Upfronts 2011: CBS Mocks Regis Philbin in Opening Video, Skips 'Two and a Half Men' Jokes

By Anna Sekula May 19, 2011, 5:53 PM EDT

The CBS upfront presentation kept most of the talent off the stage at Carnegie Hall, but the stars of Two and a Half Men, including Charlie Sheen replacement Ashton Kutcher, made an appearance that brought applause from the crowd.

Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

Returning to Carnegie Hall for the second year, CBS made a confident pitch to advertisers on Wednesday afternoon that emphasized the network's strong ratings—plus the 100 million fans on social media platforms—its lineup of high-performing shows, and its consistent approach, described by CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler as, “We've never changed our strategy, or wavered with fashions and trends.” Indeed, the network's fall schedule will introduce just five new series that join an impressive 19 returning programs, and the biggest announcement was some key time-slot changes for three shows. To add some excitement to the unveiling of the timetable changes, the event's opening video had Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck in search of the schedule, stolen by soon-to-retire TV host Regis Philbin. The parody ended with Selleck onstage at the hall, handing off the document to CBS president and C.E.O. Leslie Moonves.

For the most part, the rest of the presentation was relatively subdued and CBS kept most of its talent offstage, asking them only to stand up and wave from their seats in the audience. One exception to this was an appearance from the stars of the retooled Two and a Half Men, including Charlie Sheen's replacement, Ashton Kutcher, who made no mention of Sheen and his recent antics.

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