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Two and a Half Men has continued its success this season, despite losing star Charlie Sheen and having to replace him with Ashton Kutcher. However, the status of Kutcher’s future with the show is still uncertain. At the PayleyFest panel in Beverly Hills on Monday, the show’s executive producers and Kutcher would not commit to Kutcher’s return.
Co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre first talked about how surprised he was that the show even survived Sheen’s firing. He called the show’s success a “miracle.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, he added that, “A year ago today, I know we thought the show was over and it was heartbreaking. There’s no closure. To have the show get reborn like this and have people enjoy us, it’s been a great year.”
Sheen was fired last March, with Kutcher signing on just two months later. However, Kutcher only signed on for one season and CBS has yet to pick up the show for a tenth, even though it is among their top-rated shows.
E! News notes that Kutcher was oddly quiet during the panel. He sort of confirmed he would be back if the show is renewed, saying, “I'm adoring the time I'm having. I haven't heard from the powers that be yet." Lorre tried to add some levity to the moment, saying, "That's not me! I'm not the power."
Lorre did tell E! before the panel that if Kutcher does not sign on, the show would probably come to an end. Lorre applauded Kutcher’s work ethic, saying, “He shows up and he's ready to work, he's prepared and he brings it."
Lee Aronsohn, the show’s other executive producer, spoke about the new direction the show has taken now that Sheen is no longer in the cast. "We knew from the get-go that we didn't want him to be a womanizer...We knew we wanted to bring a little bit of innocence to the show that...disappeared for a while,” he said, according to Zap2It.
Lorre did reveal one major spoiler for season nine, telling the crowd that it would end with Jake, played by Angus T. Jones, graduating from high school. He would not say if the character would go to college, though. Lorre and Aronsohn also said they would like to see Judy Greer and Patton Oswalt make another appearance on the show.
image courtesy of CBS