'Two and a Half Men': Ashton Kutcher's name enters the rumor mill

ashton-kutcher-two-and-a-half-men-320.jpgOK, so if not Hugh Grant, how about Ashton Kutcher?

Kutcher is the latest star to come up as a possible Charlie Sheen replacement on "Two and a Half Men." Broadcasting & Cable reports that he's "under consideration" to join the CBS sitcom for its ninth season.

On Wednesday it was reported that Grant came very close to signing a deal to replace Sheen before backing out. Kutcher is a markedly different actor than Grant, but they both presumably have enough star power to bring viewers back to the show next season (at least initially).

Finding someone to replace Sheen is a big-money issue for both CBS, which wants to keep its highest-rated comedy going, and producer Warner Bros., which stands to make (or lose) piles of money in syndication if the show continues on strong footing. The way the show's syndication deal is structured gives stations the right not to buy any episodes of "Two and a Half Men" that don't feature Sheen. If stations do opt out, it would shorten the current contract's term (which is set to expire in 2021) by one year.

But if Kutcher, Grant or whoever CBS and Warner Bros. hire for the show were to help keep its ratings strong, stations would presumably want to keep airing it, Sheen or no Sheen.

Kutcher has produced several TV shows in recent years, but he hasn't really done much on-camera work since "That '70s Show" ended in 2006. His last TV acting gig was a guest spot on ABC's short-lived comedy "Miss Guided" (on which he was an exec producer) in 2008.
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