It wasn’t that long ago that Ashton Kutcher stepped in to replace Charlie Sheen for the ninth season of Two and a Half Men. But now that the season finale is scheduled to shoot next week, it’s up in the air whether or not the show will return at all. Complications arose when the network offered two-year deals to both Kutcher and co-star Jon Cryer but did not include raises in the deal. If nothing else, this sticking point will prolong negotiations, while at worse it may be enough of an excuse for the actors to walk away altogether. Insiders report that Kutcher, Cryer and series creator Chuck Lorre would prefer to end the show after the next season, but could be convinced ($$$) to continue for another two years after that. Or perhaps they will come to the realization that about $700,000 an episode isn’t bad for a day’s work. Hit the jump for a further breakdown.
THR reports that this first deal from CBS and Warner Bros. is simply a starting point for what is likely to be a much lengthier negotiation. Kutcher, at least, is reportedly asking for upwards of $1 million an episode to continue his involvement in the highly rated sitcom. Two and a Half Men is rated higher this year than last, due mostly to Kutcher’s inclusion, but the show reached a season low in February. If CBS, who is spearheading the negotiations, decides to stick with the two-year deal at current rates, they may end up with no show whatsoever. Then again, the actors aren’t exactly hurting for money, so hopefully level heads prevail on both sides.