Hugh Grant Pulls Out of Deal to Replace Charlie Sheen

Hugh Grant (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Hugh Grant (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Hugh Grant nearly became the savior of “Two and a Half Men,” but he suddenly dropped out of the running, according to a sensational story posted on the showbiz Web site

Grant’s withdrawal leaves CBS still scrambling to find a replacement for Charlie Sheen just days away from next week’s fall-lineup announcements in New York. CBS is scheduled to announce its new fall shows at its annual May “upfront” presentation next Wednesday. The network had likely hoped to sign Grant in time to present its plans to the advertising community for reviving and sustaining “Two and a Half Men” in the wake of Sheen’s meltdown and dramatic departure this past winter.

According to the Deadline story, the deal with Grant was almost all sown up until he stepped away due to unspecified “creative differences.” The story said Grant was offered more than $1 million per episode. As an A-list movie star, the British-born Grant is well-liked and also adept at playing comedy. He was exactly the kind of top personality the sitcom’s producers – led by Chuck Lorre – were looking for to replace Sheen.

Apparently, there’s no other actor under consideration who was as close as Grant was to signing on to join the show, even though a number of top male actors have been named as possible (but unconfirmed) candidates for the job – Woody Harrelson, Rob Lowe, even Jeremy Piven of “Entourage.” That means CBS won’t likely have a new star to announce next week, unless Grant changes his mind.

On that subject, the Deadline story holds out the possibility that these “creative differences” – whatever they are – could be overcome and Grant could return to the table and sign on the dotted line before next week’s upfronts.

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