So, who could possibly replace Charlie Sheen in America’s number one comedy? The news around Hollywood says that That 70s Show veteran Ashton Kutcher will take his place to fill out Two And A Half Men.

According to sources cited by The Hollywood Reporter, the 33-year-old is in final negotiations to assume Sheen’s spot on CBS’ stalwart sitcom. Sheen was fired from Two And A Half Men after substance abuse problems and a spectacular public row with series creator Chuck Lorre. Sheen has been on a publicity bender ever since, gaining both derision and plenty of job offers after his firing.

As early as this week, British actor Hugh Grant was rumored to be in the running for Sheen’s replacement on the show’s reboot. Grant reportedly turned the role down due to “creative differences.” Insiders speculate that either Grant was unwilling to commit to the grueling schedule of a regular TV sitcom, CBS was unwilling to commit to further extensions to cover Grant’s salary, or a combination of both.

Two And A Half Men will be a return to television for Kutcher, who has not had a regular TV role since he produced MTV’s Punk’d in 2007. That 70s Show ended its eight season run the year before. Since then he’s starred in a string of steady but disappointing comedies, including Razzie-winners Killers and Valentine’s Day. Kutcher’s last film role was No Strings Attached, opposite Natalie Portman.

Kutcher seems like a solid choice to fill Sheen’s loafers. While he doesn’t quite have the clout or recognizability with some of CBS’ older viewers, he’s proven that he can nail the lackadaisical playboy vibe that was essential to the role. While he’ll of course be playing a new character (whose details are to be determined), you can bet that he’ll have a lot in common with Sheen’s Charlie Harper.

One anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that Lorre already has a storyline prepared to introduce Kutcher’s character. “It’s really funny. People are going to love it.”

The deal is not official yet, but it’s a safe bet that with tens of millions of Two And A Half Men viewers on the line, CBS will make an announcement soon.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider

Source: The Hollywood Reporter