CBS scrambling for new ‘Men’ star

Hugh Grant talked but walked as upfront looms

Hugh Grant may not be the new man on “Two and a Half Men,” but CBS is doing its damndest to replace Charlie Sheen in time for its upfront presentation next Wednesday.

British thesp did negotiate extensively with “Men” studio Warner Bros. and exec producer Chuck Lorre for a starring role in the hit sitcom, but sources close to the talks say the potential pact fell apart when Grant returned to the U.K. and the studio didn’t hear back from him.

Grant’s exit left the studio searching for someone to step in for Sheen, whose return to the show is not an option, the studio has said publicly. Talks are ongoing with multiple actors to lead “Men,” but it’s not known whether any of those are in a stage advanced enough to give CBS reason to renew the series for fall.

CBS could end up waiting longer than it wants to for the right talent, pushing “Men” to a midseason berth. It’s also possible Lorre may not feel comfortable enough with any of the potential replacements to continue, which could bring an end to “Men.”

Even Grant can’t be ruled out entirely, though he’s not a likely option at this point.

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