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Charlie Sheen vs. Ashton Kutcher: Is Two and Half Men Failing?

Charlie Sheen had an I-told-you-so moment when he ripped CBS for “Two and a Half Men’s” ratings slide, but his subtle dig at replacement Ashton Kutcher seems premature at best, if not off base.

The show’s viewership has been declining since Kutcher’s debut on this season’s premiere. It drew an outsized 28 million viewers.

It slipped another 10 percent in audience Monday night to 14.85 million total viewers, according to the latest Nielsen figures.

That prompted Sheen to say he was “extremely disappointed” with the new season and unsurprised by the ratings drop.

“Well you know, people aren’t stupid; Not all of them.” he told gossip site TMZ.

Sheen, of course, was infamously fired from the series where he starred for eight seasons and made it the No. 1 sit-com on television.

After going on a weeks-long tirade against CBS, Warner Bros., and co-creator Chuck Lorre, Sheen was apologetic at this year’s Emmys and wished his former colleagues “nothing but the best.”

But he recently settled a lawsuit against CBS and the show’s creators that reportedly resulted in huge payout.

Now he’s apparently free once gain to be critical of his old boss, although he steered clear of slamming Kutcher, who is dealing with his own sex scandal.

Kutcher plays recently jilted Internet millionaire Walden Schmidt on the show.

“He’s doing the best he can,” Sheen told TMZ. “I don’t think the role is cursed, but I’m extremely disappointed with how they’re handling what I left behind.”

But how bad is the show performing?

In what may be a surprise to Charlie, no worse that his last season on the show.

What’s more, even with the ratings fall off, not to be expected after the premiere, the show is still the No. 1 sit-com.

And, more importantly, it’s still tops among the 18-to-49 demographic, which is highly coveted by advertisers.

The show averaged a 5.2 rating among adults age 18 to 49, the top spot in that demo, while ABC averaged a 3.0 rating, with Men’s time slot rival “Dancing With the Stars.”

Last year with Sheen, it averaged 4.0% rating with that audience.

The show’s average of 14.2 million viewers is comparable to Sheen’s average last season of about 15 million viewers, E! Online pointed out.

“Two and a Half Men” is still above last year’s average total viewership per episode, 12.7 million. It’s also above last year’s ratings among 18 to 49-year-olds, the audience that TV sells to advertisers.

That hardly seems like grounds for panic or disappointment. Other networks would be happy with such “dips,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

  • tevra

    I had loved the show with Charlie – it was Hilarious at times and always very good. But with Kutcher the name should be changed to 2/1 straight men that dumb blond routine he played on The 70s show seems to be the only act he knows. Just like Will Smith has ruined so many movies by pimping out that Prince of Bel-Air part when he would be acting like an action hero if he were able.

  • Cosme

    Charlie beat Ashton…Ever ever ever

  • Mary Flannigan

    I think they should get Charlie back as reguardless of his faults he is good and it would keep the other actors on the show. They could bring him back as a twin brother his mother adopted out at birth and make the show a big hit again. his replacement is not or will he ever be as good as Charlie. my family along with a lot of my friends loved the show when charlie was on but have quit watching as they do no like his replacement.

  • alan is okay but even in the original series with charlie i never really found him funny he was always just the Punchline to charlies jokes but what made It funny was how real it seemed to brothers who argue about everything but charlie was the star of the show , now making alan the main character its boring and his annoying he is a try hard and the walden character by ashton is just boring , i liked how charlie was a chain smoking womanizing alcoholic , but ahstons character just doesn’t cut it there is just this hole and i find my self thinking what would charlie be saying here how would he respond to this Overall the show has failed Ashton should of used inspiration from his character on that 70s show,

  • Bryan

    I like the Character Ashton plays much better than the old Charlie Character. Walden is honest, sincere, monogymous, compassionate, generous, faithful, considerate, voulnerable, deep and warm. The Charlie character was selfish, condescending, rude, self centered, sleasy, promiscuous, cold hearted, self indulgant, deceptive, manipulative, and he always held it over Alan’s head who’s home it was. The Jake character is on drugs now and pretty much a screw-off. That’s setting a nice example. The show is all over the place with the mix of characters. The old Charlie fit the mix better. Because back then, they were all heartless scumbags. I like the Walden Character but I don’t think he fits with the original mean spirited (men are pigs) dynamic of the show. I believe the ratings are dropping because America’s youth was relating more to the Charlie character. The veiwer age group falls under the rebelious your dumb, I’m smart, I’ve got something to prove, why should I listen to you, athority sucks dimension. Ashton came in and is kind of like the voice of reason. And most of America’s youth doesn’t want to hear it at this point in their young lives. Just my opinion.

  • Allan

    The fault is the director’s, who’s messed up countless lives not least those of Mr Kutcher and Mr Sheen.
    Probably that director had in mind the Kutcher from Punk’d and that would’ve worked: Kutcher half-crazed, self-opinionated – Berta would’ve ‘sat’ on him quickly. Alan trying to talk sense into him, with Kutcher [of the Punk’d character] doing a ‘Charlie’ style meh on them all.
    Kutcher is easily capable as certainly was Sheen, but succeed or fail remains with the directors. The directors failed and we’re left with a Kutcher vs Sheen argument. But actors are only actors, puppets, which is no way demeaning of them: they play parts as they are directed.
    Actors’ private lives – their personalities off-screen, who cares, I don’t. All I want is a great show. It’s a pity the director didn’t think the same way.
    So Sheen was annoying, so what – the director is supposed to be the brains of the operation, and well, Direct, which of course requires special skills.
    My hope for the director after messing up many talented lives, is he applies his obvious skills in other employment, licking stamps or something similarly gainful.

  • Eri_Girl

    Wow so harsh u guys. It is a show guys if u don’t like it watch ur re-runs. I guess u guys enjoy watching an alcoholic and a womenizer probably with ur kids no offense. And why insult someone’s career wonder if ur co-workers insulted u like that. Charlie had his Chance to straighten up and he didn’t and someone got the job so live with it or just don’t watch I will. And blame the producers not him he is key word acting what they wrote.

  • Neil

    I just caught a full episode of the new Two and a Half Men with Kutcher. The witty quick repartee between Sheen amd Cryer is gone. The great dialogue is gone. I do agree Kutcher isn’t much of an actor because I didn’t laugh once. They should just do what they did with Dallas when Bobby Ewing initally died before the was revived the following season. Say it was all a dream. It only had one more year left, and it’s sad that it ends with Kutcher. I once heard a rumor the producers tried to get Hugh Grant for the role. Now he would have been better, and created a lot more tension. Bye, Two and a Half Men. I’ll just stick to the reruns.

  • Tony

    People just haven’t gotten around to taking it off their dvr’s yet. I gave it a couple episodes, and for me, I’m bored by it all. Love the whole cast and the shows creators, but it is time to move on to a new project.

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  • Aften

    How do they know who is watching? No one has asked me when I was watching! I highly doubt that there are that many viewers! I watched the first 7 series but won’t watch any more. I can’t stand the looks of “monkey man” and I miss Charle and Rose!! AND they put “monkey man’s” voice on the song….what were they thinking?? Or were they thinking????

  • Sam & Lesley

    It is not enough to be cute and have a good body (which he clearly doesn’t have!) talent and acting ability is the most important thing if you are going to be starring in a sitcom like Two and a Half Men. Very fishy as to why he was cast in that main role in the first place.

    He is clearly not in the same league as the wonderful Charlie Sheen. In his dreams!. He shouldn’t be conceited enough to think he is a good enough replacement for the incredible Charlie Sheen.

    He should listen to the public and walk away gracefully. Can’t understand why Chuck Lorre doesn’t listen to the public. He is too big headed to see that this show is not working in this current format and that he is going to lose viewers rapidly at this rate every week if he doesn’t do something about it and now!

    Love Charlie’s comments this week. He is so right the public aren’t stupid! We also like Charlie are extremely disappointed at the way this has been handled.
    It is a disgrace that they have ruined a brillant show and put this idiot in the main role with no respect for what Charlie has left behind. It is clear to that Charlie was more involved with the writing process.

    Where is Evelyn, Rose, Herb etc. What an insult that they don’t feature along with Alan’s son.

    Bring back Charlie NOW and let’s have our show back.

  • Kevin

    Charlie Sheen is a better actor then Ashton Kutcher.
    If I had the money I would buy all the rights to 2 1/2 Men and Fire Ashton Kutcher. Why? He is not the right type actor to be on 2 1/2 Men. He is a cry baby actor, that is what he is his role type.

  • Emma

    I agree with Cat and the ratings will drop again and again ‘TheImproper’…just watch..Sheen added a subtle and edgy dark humor sarcasm to this otherwise generic CBS all of this is gone, stay the fart jokes..As for Ashton Kutcher he is pretty but not able to carry a show, this ‘dumb’ typecast character works as a sidekick to an ensemble show that’s all otherwise it is dull and boring, Cryer character now is just pathetic and quite sad..RIP Two and a Half Men
    As for Sheen remarks, hello TMZ (his personal stalkers by the way) asked him, he just answered, honest he is.

  • Cat

    Charlie Sheen is great. Incredible! The show dropped in ratings due to his onscreen “fiance”. I don’t think that was the role for her. Charlie kept the show going great. He is so missed on the show 2 1/2 men. I like Kutcher in romantic comedies and the tv show continues to stink worse each week. I fell asleep before the end of the last episode with Kutcher.
    Why do they have him acting like a slow minded child? Charlie was a bad boy type and soooooo quick, smart and funny in the show. The show will be cancelled. Charlie will go on. For Kutcher’s sake, he should run back to the silver screen if they will take him back as those comedies that he does onscreen are cute. Punked is good. Kutcher can’t replace Charlie. Just not in the same league in that regard. Very cute though and what a bod!