2.3m for Two and a Half Men

If it had been any higher Ashton Kutcher’s debut as the new Charlie Sheen would have been a case of Two and a Half million -the show nudged a whopping 2.3m viewers last night, a soaring success for Nine.

The curiosity over how Kutcher replaced Sheen got the better of the viewing audience last night, switching from their traditional Rafters favourite to see how he would fare in the US sitcom. It peaked at 2.6m viewers and now becomes the highest rating comedy show of 2011. It was also the highest ever audience for the show.

It was the top show for the night, and well ahead of Seven’s family drama on 1.63m viewers. NCIS was left out of the race on 659,000 viewers but it was a repeat.

Nine had Chuck Lorre comedy from 7pm through to 9pm with Two and a Half Men repeats (with Charlie Sheen) even beating The X Factor verdict. 1.73m for replays was a fantastic result, ahead of Seven’s sing-off at 1.43m. Modern Family / The Renovators was 806,000 / 650,000.

The lead in from Two and a Half Men gave The Joy of Sets a good start, with 1.16m viewers -but it had dropped half the audience. The Charlie Sheen Roast got 810,000 followed by NCIS: Los Angeles (664,000) and Dinner Date UK (556,000) -a big drop for the latter.

After ABC News (948,000) the best for the ABC was 7.30 (575,000). United States Of Tara returned to a disappointing 328,000. Trafficked – The Reckoning on SBS ONE was 223,000.

Neighbours topped multichannels on 328,000.

Nine’s primary channel bettered Seven’s, but on network shares Seven edged out to win by just 0.1%. That’s some punchline.

Week 39


  1. Have Nine said where they’re putting 2 Broke Girls if that’s also been fast tracked, as they’re going to need something at 9 pm to follow TAHM, which will put 2BG under pressure to perform.

  2. I must be getting old and crank (at 38) but Joy of Sets was disappointing – a real pity cause I was looking forward to it since the beginning of the year. It had a cheap production feel to it. It was far too scripted with most jokes falling flat – except for the Ed/KD Lang gag. Why did Tony always introduce the two of them after each ad break. And Peter Phelps – did he get a word in? Probably the best bit – the intro showed at the end of the show – should be used as the opening titles – it was actually pretty good.

  3. To be fair, nobody was “switching from their traditional Rafters favourite to see how he would fare in the US sitcom”. Rafters was noticeable up week-on-week.

  4. Secret Squïrrel

    @Belinda – you’re right! I always watched it on ABC2 on Thu but I see that was the repeat. I must’ve been watching something else on Wednesdays.

  5. I got sucked into the hype and watched 2 &1/2 Men, before this I have never watched an ep. This is supposed to be funny??? Utter crap. I like Ashton, I have watched many eps of That 70’s Show. But 21/2 men was not funny, just lame.

    Joy of Sets was not bad, but they have made it far too scripted! It would have been better with more spontaneous banter between Ed and Tony, rather than prewritten jokes. And please get rid of Warwick Capper! He’s pathetic.

  6. Sheen did CBS and Warner Bros. a big favour, as he was getting a ridiculous 2 million an episode, plus a cut of the show’s profits as well, then was asking for 3 mill an episode, whereas Aston is much cheaper.

  7. Sorry @Don, if that is classified as clever or original comedy writing, i will be more than happy to be classed as a tv snob. Community is where you go to get witty inspired comedy writing. There is a reason shows like arrested development had A-list celebs lining up to guest star, while two and a half men has…John Stamos.

  8. The majority of comments on here are from TV snobs, i cant believe it , theres nothing wrong with 2.5 men, the writing can be very funny at times, The scene last night with Judith and Herb, where Judith found out about Herb investing in Allan’s ponsie scheme is hilarious!!! Herbs line was ” i suppose one of us is owed an apology”
    Judith gives him a filthy look to which Herb say “sorry”.and walks away !!
    Classic relationship dynamics!!!
    Charlie Sheen roast was rubbish !!! all they did was try to out grosse each other, and didnt say anything clever or funny. The “guests” took the mickey out of each other and not Sheen. I gave it 25 min then switched off !!

  9. Rose found him in the shower with another women…next day he fell in front of a train on a Paris trainstation…classic sitcom death…when and if Ashton doesnt work out…it would have all just been a dream….. and he will come back

  10. I thought the roast was pretty good too. Comment of the night came from Mike Tyson “your performance was so bad I wanted to bite my own ears off!” Classic.

  11. This is great.I missed the first new 2.5 men due to work last night but these figures speak for themself.Not Even Top Gear in all it’s variations could come close so good on them for axing that and putting on something other than Motoring Meat Heads can all enjoy.

    They for old times sake could put on some old My Two Wives episodes as a lead in or other home grown comedies for an hour.For the fans of the old Sheen 2.5 men Just Go to Kmart/Target or a Virgin Megastore and get your fix there

  12. Agreed the roast was extraordinary!

    It would have been even better if Lisa Lampenelli had been involved but she was absent from this roast for some reason..

  13. I have Two and a Half another try – To paraphrase Henry VIII, I didn’t like it even with Charlie Sheen (who I do enjoy); now he’s gone, I like it much worse.

  14. Secret Squïrrel

    @Alvar – good point. I was wondering whether it was just a halo effect from the new 2.5 or whether people were confused as to which show was the new one and tuned in early. I haven’t seen 2.5 in a long while but I remember it being funnier than last night’s with Kutcher. I don’t think I’ll make the effort next week.

    I’ve written elsewhere that JoS was ok but ultimately disappointing. It prob deserves another chance but they have to fix up the pacing. It’d prob benefit from having just a little more material and going for the full hour (or 42 minutes).

    The US of Tara was great, the writing’s still good and there’s plenty of life in it. ABC should’ve had this on the main channel fro the start. Now they’re trying to introduce it to a whole new audience who clearly don’t know that ABC2 exists, and they’re going “huh?”. I say ‘clearly don’t know that ABC2 exists’ because the repeats of Norton on ABC1 outrated the new eps on ABC2.

    I have never p!ssed myself laughing but I came really close watching Charlie Sheen’s Roast.

  15. Stunning figures for Two and a Half Men, reflecting similar results in the US where the episode was watched by 28.7 million viewers. It is claimed to be the best season premiere since Desperate Housewives in September 2005 which attracted 28.36 million.

  16. I watched Nine last night, up until the Roast which I got bored with so switched over to the Wilfred final. I didn’t mind JoS but not sure if I’ll tune in again.

    So has Nine bought the rights to the other Roasts or just this one, like they did with Clarkson on the BBC WDYTYA?

    As always next week will be the tell, how many will come back to 2.5 Men, can Charlie’s Angels provide the lead-in next week?

  17. I too loved the roast, I haven’t laughed that hard in long time. I would love to see more in the future, either on FTA or Foxtel. Good luck to Ed and Tony with the Joy of Sets, a good concept and I look forward to next week.

  18. @ justin, couldn’t agree more about The Charlie Sheen Roast. I was crying with laughter! I had to make sure I was actually watching Channel Nine, it’s not something they’d usually air, but they definitely should show more comedy specials like this. Good work, Nine! (I never thought I’d say that…)

  19. Charlie Sheen Roast was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a very long time. Would love to see more Roasts on Free to Air.
    “Charlie, you’re just like Bruce Willis…You were huge in the 80’2, and now your old slot is being filled by Ashton Kutcher.” Gold!

  20. i think its notable that the 7.30 repeat episodes of men weren’t just ordinary episodes which have been repeated 100 times. they were the final two eps from last season, which attributed to those high figures.

  21. Either ABC News had 9 million viewers, or there has been a typo.
    Either way, fantastic result for Nine, especially on Seven’s strongest night. Watched Nine from 7.30 all the way to 9.30, then IQ’ed Charlie Sheen Roast. Joy of Sets was great in my opinion- I laughed more than during 2.5 Men.

  22. The show’s unlikely to ever hit these heights again. It was a pretty lame affair. Kutcher’s character doesn’t have the instant comic appeal, or the potential of Sheen’s. The nudity was both desperate and sad (it ain’t daring if you have to pixillate his butt, fellas!). And, while the writing is still sharp, it’s clearly strained without the character who was really the show’s main reason for being.

  23. In a way it was a good move to put The Joy of Sets after two and a half men, following such a unfunny program made Tony and Ed seem funnier, still it only really raised a few laughs. I really think a “The Soup” style show would do better. But unfortunately after the Joy of Sets had finished, channel 9’s other programming decision of the night made me see how flat and mediocre “Sets” actually was. The Charlie Sheen roast was the most and hardest i laughed while watching free to air telly in a very long time. Watching this will surely show all the people that whine about Ricky Gervais’ hosting of the Globes, see how lightly he let the residents of tinselltown off. Please Channel Nine, more comedy central roasts, hell just more genuine comedy, get some HBO stand-up specials, anything that has not got Chuck Lorre’s name to it, you know…comedy.

  24. David – just on United States of Tara. I’m not sure Tuesday at 9.30 is the best place for this. I think the ABC would have been better waiting 2 weeks for the end of ‘At Home with Julia’ and slotted it into the Wednesday night line up.

    Scheduling notwithstanding, I’m sure there are more than a few like me who are doubtful about where the show can go; and what – if anything – ‘new’ it can deliver in this season.

  25. Hahaha and the clowns at 9 still can’t win a network night!!! Well done 7. Hopefully 2.5 morons is on the downhill spiral again. If not I’m sure 9 will make sure to over expose it again !!!

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