After months of searching for the perfect not-Charlie Sheen to keep Two And A Half Men going, lest we lose the laughter forever, it’s been confirmed that Ashton Kutcher will make the jump to CBS, once again taking the place of an ’80s movie star in the hearts of the elderly. Kutcher’s name was first rumored early yesterday, following reports that negotiations had broken down between producers and their other rumored candidate for the job, Hugh Grant—suggesting that the search had narrowed to actors who (like Charlie Sheen) have personal sexual baggage that would make for easy fodder. After Grant likely balked at all the prospective allusions to prostitutes, creator Chuck Lorre has moved on to his second choice: jokes about cougars. (And definitely not prostitutes.)
As you can expect, Kutcher will receive a “huge payday” for stepping back from his film career, thus leaving the future of approximately 1,032 middling romantic comedies in jeopardy—but as with all recent efforts to keep Two And A Half Men going past the point of all logic, it’s not about the money. It’s about sticking it to Charlie Sheen. And the money.