Photo Credit: ABC
Ashton Kutcher won't be playing a fictionalized version of himself, or an actor named "Raymond," or a post-plastic-surgery Charlie Sheen (though that would have been interesting) when Two and a Half Men's Sheenius-free season 9 premieres on Sept. 19. So who, exactly, will the 33-year-old actor be portraying come Sept. 19? According to CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler: "an Internet billionaire with a broken heart," a scruffy beard, long hair and the distinguished name of Walden Schmidt, of course!
OK, so that wasn't exactly a no-brainer, but it is official. Tassler made the announcement Tuesday at the Television Critics' Association summer press tour, adding that the Men premiere will be a "big event" -- so big, in fact, that is will be "a two-parter (airing) over two weeks."
As for what viewers can expect to happen in that epic two-parter, Tassler is keeping mum. She would not confirm or deny reports that Sheen's alter ego Charlie Harper would be killed off to explain the embattled actor's departure, nor would she address rumors that Uncle Chaz's funeral, attended by a gaggle of his ex-lovers, would kick off the episode. Perhaps tellingly, Tassler also declined to address murmurings that Kutcher's Walden Schmidt is related to Alan (Jon Cryer) and Jake (Angus T. Jones).
Whatever the case, Tassler promises a "new" iteration of Men that is "smart, funny, irreverent, and as risqué as the show has always been. People who are fans of the show will be really happy, and we feel that show has an opportunity now to recruit a new audience."
Just don't expect Sheen to guest star... ever. "He's moved on," Tassler says, revealing that she hasn't been pitched Sheen's new in-development show, Anger Management. "He has a lot of choices."