How much would "Two and a Half Men" have paid Hugh Grant to show up, goof around with Jon Cryer, and deliver the inevitable, winking joke about an unfortunate night 16 years ago?
Not enough, apparently. A person close to the show says the dashing "About a Boy" star was offered well under $1 million an episode to replace Charlie Sheen as the sitcom's requisite dark prince. Deadline, which first reported the talks, said Grant has backed out over creative differences.
The person close to the show said anyone hired for Chuck Lorre's revamped "Men" will receive less than $1 million per episode — a sign that Warner Bros. TV has no interest in returning to the days of Sheen's $1.8 million.
In a perfect world for CBS, the show would find someone to replace Sheen in time to include it in the network's upfront presentation to advertisers next week.
Reps for Grant did not repond to queries about whether he might reconsider.
Deadline first reported Grant was offered more than $1 million, but later updated its story to say Warner Bros. contested the figure.