2ND UPDATE MONDAY 9 AM: CBS just put out a release officially announcing the renewal of Two And A Half Men for next season, the return of stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer and the departure of Angus T. Jones as a regular. “The renewal comes after new agreements were reached for next season with series producer Warner Bros. Television as well as cast members Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer,” CBS said. “Producers are in discussions with Angus T. Jones about a recurring role next season while he is attending college.”
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY 3:15 PM: CBS’ veteran comedy Two And A Half Men is dropping the “Half” for the upcoming 11th season. I’ve learned that co-star Angus T. Jones won’t return to the veteran comedy, at least not as a regular. He may do guest-starring appearances. Meanwhile, I’ve learned that stars Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer have closed new one-year deals to return, paving the way for an 11th season renewal of Two And A Half Men, which is now pending. I hear the duo are returning at salaries close to what they earned last season, about $700,000 per episode for Kutcher and just a bit less for Cryer. They remain as the highest-paid TV actors.
Jones’ departure is not surprising. He had indicated his desire to go to college and originally planned to leave after last season until he had a change of heart at the last minute and signed on to return. But with his character Jake in the Army, Jones has appeared only sporadically on the show this season. And then there was the young actor’s ill-advised comments in a religious video testimonial, in which he called Two And A Half Men “filth,” which went viral in November. Jones later apologized and subsequently returned to work.
Two And A Half Men, which was moved away from Mondays for the first time last fall, has helped rejuvenate CBS’ Thursday lineup, proving a very compatible companion to blockbuster The Big Bang Theory and providing a strong lead-in for Person Of Interest. Based on the show’s strong performance, CBS’ entrainment president Nina Tassler in January reached out to Two And A Half Men producer Warner Bros TV to start talks about Season 11. Since the network is shouldering the cost for a show in its 10th season on the air, dealmaking took awhile, with the initial focus on securing the two leading Men. But the process went smoothly, leading to another likely early renewal of the show, a far cry from the down-to-the-wire drama with previous Men star Charlie Sheen. Two And A Half Men is CBS’s fifth comedy and 19th series overall to be renewed for next season, joining previously announced comedies How I Met Your Mother (final season), The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly.
Here is some ratings data from CBS’ official press release:
Currently in its 10th season, TWO AND A HALF MEN has improved its new Thursday (8:30-9:00 PM) time period by +30% in viewers (13.79m), by +21% in adults 18-49 (4.1/12) and by +22% in adults 25-54 (5.5/14).
Among all primetime comedies, TWO AND A HALF MEN ranks second in viewers and third among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.
Two And A Half Men is produced by Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., and The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television. Chuck Lorre, Jim Patterson, Don Reo and Eddie Gorodetsky are executive producers.