The great curiosity of the television season has always been whether Charlie's Sheen's absence from Two and a Half Men would finally wind up killing one of television's most popular sitcoms, or whether it could survive a bit of a reboot with Ashton Kutcher on board. Sheen's been making numerous talkshow appearances and even popped up on the Emmys, trying to exude whatever kind of class and respect that's been missing from his public persona for the last year, but I still have to imagine that he would've indulged in a bit of schadenfreude had the series came back to a whimper.
Alas, it looks like it returned with a bang, with almost 28 million viewers tuning in to find out how his character was killed off. That's almost double the number of viewers from last season's premiere, a number which ought to give high-falutin' stars everywhere a bit of pause: if Two And A Half Men can thrive without the guy everyone assumed was its core (and we'll see if these numbers hold up), then no one's job is safe if you decide to flip out and sue your production company.
Speaking of lawsuits, rumor has it that Sheen is on the verge of settling his Warner Bros. lawsuit. He originally filed for $100 million, but between the payout that Warner Bros. will give him (in exchange for dropping all legal claims against them), and the reinstatement of his royalty checks from the shows he's already filmed, he could earn up to $25 million right out of the gate. So, maybe high-falutin' stars everywhere might want to just go ahead and be crazy; you'll get paid less, but you'll still apparently make a lot of money.
The big debut for Two And A Half Men also proved auspicious for 2 Broke Girls, which followed it and managed to nab 19.5 million viewers, the largest audience for a fall comedy series premiere in a decade, according to Deadline. Not so hot: The Playboy Club, which was "NBC's lowest-rated fall drama premiere ever," with only five million viewers.
We'll have an About Last Night up for The Playboy Club in a bit, but for now, what did you check out last night? Are you going to stick with 2.5 Men, or were you bowled over by 2 Broke Girls? Any of the other season premieres strike your fancy?