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Within hours of Ashton Kutcher confirming he?d signed on to ?Two and a Half Men,? Charlie Sheen weighed in with kind words for the ?No Strings Attached? star but still predicted the CBS hit would flop in the ratings.
Despite all the changes, "Two and a Half Men" remains consistent in one regard: It is the most lucrative gig on TV, apparently.
For years, Charlie Sheen stood head and shoulders above everyone else on the TV landscape with his $1.2 million per episode paycheck on "Men." Although his newly-appointed replacement, Ashton Kutcher, isn't pulling in that kind of money, he still makes enough to be firmly established as the new #1.
According to TV Guide, Kutcher will make $700,000 per episode - which is still a massive amount, considering that a typical lead in a primetime show would earn in the ballpark of $125,000 - $225,000.
Not to mention that the Ashton Kutcher-version of "Men" has yet to even air.
Even with Kutcher's rather large salary, his deal does represent a scaling back for the show. This follows other series that have had to replace actors at lower salaries as costs escalate. CBS, for example, is believed to be saving around $100,000 per episode with Ted Danson in the lead instead of the more pricey Laurence Fishburne.