher has some big, tiger-blood filled shoes to fill. The New York Post is reporting the actor has signed a deal to replace Charlie Sheen as star of the top-rated CBS comedy Two and a Half Men. Unlike Hugh Grant, who was deep in negotiations for the role earlier this week before talks fell apart, Kutcher's in it to win it. "[W]hat's the square root of 6.25?" the actor tweeted last night. (The answer's 2.5. Just like the name of the show.)
A source with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Hollywood Reporter that Kutcher will get a "huge payday" and that creator and frequent Sheen antagonist Chuck Lorre has already put together a storyline for introducing the new character. "It's really funny," the source continued. "People are going to love it." (He neglected to add "for a change.")
On his Tumblr, Yahoo! Entertainment's Mark Lasanti speculated as to who the network called between Grant and Kutcher
As for Sheen, Late Show co-headwriter Justin Stangel couldn't have been happier that he was leaving CBS. Some of his more memorable anti-Sheen tweets over the course of the evening
- Ashton Kutcher Finalizing Deal To Join 'Two And A Half Men" but @CharlieSheen CAN'T be replaced. Oh wait, he just was
- Ashton Kutcher to join 'Two And A Half Men." I get it now. When @CharlieSheen said #Winning, he meant #LosingEverything
- Ashton Kutcher to join 'Two And A Half Men." Fun fact- his wife is two and a half times older than him
(OK, that last one was more anti-Kutcher)
Where do things go from here? The Washington Post's Jen Chaney suggests "a Twitter feud of epic proportions" between the Twitter power users is inevitable. As of right now, he apparently hasn't heard the news. This is his most recent tweet:
Update 1: It's official. CBS and Warner Bros. Television just sent out a press release announcing the move. After some standard press release boilerplate ("I can't wait to work with this ridiculously talented 2.5 team and I believe we can fill the stage with laughter in viewers' homes), Kutcher gave his predecessor a shout-out. "I can't replace Charlie Sheen but I'm going to work my ass off to entertain the hell out of people!"
Update 2: Via TMZ, Sheen gave the move his blessing. Or rather, the Charlie Sheen version of a blessing.
"Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer ... Oh wait, so am I!! Enjoy the show America. Enjoy seeing a 2.0 in the demo every Monday, WB. Enjoy planet Chuck, Ashton. There is no air, laughter, loyalty, or love there."
But at least he was nice to Kutcher.