Ashton Kutcher's 'Two And A Half Men' Contract Only One Year: Report

05/23/2011 07:55 am ET | Updated Jul 23, 2011

Ashton Kutcher is the high profile replacement for off-the-rails Charlie Sheen on CBS' hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men," but according to one report, there's at least a chance that he won't be for very long.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kutcher's contract with Warner Brothers Television -- the company that produces "Men" for CBS -- is only for one year. It's a lucrative year, paying him about $20 million, but with the show only licensed by the network for one more season, Kutcher didn't commit beyond that.

It's a smart play; no one knows how the show will do without Sheen, and if it is a critical and ratings dud, Kutcher isn't committed to staying on to a sinking ship if it is still renewed. And if it does well, as he and CBS are hoping and expecting, he can then negotiate for a higher salary. After all, Sheen was making about $2 million per episode before getting fired.

Still, with tough negotiations on the horizon, Kutcher and CBS are playing very, very nice in the press.

"In my 13 years in show business, I've never received more emails and phone calls from people congratulating me for this job. You almost think I've won the lotto ... which I kind of did," Kutcher said at last week's CBS upfront presentation. "I got the best job in show business and I'm excited about that."