Hollywood contract negotiations always seem uglier when they hit the industry trades, and what’s unfolding with the stars of “Two and a Half Men” is getting ugly. According to The Hollywood Reporter, both Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer have received two-year offers from CBS at the same rates they were being paid this season.
Now, don’t get us wrong: both stars are being compensated quite well, with Kutcher making a reported $700,000 per episode and Cryer a little less. But considering Charlie Sheen was reportedly getting $1.5 million per episode before he imploded and the show is a money making machine, it seems fair that both stars would want a raise, especially if the network is asking for two years instead of one.
After all, Kutcher saved the show from disappearing after Sheen was fired, and the show averaged a bigger audience than last season, mainly due to the huge fall ratings it got. And Cryer has been a loyal soldier through all the battles. It also seems that, according to THR, Kutcher, Cryer and producer Chuck Lorre aren’t too keen on going past a tenth season, so you’d think that the price would have to be right for the stars to commit to two years.
But the article points out that this is just the initial offer CBS — they’re the ones making the offer, not the show’s studio, Warner Bros., because that’s stipulated in the licensing agreement — and indicates that this could be a drawn-out negotiation. If that happens, this season’s finale will have to be written in a way that it could serve as either a series or season finale, a situation that almost never seems to work out well.