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Kutcher wants to stay on ‘Two and a Half Men’

Executive producer Chuck Lorre, from left, speaks as actors Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer look on during the panel discussion for the sitcom "Two and a Half Men ". (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

PASADENA, California: A clean-cut Ashton Kutcher said Wednesday that he’s interested in continuing with “Two and a Half Men” beyond this season – and CBS wants him, too.

Kutcher’s addition to television’s most popular comedy following star Charlie Sheen’s implosion was a grand experiment that has worked out better than CBS or the producers could have dreamed. The show is up 20 percent in viewers over Sheen’s final season, the Nielsen ratings company said.

“I’ve had a blast,” said Kutcher, who plays the heartbroken Walden Schmidt. “Since I stopped doing ‘That ’70s Show’ I’ve always wanted to go back and do television.”

Kutcher appeared at a news conference without the long hair and beard he has worn this season. It was cut as part of the plot in an episode of “Two and a Half Men” that airs Monday, he said.

Kutcher will be working on movies after filming for this season of “Two and a Half Men” ends, but “right now I’m looking at it as a hiatus,” he said.

CBS would have to strike a new deal with actors and producers to continue the show beyond this season. All parties seem interested in working it out, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said.

Series creator Chuck Lorre said he gave thought to ending the series after Sheen left last season, but CBS and his co-creator, Lee Aronsohn, nudged him to continue. “It seemed like such a heartbreaking way to end, and we didn’t want it to, so we said let’s keep the light on,” Lorre added.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 14, 2012, on page 14.

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