A series that spent years at or near the top of the ratings charts now finds itself pulling in numbers so low that it is being counted among the current "bubble shows" — series that are unsure about whether they will be renewed.
Medialife Magazine reports that the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men” a ratings juggernaut up until a few seasons ago, finds itself on the bubble for renewal for a second year in a row. The show has hit series lows this year, following a ratings surge in 2011 when star Charlie Sheen had a falling out with creator Chuck Lorre. That conflict spurred interest in watching to see how Sheen’s character would be removed from the program, the piece notes.
“But since Ashton Kutcher stepped in for Sheen, ratings have been on a slow decline," the story reports. "That’s not surprising for a show that’s run this long, especially since all but one of the ‘men’ in the title have now departed. Angus T. Jones, who plays Jon Cryer’s son, is no longer a regular."
CBS last week moved the show from 9:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, as it was concerned “The Crazy Ones” was crimping ratings. That seems to have helped somewhat, with “Men” last week improving its viewership.
“However, even if ‘Men’s’ ratings revive, it’s a very expensive show to produce," the report notes. "Kutcher and Cryer are the two highest-paid actors on television, and CBS could be spending that money to develop a show with better ratings."
The story adds: “Right now, there’s a slightly better than 50-50 chance the show will be renewed if ratings stay higher. But CBS will need to decide quickly if it is being axed to give writers a chance to wrap up the show properly in May.”