News Briefs: Ashton's Two and a Half Men Debut Draws 28 Million Viewers

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IT'S ALL ABOUT THE RATINGS!

... Just one day into the real fall season and we already have MONSTER numbers to report: 28.7 million people tuned in to see Two and a Half Men return sans Charlie Sheen. Yes, 28.7 million. And 31 million at its peak! That means a 10.7 rating (11.4 at its peak). Somewhere, CBS executives are cackling maniacally. Two and a Half Men crushed its nearest competitor, Dancing With the Stars (which drew around 20.5 million/4.5), and helped its time-slot mate 2 Broke Girls (which drew around 19 million/7.1) register the biggest debut for a comedy since 2001. (My video review of Two and a Half Men's Season 9 premiere is embedded below. It's short.) [TV By the Numbers]

... Sheen was alive and well during The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, which drew 6.4 million viewers—enough to make it the second-most watched show in the Comedy Central's history. Additionally, it set a television record for the most utterances of the words "cocaine" and "hookers." [TV By the Numbers]

... And how about that Playboy Club? NBC's drama debuted to a mere 5 million viewers and a 1.6 rating among adults. That, my friends, is what we in the business call "a horrible debut." It's an insider's term. [TV By the Numbers]


IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CASTING!

... Michael Zegen (Rescue Me) is joining the cast of The Walking Dead as Randall, a character who is not in the comic books the AMC show is based on. Randall is a kid "who finds himself in a rather unique set of post-apocalyptic circumstances." You know, because most post-apocalyptic circumstances are fairly run-of-the-mill. [EW]

... Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos, the Portia de Rossi lookalike club) will guest-star in a November episode of CSI: Miami. She'll play a poker player with a secret! (She's holding 2-7 off suit!) [EW]

... I don't know the show and I don't know the actor, but here's the news anyway: Cam Gigandet has landed the lead in TNT's western pilot Gateway. Congratulations, whatsyourface! [Deadline Hollywood]

... Lake Bell (Childrens Hospital, How to Make It in America) and Natasha Lyonne (American Pie) will guest-star on Fox's New Girl as girls even newer than star Zooey Deschanel. [TV Line]

... Peter Berg, the actor/director who executive-produced Friday Night Lights, will join Prime Suspect for an arc in which he plays a love interest for Maria Bello's character Jane. [EW]

... Weeds alum Elizabeth Perkins will guest-star on The Closer in December. She'll play the wife of the LAPD police commissioner. [EW]


IT'S ALL ABOUT THE REST OF THE NEWS

... Syfy has picked up the reality show Dream Machines, which follows a pair of brothers who re-create unusual and famous vehicles from the world of film and television, such as Tron's light cycle. Syfy also renewed Hollywood Treasure and Haunted Collector. [Syfy, via press release]

... Former Smallville showrunners Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders have joined the staff of The Secret Circle as consultants. [Deadline Hollywood]

My Two and a Half Men Video Review:


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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