Kutcher's Two and a Half Men Debut Draws 2.29m

More than two and quarter million viewers tuned in to see Ashton Kutcher replace Charlie Sheen in Two and Half Men on Tuesday night.

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The show was by far the highest rated on the night, with an audience of 2.293 million.

Two and Half Men's US premiere, airing less than 24 hours before it hit Australian screens, was watched by 27.8 million people -- more than any other episode in the show's first eight seasons, which starred Sheen.

Sheen was sacked from the show last season for his erratic behaviour and drug use.

He then launched into a week-long tirade against his bosses on the show, including its creator Chuck Lorre.

The season opener of the series showed Sheen's character, also called Charlie, killed when he was hit by a subway train in Paris.

His replacement, Kutcher, appeared in the show as an internet billionaire who had just made an unsuccessful suicide attempt over a failed relationship.

He also followed Charlie's womanising ways, picking up two women in a bar visit that same night.

Nine's new comedy show about television, The Joy of Sets, featuring comedians Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee, followed the new episode of Two and a Half Men.

While it lost about half the audience that tuned in to see Kutcher take over Sheen's role, it still had 1.165 million viewers, making it the ninth most-watched show of the night.

The Charlie Sheen Roast, which the network ran at 9.30pm, had 810,000 viewers, and ranked 14th.

Seven's reality singing competition The X Factor (Australia), which has been consistently dominating the ratings, dropped to fifth spot on Tuesday night for the announcement of the first eliminated contestant, Cleo Howman.

It was also beaten by Seven's local drama series Packed to The Rafters, which ranked third with 1.638 million viewers and two repeat episodes of Two and Half Men.

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