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OTRC: Ashton Kutcher joins 'Two and a Half Men,' replaces Charlie Sheen

Ashton Kutcher appears in a still from his 2009 film, 'Spread.' (Barbarian Films / Voltage Pictures)

Ashton Kutcher has been confirmed as Charlie Sheen's replacement on the sitcom "Two and a Half Men," according to CBS.

Sheen, 45, was fired from the network's No. 1 comedy earlier this year after ranting about the show's co-creator Chuck Lorre on the air and following a rehab stint for alcohol and drug abuse. Producers said the actors had "been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill." He had played party-loving bachelor who lives with his brother and nephew.

"I can't wait to get to work with this ridiculously talented 2.5 team and I believe we can fill the stage with laughter that will echo in viewers' homes," CBS quoted Kutcher as saying in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com on Friday, May 13. "I can't replace Charlie Sheen but I'm going to work my ass off to entertain the hell out of people!"

CBS did not detail what role Kutcher will play. Production on the ninth season of the "Two and a Half Men" will begin this summer and air in the fall, the network said.

Kutcher, 33, is known for playing naive Michael Kelso on the comedy series "That 70's Show" between 1998 and 2006 and also hosted the hidden camera prank show "Punk'd" for MTV between 2003 and 2009. He recently starred opposite Natalie Portman in the romantic comedy movie "No Strings Attached."

The Hollywood Reporter said on Thursday that Kutcher was in talks to star in "Two and a Half Men." It later reported he would be paid $1 million an episode. Sheen had been making about $1.8 million an episode.

The trade publication said Lorre has already crafted a storyline to introduce Kutcher's new character.

"We are so lucky to have someone as talented, joyful and just plain remarkable as Ashton joining our family," Lorre said in a statement. "Added to that is the deep sigh of relief knowing that our family stays together. If I was any happier, it'd be illegal."

It was revealed this week that Hugh Grant was in serious talks for the role but unexpectedly backed out.

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.

UPDATE: Charlie Sheen responds to Ashton Kutcher's casting.

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