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OTRC: Hugh Grant 'was in talks' to replace Charlie Sheen on 'Two and a Half Men'

Hugh Grant appears in a still from 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.' (Universal Studios / Studio Canal / Miramax Film Corp.)

Charlie Sheen recently wrapped up his "Violent Torpedo of Truth" comedy tour, but the fate of his show "Two and a Half Men" has been unclear since the actor got fired in March and while the media tossed around Rob Lowe and John Stamos as rumored replacements, there was a surprise competitor in the ranks.

It's recently come out that Hugh Grant was "in talks" to join the hit CBS show and was a serious contender to replace Sheen's role as the womanizing Charlie Harper. Grant reportedly had two creative meetings and the deal was progressing until he unexpectedly backed out at the last minute.

"'It was not the money, an inside source told Deadline. "He didn't want to do TV because those 24 episodes are a grind and a lot of work. At the end he couldn't get his head around doing a series."

Another source said that if Grant committed, "the show could have gotten another 3 to 4 more seasons" and would be offered a similar pay-rate as Sheen's $1 million per-episode.

A decision on who will replace Sheen is expected to be made in the next week, since CBS will be presenting their fall lineup to advertisers on May 18. The studio and the network also have the option of moving the show back until midseason or cancelling it entirely.

Sources at the Hollywood Reporter say that Grant turned down the offer and claim it was in the range of $600,000 per-episode.

While the studio is still looking for a new star, CBS and WBTV have reportedly agreed to split the costs of hiring Sheen's replacement, which will be a risky position for whoever comes on, given the show's media attention and Sheen's very public exit.

In March, it was announced that Lowe could not take over the role as he is bound under contract to continue to star in "Parks and Recreation." Stamos also denied he would replace Sheen at the time.

Despite insinuating that he wants his job back and claiming that he was in talks to return to the show, Sheen endorsed his possible replacements back in March.

"I think they're both fabulous," Sheen told The 'Dan Patrick' radio show on Wednesday, March 9. "Rob's an old friend and a brilliant actor and he's a brilliant man. What I would advise them to do is just make it their own. Don't think about what I'd done brilliantly on the show."

Sheen has been making headlines over the past few months due to a rehab stint for alcohol and drug abuse, a custody battle with his estranged wife and on-air rants on television, radio and on the Web against the co-creator of his CBS comedy series, "Two and a Half Men."

He was later axed from the show, which reportedly paid him more than $1.8 million an episode, and producers said he had "been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill." He has since sued them for $100 million.

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