UPDATE: Ashton Kutcher Joins ‘Two and a Half Men,’ Charlie Sheen Reacts

Ashton Kutcher (Photo: Getty Images)

Ashton Kutcher (Photo: Getty Images)

The Sheen saga may not be over, but it certainly took another unexpected turn.

Ashton Kutcher has finalized a deal to replace Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men,” CBS confirmed in a press release Friday.

“I can’t wait to get to work with this ridiculously talented 2.5 team and I believe we can fill the stage with laughter that will echo in viewers’ homes,” Kutcher said in a statement. “I can’t replace Charlie Sheen but I’m going to work my ass off to entertain the hell out of people!”

No, America, you’re not being Punk’d.

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The deal quickly fell into place after Hugh Grant pulled out at the last minute on an offer to join the show.

No specific details on the role are available yet, but series creator Chuck Lorre has reportedly found a “really funny” way to introduce Kutcher’s character into the storyline of the show. “People are going to love it,” says a source.

“We are so lucky to have someone as talented, joyful and just plain remarkable as Ashton joining our family,” said Lorre in the release. “Added to that is the deep sigh of relief knowing that our family stays together. If I was any happier, it’d be illegal.”

While the terms of the deal are unknown, Kutcher is reportedly getting a “huge payday” says THR, with some reporting it’s as high as $1 million per episode.

The casting news puts an end to the ongoing speculation over whether or not a.) Sheen would woo his way back; b.) the show would end; or c.) the show goes on without him. It also makes a lot of sense, as Kutcher should help TV’s No. 1 comedy bring in some younger viewers…and who needs Tiger Blood when you’ve got 6.7 million Twitter followers???

So, what does the Warlock think about all of this? Charlie Sheen told TMZ Friday that he thinks Kutcher is a “sweetheart” and “a brilliant comedic performer” just like him. Then he predicted the show will fail miserably.

The actor’s name surfaced out of the blue Thursday, with Broadcasting & Cable first reporting that Demi’s husband had emerged as a serious contender for the gig. The contract signing comes just in time for CBS to make a big splash at the network’s upfront presentation next Wednesday.

No stranger to television, Kutcher had his breakout role on “That 70s Show,” which ran on Fox from 1998 – 2006. He also served as executive producer of the MTV prankster show “Punk’d.”

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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