The new season of “Two and a Half Men” brought a change that was believed to have the potential to kill the entire series: Charlie Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher. The show is still standing but for how long still remains to be seen.
A short while ago, we were telling you that Nielsen figures indicated ratings were going down, with “Men” alienating viewers by the millions from one week to the other.
The latest episode saw a mild boost in the number of viewers, though not by much. Moreover, E! Online notes, it may have come at the cost of Ashton's decency, since it featured a shot of himself in the buff.
The constantly poor ratings (as compared to the season premiere) have gotten people talking again about the possibility of CBS and Warner Bros. pulling the plug altogether once the current season is up.
News Yahoo has summed up some of the opinions of industry insiders and, while they disagree on most aspects, they do agree on that: the lowest rating the show got with Sheen on board was still 1 million viewers above the lowest recorded so far with Kutcher.
This could mean that Ashton has reason enough to worry about his fate on “Men,” especially since his contract is only for one year and he continues to receive negative media attention for his personal life.
“Kutcher should be a little worried: Don't 'expect CBS to cut Two and a Half Men anytime soon,' says Andre Tartar at New York. But Kutcher's future could be in doubt. The actor is only signed to a one-year contract,” News Yahoo writes.
“If the ratings continue to fall, 'the network may have real reason' to cut ties with Kutcher – especially because he 'has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons',” adds the same media outlet.
E! Online disagrees: even with ratings halved in just 5 weeks, “Men” remains the biggest player on TV – not as big as it was with Charlie, but big nonetheless.
Ashton has nothing to worry for now, at least not professionally, EW also underlines: with such solid ratings for the season premiere, they couldn't go but down in the following episodes.
“The competition should be so lucky to report such 'dips' in the ratings. [Kutcher's debut] has finally settled down and the ratings are starting to show it,” the e-zine writes.
However, none of the outlets mentioned above factor in the unhappy fans, those who leave “Men” vouching to never come back again unless writers and producers come up with better plot lines and better dialog.
Almost halfway through the season, the show could really go either way – only time will tell.
Cast your predictions below, in the comments section.