Sheen or no Sheen, viewers tuned in record numbers to both 2.5 Men and #SheenRoast

Proving he’s still captured the American public’s fascination, Charlie Sheen’s absence on his CBS sitcom and reappearance on a Comedy Central roast propelled both series to draw record numbers of TV viewers on Monday night.

The ninth season premiere for¬†Two and Half Men¬†attracted 27.76 million viewers overall in “live plus same day” ratings by Nielsen, with a 10.3 rating in the adults aged 18-49 demographic. A lot of people wanted to see not just how the show would write Sheen off of it, but also how Ashton Kutcher would fit in as his de facto replacement. As TV By The Numbers pointed out, that’s the biggest turnout for the season premiere of a scripted TV series since 2005’s second-season debut of Desperate Housewives brought in 28.36 million viewers. American Idol still draws more eyeballs.

Not to be outdone, Sheen himself out-trumped Donald Trump, as preliminary indications have The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen setting a new record as the cable network’s most-watched roast ever.

Comedy Central’s Trump roast, recorded just six months ago, brought in 3.5 million viewers and a 2.21 rating in the 18-49 demo.

Sheen? He toppled those figures, with more than 6.4 million viewers and a 4.5 rating in 18-49.

WOW. Or should I type….#winning?

UPDATED: From the official Comedy Central press release come more stats about how successful this roast was for the network.


  • More than 10 million viewers for all airings of the roast that night.
  • More than 450,000 mentions online — double that of the nearest shows, Dancing With the Stars and Two and a Half Men — according to
  • 249,000 Tweets about the roast on Monday, including almost half of that during the first hour of the East Coast airing (more than six times the amount during the Trump Roast)
  • More than 178,000 mentions of #SheenRoast, seven times that of #TrumpRoast
  • Largest single-day audience for for a Roast.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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One thought on “Sheen or no Sheen, viewers tuned in record numbers to both 2.5 Men and #SheenRoast

  1. Two and Half Men BOMBED!

    I wanted it to work & like Ashton, but the jokes weren’t there!

    Its almost like the writers pulled a secret strike.

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