“We’ve told (Two And A Half Men producer) Warner Bros. TV that we would like to have a 11th season,” CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said at TCA this morning. “They’re equally interested.” With the cast’s deals up at the end of the season, including star Ashton Kutcher, and the latest controversy surrounding Angus T. Jones, many have speculated that the show may call it a day after 10 seasons, a high-profile leading man switch from Charlie Sheen to Kutcher and a ton of tabloid headlines.
But, after a slowish start, Men has been thriving in its new Thursday 8:30 PM, hitting season highs. And Lorre this week indicated that all has been forgiven with Jones, who is returning to work next week with a meaty new storyline featuring Emmy winner Jaime Pressly as his “cougar” love interest. “He’s part of our show. He’s part of our family. We love him… He’s 19, man. Cut him some slack,” Lorre said on Wednesday.
This morning, Tassler echoed Lorre’s sentiment. “We’d like him to be part of (the show) next year, I think he would like to come back too, and Chuck and Warner Bros. would do too,” she said on stage. She later continued: “You know what, the kid is 19 years old, OK? I’ve got a 24-year-old. Between the ages of 19 and 24, there have been plenty of things my kid has said that I wish he hadn’t. But I think the bottom line is, cooler heads prevailed. He’s been a beloved member of that cast for years and years. He issued a public apology. At the end of the day, they want him back, he wants to come back, he’s tabling next week, and that’s it. And we move on.”
With CBS on board, Warner Bros. now faces renegotiations with Kutcher, who doesn’t have a deal beyond this season, along with Jon Cryer and Jones. If Men is renewed, Lorre will likely have four series on CBS last fall: Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and newbie Mom, which is now at the pilot stage with Anna Faris cast as the lead. And an 11th season of Men may not be its last, Tassler suggested. “You know we have such a crazy success story in terms of our long-running shows, who knows?,” she said. “We’ll see.”