New “Two And A Half Men” wallops competiton


Don't drop the... um, never mind.

Uncle Kelso has arrived in the Harper household – and he’s already winning – and so is the former occupant.

The ninth season premiere of Two And A Half Men – the first one without Charlie Sheen after his well-publicized departure from the series last March, and the first for new series regular and former That ’70’s Show star Ashton Kutcher – did gangbusters in the ratings department.

Men pulled in a whopping 28.74 million viewers and a 10.7 rating in the adult 18-49 demo for CBS, exceeding all expectations and making it the most watched episode of the series ever, and the most watched network scripted program in six years.

In the sitcom’s epilogue – in the 8:30 p.m.-8:31 p.m. time frame – which featured Kutcher in a scene-stealing OMG moment with him walking around in the buff – drew a whopping 31.03 million viewers and a 11.4/26 in the key demo.

In Canada, Men also set a series high for CTV, who averaged five million viewers in the same Monday night 9 p.m. ET time slot.  The season premiere of Men was the most watched regular series north of the border in six years.

Here in the States, Men easily trounced ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, which drew 19 million viewers and a 4.0 rating in adults 18-49. While the ratings for Dancing were the lowest in two years, 19 million is still pretty good.

As expected, the writers killed off Charlie Sheen’s Charlie Harper character – the opening scene featured the funeral and Jon Cryer apparently the only person in mourning.

While Two And A Half Men  was winning big time, so was former cast member Charlie Sheen, who had good ratings news of his own. His roast on Comedy Central – aptly titled The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, drew 6.4 million viewers for the cable network and a record 4.5 18-49 demo rating at 9 p.m. (CT), easily defeating fare on the three major broadcast networks, including NBC’s ultra-hyped The Playboy Club, which drew only five million viewers and a 1.6/4 in the key demo. Not a “winning” performance for the critically-panned shot-in-Chicago series, which may turn out to be the next Chicago Code.

ESPN meanwhile, drew 11.92 million viewers for the St. Louis Rams-New York Giants Monday Night Football matchup and a 4.8 adults 18-49 rating.

As for Men – while the series won’t be pulling a 30 share every week, it’s a good start for Uncle Kelso and company.