LOS ANGELES (AP) – Twitter king Ashton Kutcher gave his followers a big clue Wednesday that he may be joining “Two and a Half Men” — either that or he’s punking them.
“What’s the square root of 6.25?” the actor asked in a tweet.
The answer is 2-1/2.
Kutcher’s online message came amid reports that he’s nearing a deal to replace the fired Charlie Sheen on TV’s top-rated comedy. The 33-year-old was negotiating with series producer Warner Bros., The Hollywood Reporter said Wednesday, citing unidentified sources. Earlier, Broadcasting & Cable reported Kutcher had emerged as a candidate for the CBS series.
Warner Bros. declined comment, as did CBS. Kutcher’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There is deadline pressure to get a deal done, with CBS presenting its fall lineup to advertisers in New York next Wednesday.
Kutcher gained fame on another sitcom, “That 70s Show,” then focused on film roles (the romantic comedy “No Strings Attached” the most recent) and producing, including the prank show “Punk’d.”
Warner and CBS have been shopping for a name actor who could keep the highly lucrative sitcom afloat without Sheen. Within recent days, negotiations with British film star Hugh Grant fell apart because of reported creative differences.
There was speculation Wednesday that Kutcher could parlay his nearly 6.7 million Twitter followers and even bigger Facebook fan club into continued healthy viewership for “Two and a Half Men.”
But Kutcher’s effort to use social media to boost “The Beautiful Life,” which he produced for the CW network, proved lackluster: The 2009 series, which was a venture between CBS and Warner Bros., was canceled after just two episodes.
It’s been more than two months since Warner fired Sheen in the show’s eighth season, a move that followed the hard-living actor’s bouts of wild partying, repeated hospitalizations and a bitter media campaign against his studio bosses who shut down production.