The news that Ashton Kutcher looks poised to replace Charlie Sheen on CBS’ lucrative sitcom, “Two and a Half Men,” qualifies as a surprise. Most of us were still processing the news that Hugh Grant had almost joined the show, then decided not to, when the Kutcher bulletin came out.
While the star of “Valentine’s Day” and “No Strings Attached” may seem like a slightly out-of-left-field choice, he and Sheen actually have a lot in common, making Kutcher a more logical choice than surface appearances — and age differences — might initially suggest.
Let’s examine some of those similarities.
— The Twitter connection: Kutcher is extremely active on Twitter, with 6.6 million followers. In recent months, Sheen also has developed a fondness for the tweet and has a following of 3.8 million people.
—TV ladies’ men: On “That ’70s Show,” Kutcher played Kelso, a lunkhead who wore bell bottoms and had a way with the ladies. On “Two and a Half Men,” Sheen played Charlie Harper, a slightly more intelligent lunkhead who wore bowling shirts and also had a way with the ladies.
—The Estevez connection: Kutcher is the spouse of Demi Moore, who was briefly engaged to Emilio Estevez in the ’80s. Both Kutcher and Moore starred with Estevez in “Bobby,” the 2006 Kennedy drama that Estevez also directed. Sheen is, of course, the brother of Estevez. They starred together in “Young Guns” and “Men at Work,” another Estevez directorial effort.
—And then they got high ... onscreen: Both actors have appeared in movie comedies in which their characters overindulged a bit. Kutcher played the druggie role in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” while Sheen did it (far more memorably) in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
—Vegas, baby, Vegas!: Earlier this year, Sheen made headlines for engaging in some serious partying in Las Vegas. Kutcher once starred in a movie called “What Happens in Vegas.”
—The Richards connection: Sheen was previously married to Denise Richards, who also was featured during a red carpet segment in the first episode of Kutcher’s “Punk’d.”
—Big sitcom star salaries: Sheen had been the highest paid actor on TV, earning $2 million-plus per episode when he was on ”Men.” Kutcher’s potential salary has not been officially disclosed. But even if he earns less than Sheen, he’ll likely be among the highest paid , if not the highest paid, sitcom star on television.
See? The connection makes total sense now, doesn’t it?