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Lorre ‘grateful’ for ‘Men’ rebirth

Sitcom team talks about relaunch with Ashton Kutcher

It was a grateful Chuck Lorre that came to TCA on Wednesday to address the rebirth of “Two and a Half Men” after the blowup last year with former star Charlie Sheen.

Lorre opened the sesh by emphasizing “we are grateful to be here.” He and co-creator Lee Aronsohn also stressed that they knew it was a long shot to relaunch the show with Ashton Kutcher. “It’s been a fun, exciting, challenging, terrifying experience,” Lorre said. “We’ve been laughing a lot.”

The questions about Sheen were kept to a minimum. Of the prospect of a reconciliation, Lorre said: “I wish him well. I’m glad he’s sober, happy and healthy.”

Aronsohn made a point of noting that the talk of strife between Lorre and Sheen during the show’s eight seasons of production was misstated. “I never saw that,” he said. “All of that came up after Charlie left the show. What’s been built up as a feud never really existed.”

Lorre acknowledged that the prospect of having to reinvent the eight-year-old sitcom was daunting, but so was the idea of show ending on such a sour note, on and off screen. “At first it seemed like an impossible and slightly ridiculous thing to do,” Lorre said. “But at some point it seemed like — why not try? If we fail, no one will be physically harmed. (Otherwise) it seemed like such a heartbreaking way to end.”

Lorre thanked Kutcher for having “come in and kept the lights on” by influencing the development of a character — a jilted, sensitive billionaire — who is worlds apart from the womanizing playboy played by Sheen.

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