This is not a prank: Ashton Kutcher is coming back to host a special episode of Punk’d, the show he created in 2003.
The one-time-only return engagement will air June 3 as part of the 2012 MTV Movie Awards pre-show. Last week, MTV announced that Russell Brand will be trying his hand as a first-time Movie Award host, after hosting the MTV Video Music Awards in 2008 and 2009.
In the show’s heyday, Kutcher and his team punk’d everyone who was anyone in Hollywood: Kanye West, Beyoncé and Lindsay Lohan have all had their freakouts recorded by MTV’s hidden cameras. Earlier this year, after a five-year hiatus, the show was re-launched without Kutcher for more hidden camera hijinks.
The special Kutcher-hosted episode will punk two major celebrities whose identities have not yet been revealed — though presumably, it’ll be stars with movies to promote this summer. But is it too much to hope that we’ll be treated to round two of Ashton Kutcher versus Justin Timberlake?
CBS has formally renewed Two and a Half Men for a tenth season with stars Ashton Kutcher, Angus T. Jones and Jon Cryer all ready to perform having recently landed new deals with the network.
Two and a Half Men has been a strong performer for CBS, even in the wake of Charlie Sheen’s bizarre and highly publicized exit from the series at the end of Season 8. Ratings had slipped a couple million viewers per episode between Seasons 7 and 8 until Sheen began his crazy streak toward the end of Season 8. Ratings saw an uptick by a few million viewers when that fiasco began and carried through the Season 8 finale.
When Ashton Kutcher came on board for Season 9 after Sheen’s Charlie character was killed off-screen, ratings jumped on average around 13 percent to 15 million per episode. Those numbers are a little misleading when zeroing in on each episode individually over the course of the season. The Season 9 premiere introducing Kutcher brought in a whipping 28.74 million viewers. The most recent episode, the second-to-last of the season, mustered only 11.43 million, or nearly a 60 percent drop.
Though over 11 million viewers is a low number for CBS and Two and a Half Men, it’s still a strong number when weighed against the competition in prime time. There is no surprise in CBS’ eagerness to sign Ashton Kutcher, Angus T. Jones and Jon Cryer for another season to keep their flagship comedy on the air.
Ashton Kutcher may be all about the laughs on Two and a Half Men, but the funnyman suits up and gets serious for Monday’s CNBC special Stay Tuned: The Future of TV. After executive producing more than a dozen shows including Punk’d and galvanizing Twitter, Kutcher has some thoughts on how TV and the Internet will work together to better cater to audiences in the future. He also has ideas about Apple, Google, and more. Watch after the jump.
Click on the photo below to see the video on ew.com:
Kutcher returns for 10th season of CBS series
To the surprise of few, Ashton Kutcher has signed on for another season of Two And A Half Men.
Kutcher, 34, replaced 2011’s media darling Charlie Sheen as the lead character in the series last year amid a fair amount of controversy and intrigue.
Sheen’s character of Charlie Harper was axed from the series in a way that was devoid of anything remotely clever (The premiere episode of Season 9 began with a funeral scene, where it was revealed that Charlie Harper was killed by a speeding train), while Walden Schmidt(Ashton Kutcher)was introduced as a sympathetic millionaire that ends up living with the Harpers.
With Kutcher netting the same amount per episode that he did during his initial season ($700,000 per episode…Along with a generous signing bonus, according to Deadline), the star of “The Butterfly Effect” should have no qualms with returning to this particular set.
Will the 10th season be the last for Two And A Half Men? The ratings would indicate that the series could still coast by for another few years(The first episode of season nine set a viewing record of 28.7 million viewers as reported by Reuters) , though the April 9 episode may have jolted the CBS comedy’s producers- It received the lowest rating in the 18-49 demographic since the show’s inception, garnering a 3.5 Neilsen rating according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The current season will be finishing up on May 14, 2012, while the 10th should be premiering this September.
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