Belfast Telegraph

Ashton Kutcher show breaks record

Both Ashton Kutcher and Charlie Sheen have something to brag about after their big nights on US television.

Ashton's debut as Charlie's replacement in the CBS sitcom Two And A Half Men was seen by 28.7 million people on Monday. The Nielsen Company said that's more than any other episode in the show's first eight seasons, when Charlie was the star.

The sitcom's previous best came in May 2005 following the final episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Meanwhile, Charlie appeared on Monday as the "victim" of a Comedy Central roast that reached 6.4 million people. That is the second most-watched telecast in the cable network's history, behind only Jeff Dunham's holiday special in 2008.

The season-opening episode of Two And A Half Men, US television's most popular comedy, was much anticipated. Producers kept a secret of how they would kill off Charlie's character and introduce Ashton's.

Charlie had been fired from the show last season for drug use and erratic behaviour. He launched a weeks-long tirade against his bosses, including show creator Chuck Lorre - Chuck got revenge in Monday's episode.

Charlie's character - Charlie Harper - was killed when he was hit by a subway train in Paris.

Meanwhile, Ashton appeared as an internet billionaire unsuccessful in a suicide attempt over a crumbled relationship. He fell straight into the show's randy ways, picking up two women during a bar visit the same night.

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