On Wednesday, Deadline reported that Hugh Grant (About a Boy, Notting Hill) nearly replaced Charlie Sheen on the cash-cow sitcom Two and a Half Men. According to the report, Grant backed out at the last minute, wary of the intense work schedule a network series entails. Still, the news that the high-profile British movie star nearly signed on sent shockwaves through Hollywood. How would the charmingly jittery Brit had changed the series and where does the show go from here?
CBS just missed an incredible coup: "Holy crap, Hugh Grant would have been such a big get for that show!" says Margaret Lyons at New York. But hey, the show's producers shouldn't fret. They still have "plenty of other options" to consider when it comes to replacing Sheen. Stay tuned...
"Hugh Grant almost replaced Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men"
What a step down for Grant: Joining the show would have been an "odd career move" for Grant, says Rick Porter in The Baltimore Sun. Sure, he "isn't quite as big a star as he was, say, 10 years ago, and his last few films haven't done all that well." But I just can't imagine him slogging through the show's easy, lewd jokes. There are few surprises in Hollywood anymore, but the idea of Grant nearly replacing Sheen is a shocker.
"Hugh Grant on Two and a Half Men? It almost happened"
It could still happen: While most are reporting that Grant has definitively turned down the role, it's possible that talks are still active, says Bill Carter in The New York Times. Sources say that leaking the actor's name might just be a ploy to drum up interest in the show, and "Mr. Grant has a pedigree that would all but guarantee a surge of interest in the reformatted comedy."
"Hugh Grant said to be in talks to replace Sheen"
In the meantime, the search goes on: CBS still needs to replace the unraveling Charlie Sheen, says Kevin Yeoman at Screen Rant. "While it may seem odd that the network would fight so hard to continue a show that, for all intents and purposes, collapsed under the weight of its star's extracurricular activities," the sitcom still has the potential to bring in billions of dollars in advertising and syndication revenue.
"CBS offered Hugh Grant Two and a Half Men"
And CBS needs to hurry up: "Time is running out," says Sam Schechner in The Wall Street Journal. Next Wednesday, CBS is scheduled to announce its fall schedule at the annual "upfront" presentations, where networks show off their goods for potential advertisers. The fate of Two and a Half Men is still a big question mark, and CBS needs to land a big name — and soon.
"CBS and Warner Bros. Hoping to land new Two and a Half Men star by next week"