Ashton Kutcher and “Two and a Half Men” are in a bit of a ratings spiral compared with its blockbuster debut last month. But while concern is up, CBS has yet to hit the panic button over Kutcher’s sex scandal.
Kutcher replaced actor Charlie Sheen for the new Season 9, after Sheen’s drug and alcohol fueled meltdown led to a confrontation with show producer Chuck Lorre.
The show’s premiere, which introduced Kutcher and focused on the funeral of Sheen’s character, drew a whopping 29 million viewers, making it No. 1 in the ratings.
But that was before Kutcher was ensarled in a sex scandal with 22-year-old party girl, Sara Leal.
Since then, the show’s ratings have been in retreat. On Monday (Oct. 10), only 17.7 million viewers tuned in.
The show finished in third place behind ratings winner “Monday Night Football,” which featured the unbeaten Green Bay Packers against the Atlanta Falcons.
But more tellingly, the show slipped behind CBS’s “NCIS,” which drew 19.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.
While a third place finish is nothing to sneeze at, the show’s producers are concerned that Kutcher’s cheating on his popular wife, Demi Moore, could be turning off viewers.
Kutcher reportedly is concerned about the situation as well, gossip site radaronline reported, citing a source close to the actor.
“To be fair, the season premiere of ‘Two and a Half Men’ last year when Charlie Sheen was still on the show, had around 16 million people tuning in,” the source said.
“Two and a Half Men” is also showing staying power against other shows, but ABC’s “Modern Family” is now the No. 1 comedy.
Kutcher and Moore are reportedly attempting to patch up their marriage.