May 13, 2011 — -- The suspense didn't last long: today, CBS and Warner Bros. confirmed that Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men."
"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," Kutcher said in a statement released by the network and the studio. "I can't replace Charlie Sheen but I'm going to work my ass off to entertain the hell out of people!"
"We are so lucky to have someone as talented, joyful and just plain remarkable as Ashton joining our family," Chuck Lorre, creator and executive producer of "Two and a Half Men," said in the 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."
Production on the ninth season of "Two and a Half Men" will begin this summer for broadcast in the fall.
The confirmation comes a little more than 12 hours after reports that Kutcher was inking a deal for the job. Kutcher toyed with the speculation Thursday night, tweeting, "what's the square root of 6.25?" (The answer is 2.5.)
In March, Sheen was fired from "Two and a Half Men" after forcing the show to go on hiatus. He had served as the show's star for eight seasons. Today, he seemed bitter about Kutcher's new job.
"Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer ... Oh wait, so am I!" Sheen said in a statement. "Enjoy planet Chuck, Ashton," he added, referring to Lorre. "There is no air, laughter, loyalty, or love there."
The statement from CBS and Warner Bros. did not offer details about Kutcher's role on the show. When Sheen was the star, his character was all about hooking up with a rotating cast of pretty young things and, to channel Rebecca Black, partying, partying, yeah!
Now that Kutcher is swooping in to take his spot, will the show's resident playboy have a predilection for older women and playing pranks on his pals?
Certainly, producers made Sheen's character mirror the actor's life. While some actors amp up their personalities when cast as spoofs of themselves -- take Matt LeBlanc on Showtime's "Episodes," for instance -- Sheen actually had to tone down his persona for "Two and a Half Men."
Charlie Harper may have drank too much and been a bit too cavalier with women, but he was never accused of, say, going on a drunken rampage through the Plaza Hotel or physically abusing an adult film star who refused to have sex with him.
Kutcher isn't as much of a wildcard as Sheen. Though he displayed a 13-year-old's sense of humor with "Punk'd," the MTV show that chronicled the pranks he played on the rich and famous, he won professional success as the executive producer of "Punk'd" and the reality show "Beauty and the Geek." He has a slew of recent film credits, including "Valentine's Day" and "No Strings Attached." Plus, he's been through the sitcom grind before -- Kutcher launched his Hollywood career by playing the bumbling Kelso on "That '70s Show."
Kutcher, 33, has been married to Demi Moore, 48, for almost six years. He's settled. Sheen is not.
That said, Kutcher has a colorful enough personal life that some of it could bleed into his character. Will he play the cougar-chasing cousin of Jon Cryer's Alan Harper? Maybe a prank-prone college buddy? Will his wife make a cameo as his girlfriend?
The only thing certain for now is that he's got the gig.