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Ashton Kutcher steps in for Charlie Sheen on 'Two and a Half Men'

The Juice

Ashton steps in for Charlie

Looks like Michael Kelso is stepping in for Charlie Harper.

Ashton Kutcher, whose last steady sitcom gig was playing the dimwitted Kelso on Fox's That '70s Show, is the big name CBS found to take Charlie Sheen's place on Two and Half Men. The network officially announced the move Friday. "I can't replace Charlie Sheen," Kutcher says in a quote included with CBS' press release, "but I'm going to work my a-- off to entertain the hell out of people!"

Reportedly, he'll work a lot cheaper than Sheen did, earning anywhere from $900,000 to $1 million per episode — about half what the troubled original star made before Warner Bros. and CBS fired him.

Sheen was predictably harsh, telling TMZ: "Enjoy the show America. Enjoy seeing a 2.0 in the (ratings) demo every Monday, WB." His message: that the 18 to 49 viewers who made the show a success will leave.

But Kutcher is a big enough star and pop culture maven that early shows will produce a lot of curiosity seekers. The big question: What kind of character can executive producer Chuck Lorre create that could make up for the loss of his hit sitcom's central figure?

Eric Deggans, Times TV/Media Critic

'Wonder Woman' out

If you thought the planned resurrection of Wonder Woman sounded like a bad idea, you're not the only one. NBC has reportedly passed on the pilot, too, because it looked simply awful. The David E. Kelley pilot starring Friday Night Lights star Adrianne Palicki got mixed reviews from test audiences, Entertainment Weekly reports. The storyline casting Diana Prince as the CEO of a major corporation and playing up the Greek mythology of it all while downplaying Wonder Woman's patriot roots was just not enough to spark people's interest, it seems.

Lady Gaga on own

Good news, little monsters: Your Earthbound deity, Lady Gaga, is now single. Well, it's not good news for her, but still. Gaga dropped the bomb in an interview on The Graham Norton Show on Friday, noting she and drummer Luc Carl had called it quits when she revealed, "No, I don't have a boyfriend and haven't been on any dates recently." He tweeted via @LucCarl on Thursday the video for the Bob Seger song Still the Same, along with a tag of "I miss you." Awwww.

Perry heads to rehab

Moderate success isn't going to Matthew Perry's head, as the former Friends actor has checked into rehab to deal with his history of substance abuse. Constantly referring to him as "former Friends actor" probably isn't helping. "I'm making plans to go away for a month to focus on my sobriety and to continue my life in recovery," he said in a statement to TMZ. "Please enjoy making fun of me on the World Wide Web." There's no word on what will happen to his new show Mr. Sunshine while he's gone, but hey, it's almost summer anyway.

Ashton Kutcher steps in for Charlie Sheen on 'Two and a Half Men' 05/13/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2011 7:18pm]
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