It may be a comedy, but Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men for the CBS TV network has had its fair share of drama.
With the start of the new U.S. fall season, we’ve been wondering how the post-Charlie Sheen Men, now starring Ashton Kutcher, would fare internationally. Sure, Kutcher is an international movie star, but would the cast change hurt the studio’s international sales?
While Warner Bros. declined to comment for this article, it seems the recent international ratings speak for themselves – with the show breaking records in many English-speaking territories.
In the U.S., the series’ first two new episodes won their timeslot. The first episode garnered an audience of 28.7 million, an all-time series high. The audience for its second episode – though significantly smaller — was still strong, maintaining over 20.53 million viewers.
Critics are almost universally praising Kutcher’s seamless transition into the starring role. They’re also marveling at the fact that the show is maintaining its popular and well-known punchlines (most of which revolve around a womanizing main character).
And the success seems to be translating internationally.
Canada’s CTV scored an estimated audience of 4.90 million with the season premiere of Men. It represented the largest audience ever for the series in Canada, and was among the biggest TV draws of 2011.
The premiere episode also garnered its highest-ever ratings ever in Australia, pulling in 2.3 million viewers on Channel Nine.
And in England, the premiere episode of Men was watched by more than 800,000 viewers on Comedy Central — representing the UK digital channel’s largest-ever audience.
While it’s highly unlikely that subsequent episodes will retain the record-breaking audience shares of the premiere, it looks as though the easy transition from Sheen to Kutcher means that internationally, Two and a Half Men won’t suffer too much because of its lost man.