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Will Ashton Kutcher Stay on Two and a Half Men?

Two and a Half Men, Marin Hinkle, Jon Cryer, Holland Taylor, Conchata Ferrell, Angus T. Jones, Ashton Kutcher Adam Rose/CBS

Two and a Half Men replaced Charlie Sheen with Ashton Kutcher, but did anyone think about the possibility CBS might have to replace Ashton Kutcher?

During the CBS presentation today at the Television Critics Association press tour, president Nina Tassler told reporters the tentative plan for the star of the comedy hit. Also weighing in on the issue? Kutcher himself! Plus, is The Good Wife staying put? And would the networks ever pull a Glee and bring in a musical series?

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Network presidents are all about dancing around a tough question, so Tassler only offered that they are in preliminary talks about bringing back Kutcher.

"I think that clearly we've been very focused on next season and there have been early conversations," she told reporters. "The spirit of those have been everybody really likes their jobs and I've got nothing to report now, but as I've said there's early conversations that people like what they're doing and are very happy working together."

During the show's panel, Kutcher was asked if he'll be returning to the show for another season and while he didn't give a definitive answer, he hinted that it's a definite possibilty. "The deal that we structured for the show was kind of a test deal," he explained. "The show's outperforming the numbers from before I was here, so I think people are responding to it."

"For me, having a show that people like and people want more of, that'll dictate my decision," he continued. "I have a couple of features I think I'm going to do during the summer during the hiatus. Right now I am looking at it as a hiatus. I'm having a lot of fun with these guys and interested in coming back." 

We almost didn't get a Ashton Kutcher-led Two and a Half men, because creator Chuck Lorre told reporters he "absolutely" considered ending the show after Charlie Sheen was fired. But bringing on Kutcher changed that. "At first [doing another season] seemed impossible and slightly ridiculous thing to do," he says. "[But] why not try? What's the harm in trying? If we fail, no one will be physically harmed. No one would be surprised. It seemed like such a heartbreaking way to end."

Other highlights from the CBS executive presentation:

  • Even though Glee has been a ratings hit and Smash is posed to follow in its footsteps, Tassler insists they have no plans this development season to bring in a musical show. They are, however, developing some new competition shows for the fall.
  • The Good Wife will stay on Sunday nights, even though fans have been frustrated dealing with overrun from the NFL games. "The show feels like a better fit Sunday night," she says.
  • Regarding a renewal for Persons of Interest, Tassler stated that no decisions have been made about the fall, but they are "extremely pleased" with the ratings.

(Originally published Jan. 11, 2012, at 9:53 a.m. PT)

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