“Two and a Half Men” will return for its 10th season next fall — its second with Ashton Kutcher, CBS announced on Saturday.
The renewal was not wholly unexpected, since “Two and a Half Men” drew in the neighborhood of 13-15 million viewers a week for CBS this past season. But there had been TV trade press reports in the last few weeks that negotiations over salaries for the show’s three principal stars had stiffened, with some rumors saying Kutcher was asking for $1 million an episode.
In the press release CBS e-mailed out on Saturday, no mention was made of star salaries, but a story on the Hollywood Reporter Web site (here) cites an unnamed source as saying Kutcher and co-stars Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones all got raises. The story said Kutcher will earn “slightly more than the $700,000 to $750,000” per episode he made last season. The story said Cryer makes a “little less” and Jones makes about half that.
The renewal announcement comes almost exactly a year after CBS announced that Kutcher would replace Charlie Sheen on the show. That announcement — like this one — took place practically on the eve of the annual network “upfronts,” the presentations in New York in mid-May in which the networks announce their new fall shows and promote them for the advertising community.
CBS’s upfront presentation is this coming Wednesday at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan.
The network’s “Two and a Half Men” renewal announcement also noted that the network had already renewed four of its other comedies for next season (also unsurprising): “The Big Bang Theory” (now TV’s highest-rated comedy), “How I Met Your Mother,” “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly.”