Sheen replaced by Kutcher on Two and a Half Men
Ashton Kutcher will join the cast of Two and a Half Men starting next season, Warner Bros. announced on Friday, swapping troubled former star Charlie Sheen with the younger actor.
"We are so lucky to have someone as talented, joyful and just plain remarkable as Ashton joining our family," show creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre said in a statement.
"Added to that is the deep sigh of relief knowing that our family stays together. If I was any happier, it'd be illegal."
Specifics about the new role have yet to be released, but the show will return to production this summer and be on the CBS schedule this fall.
"I can't replace Charlie Sheen but I'm going to work my ass off to entertain the hell out of people," the 33-year-old Kutcher said, his quote the only mention of Sheen in Friday's release.
For his part, Sheen offered some backhanded congratulations to his replacement.
"Kutcher is a sweetheart and a brilliant comedic performer ... Oh, wait, so am I," Sheen said Friday.
"Enjoy the show, America," he added. "Enjoy seeing a 2.0 in the demo every Monday, WB," he continued, using TV jargon to predict poor ratings for the revamped show featuring Kutcher.
TV credits include '70s Show
A former engineering student turned model, Kutcher rose to fame as a goofy slacker on the ensemble TV comedy That '70s Show before graduating to films like Dude, Where's My Car? Just Married, The Butterfly Effect, What Happens in Vegas and Killers.
He is also best known for producing and hosting the popular MTV show Punk'd, in which he played elaborate pranks on unsuspecting fellow celebrities. Kutcher, who is married to fellow actor Demi Moore, is also one of the most influential celebrities online thanks to his more than 6.5 million Twitter followers.
Kutcher hinted at the new role in a tweet earlier this week, posting the cryptic message "What's the square root of 6.25?" (Answer: 2.5).
In February, Warner Bros. halted production on the eighth season of Two and a Half Men — the top-rated CBS sitcom — and eventually fired Sheen amid the star's increasingly erratic conduct, notorious partying, frequent visits to rehab and outspoken criticism of Lorre.
On air since 2003, Two and a Half Men starred Sheen, now 45, as a womanizing bachelor, who allows his neurotic brother (Jon Cryer) and nephew (Angus T. Jones) to live with him after his brother's divorce. Sheen's role made him one of the highest-paid actors on television.
Several names had been bandied about as possible replacements for Sheen, with Hugh Grant, John Stamos and Rob Lowe among the actors mentioned.
With files from The Associated Press