The cast and producers from CBS’ red-hot comedy quadruple threat of Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly met with journalists Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, and here are the 12 juiciest spoilers TVLine walked away with.
Mike & Molly
* Producers all but confirmed that Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell’s characters will tie the knot during May sweeps.
Two and a Half Men
* Ashton Kutcher, who initially signed a one-year “test deal” with Men, is very open to returning next fall. “I have a couple of features I want to do during the hiatus,” he says, “and right now I am looking at it as a hiatus. I’m having a lot of fun. I’m interested in doing more.” Translation: Show him the $$$, CBS.
* Kutcher’s extreme makeover — the actor trotted out a newly shorn, clean-shaven appearance (see image above) — was storyline-motivated. “[Producers] wrote an [episode] that dictated that I cut my hair and shave my beard,” he said, adding, “Watch on Monday.”
2 Broke Girls
* Series creator Michael Patrick King made no apologies for the show’s low-brow humor during a needlessly combative, painfully tense and frequently awkward 25-minute tussle with reporters. “The show is sophisticated and naughty and I think everyone likes a good naughty joke,” he argued. “I feel no need to pull away from the brand of 2 Broke Girls, which is basically ballsy, in-your-face and hopefully funny.”
* Don’t look for Max and Caroline to get a sudden influx of cash and open their dream cupcake bakery anytime soon. “One of the important realities of 2 Broke Girls is the word broke,” said King. “And we try to deal [realistically] with how much money moves through their life. I don’t foresee a way the girls could raise $350,000 in a season [and open a bakery]. I don’t foresee them leaving the diner. I like them in the diner.”
* Regarding the at times very strong chemistry between Max and Caroline, King said, “We make nothing but jokes about [lesbians]; we’re building a love story, not a sexual love story.”
* Elaborating on the previously announced casting of Jennifer Coolidge, who makes her debut on Jan. 16, King said, “[She] is joining us for a whole bunch of episodes playing a character named Sophie Kerchinsky, a hard-working Polish woman who lives upstairs [from Max and Caroline].”
How I Met Your Mother
* “It’s not a high priority for us,” exec producer Carter Bays said of setting an end date to the series (which has already been renewed through the 2012-13 season). “I think we’re keeping it undecided as for now.” He then confirmed that Ted meeting his future wife “will be part of the end game of the show. How much the show will go on beyond that, we can’t say.” (He later noted that there are 18 dangling threads that need to be tied up prior to the series finale.)
* HIMYM recently surpassed Buffy as Alyson Hannigan’s longest-running series. “We just did our 150th, and I did 144 episodes of Buffy,” she said. “It’s weird [and] fantastic.”
* During February sweeps, Ted will take stock of where he is in his life and what changes he needs to make to find The One (a.k.a. The Mother). “He’s going to come up with what he thinks is the answer, and then we’re going to explore whether it is the right answer for him,” said Bays. “There’s big soul-searching stuff coming up for Ted in Episode 16, 17, and 18.”
* When in doubt about what exactly is transpiring on screen, trust Future Ted. “[He's] a pretty reliable narrator,” said Bays. “People can trust what Bob Saget says.”
* Marshall and Lily’s move to the ‘burbs is “not necessarily a permanent stop,” said fellow EP Craig Thomas. “It’s a real identity crisis when you have a baby, and moving into the suburbs was part of that for Marshall and Lily.”