Though Charlie Sheen may still be convinced CBS will take him back as the star of Two and a Half Men, the network has other ideas, and in fact had found the major movie star they wanted to replace him until negotiations fell through yesterday. According to Deadline the network came very, very close to snagging Hugh Grant to star in the show, in return for a $1 million-per-episode payday and the strange pop culture appropriateness of a former tabloid fixture replacing another.

Deadline doesn't have the details on why Grant walked away at the last minute-- the excuse given is the old familiar "creative differences"-- but they seem to be holding out hope that he might change his mind in time for the television upfronts next week, when the network had hoped to announce him as their new star. The $25 million per year that Grant would make on the show would be way, way more than he or virtually anyone else makes from doing a single movie, and Grant especially hasn't been a major movie box office draw for several years now. His last rom-com effort Did You Hear About The Morgans? made a disappointing $29 million domestically, and even his 2007 global hit Music and Lyrics is forgettable by any standards.

It's disappointing to hear about interesting news like this only after the deal has fallen through, but if Deadline chooses to have hope that he might reconsider, I will too-- after all, news like this leaking during a negotiation process is sometimes just a way for an actor to negotiate a better contract. I've never watched Two and a Half Men, but I'd sure as hell be interested to see Hugh Grant make his American sitcom debut. Are you guys feeling just as excited about the idea, or would you rather CBS just let Two and a Half Men die a peaceful death already?

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