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‘Two and Half Men’ producers ponder their second ‘Half’

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Updated: June 1, 2013 6:22AM

At “Two and a Half Men,” the backstage dramas often rival the in-your-face comedy they put on TV every week.

Of course, we all know about the high-profile battles involving ex-“Men” star Charlie Sheen. Those are old news. This season the headlines were about young actor Angus T. Jones’ very public plea last November for viewers to stop watching the series he condemned as “filth.”

It comes as no surprise that Jones, 19, will not be back as a series regular next season, but I’m hearing there is serious chatter among the show’s production honchos about how to replace that “Half” in “Two and a Half Men.”

Word has it, there’s a number of plot concepts being tossed around, including the arrival of a long-lost son created by either Jon Cryer’s or Ashton Kutcher’s character.

† I’ve also learned that Jones’ departure is not being mourned by anyone involved with the show — either in front of or behind the camera.

REALTY REALITY: Taylor Swift is not only a serial dater — she’s a serial property owner, and the songbird’s buying and selling of real estate seems to be making her big bucks. Swift, who reportedly made $1 million-plus by flipping a mansion adjacent to the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis, Mass., supposedly has plunked down $17 million in cash for a seaside estate in Westerly, R.I.

The singer bought the Cape Cod property during the time she was linked to Camelot heir Conor Kennedy.

The new posh digs in Rhode Island sport a five-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot mansion and 700 feet of waterfront. Swift negotiated down the sellers from their original $20 million asking price.

STAR POWER: There’s word that the contracts are nearly worked out for Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp to team-up in the big screen film that “Chicago” director Rob Marshall will helm based on Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” musical. Depp is no stranger to Sondheim’s music, having played the title role in the “Sweeney Todd” movie — the last time he sang on camera.

Emma Stone is in talks to play the female lead in the next Woody Allen film that the Oscar winner is planning to shoot in the South of France this summer.

† An upcoming film will explore the 1970s Yale Law School courtship of Chicago native Hillary Rodham and her future husband, Bill Clinton, reports. “Rodham,” about Hillary balancing her political ambitions with her desire to marry, will be directed by James Ponsoldt (“Smashed”).

STARGAZING : According to close pals of Beyonce, the superstar is eager to grow her family. Reportedly, once she’s done with her “Mrs. Carter’s Show” tour of Europe, Beyonce and hubby Jay-Z will be getting busy to add a little brother or sister — to join big sis, the precocious Blue Ivy, now 15 months old.

A very coy Jennifer Lopez told “Extra” that “it’s too far off to say right now” when asked about returning to the judges panel on “American Idol” next season — supposedly replacing Mariah Carey.

NO BONDING: There was a lot of buzz prior to this year’s Academy Awards that the tribute to the James Bond films would include a reunion of all the actors who have played 007 on the big screen over the years. Turns out that may have been a big exaggeration.

While promoting his new film, “Love is All You Need,”

Pierce Brosnan told’s Roger Friedman he wanted to set the record straight.“No one invited me,” Brosnan told Friedman, but added he actually told TMZ earlier this year, “I don’t think I’ll be there. It’s another man’s job.” The actor said that ended up getting “blown into something else. … It became I snubbed them. I didn’t. I didn’t get invited,” which seems to indicate that “reunion” never was truly


After all, given Brosnan’s long run as Bond — any get-together of actors who played the role obviously would have included him.

STAGE SET: “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” the new production adapted and directed by music man Hershey Felder and starring the internationally renowned storyteller and pianist Mona Golabek, has snared rave reviews for the theatrical piece, based on Golabek’s family’s unforgettable true story set in wartime Europe. (To read Hedy Weiss’ rave, go to

Every night audience members wait as long as a half-hour to greet Golabek after performances. Yet, despite the strong reception, the show is in danger of closing early at the Royal George Theatre unless ticket sales perk up quickly. Let’s hope that happens. This is a must-see.

POL PATTER: Cory Booker, the charismatic mayor of Newark, N.J. — currently running for a U.S. Senate seat in the Garden State — hits town Tuesday evening for a fund-raising event at Untitled Chicago. Booker long has been touted as having a big future career on the national political stage.

SEEN ON THE SCENE: It was quite the par-tay the other night at Jellyfish on Rush. The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler stopped by — then jumped behind the counter and started rolling sushi with chef Puje Corlig, before dining with friends and enjoying the rolls he had just help make. A bit later actor and hip-hop artist Ludacris popped in to get his sushi and sake fix. Finally, ex-Bear Jerry Azumah made the scene, chilling to Jellyfish’s DJ and late-night lounge scene. … Fans of longtime Bears punter Brad Maynard were happy to see him at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie. … Mayor Rahm Emanuel was spied enjoying a quiet dinner at III Forks Prime Steakhouse in Lakeshore East. … The happy cast of “Chicago Fire” — just officially renewed by NBC for a second season — celebrated at their wrap party, appropriately at the Chicago Firehouse, including stars Taylor Kinney, Charlie Barnett, Eamonn Walker, Monica Raymund. Lauren German and David Eigenberg.

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