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Ashton Kutcher to "Two and a Half Men"

Ashton Kutcher attends the 'Sex Friends' photocall in

Ashton Kutcher attends the 'Sex Friends' photocall in Paris, France. (Feb. 9, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Wondering no more:

Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men." 

Trade reports were flying around earlier Thursday that Kutcher had been tapped, but Warner Brothers has issued a "no comment."

Translation: "It's true but we'd prefer to make this public next week when CBS announces its fall schedule and trots Ashton out on stage for the benefit of advertisers."

  (Oh, by the way: If you are just getting to the post now, there is an official announcement and please go here to read all the nice quotes...]

A surprise? Honestly, any name at this point would be a surprise, or not a surprise. It almost doesn't matter who is gonna do this gig. Someone was going to take the paycheck, and it may as well be Ashton -- an attractive, funny guy who nonetheless seems a bit too desperate to build his resume, fame, glory, Twitter following and renown, even in a city where everyone is similarly desperate. 

The Hollywood Reporter nailed this late Thursday -- the news, that is -- reporting that Kutcher's story line would be introduced in a way that's "really funny,” says one source. “People are going to love it.”

Well . . . us people will see. 

But it is an intriguing move for this reason -- CBS and WB want not a "guy's guy" but someone who would appeal to female viewers. This suggests CBS wants to broaden the appeal of a show that -- while it got plenty of viewers of both sexes -- did tend to the more testosterone side of the humor equation. With endless, tasteless jokes about hookers and the guys who love them, one wonders whether the New "Two and a Half Men" will turn into a rom com.

Which of course will kill the show outright before the end of next season. 

Ashton's real claim to fame -- besides "Punk'd" and Demi and an outsized Hollywood rep despite of a few stinkers like "Killers" (and some better movies, too)?  Of course, "That '70s Show" and Michael Kelso.   

  Meanwhile, on the off chance you don't jump to the comments section, read this right-on-the-money comment from "Kimbo:"

"Don't see this as working at all. The reboot will never be as good as the original show, because it is essentially going to be a completely different show. Jon Cryer's Alan was mainly funny when juxtaposed with Charlie Sheen's Charlie Harper character. It was that dynamic that made the show work (as well as the fact that Charlie Sheen was essentially playing himself in a way). Kutcher will change the show completely and will appeal to a different audience, one which I don't seeing as large "


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