What to Expect When Two and a Half Men Says Goodbye

Michael Schneider
Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Two and a Half Men

Mega-producer Chuck Lorre says he enjoys series finales that include surprises–and he promises a few of his own as Two and a Half Men ends Thursday night after 12 years. (It's the longest-running multicamera sitcom in TV history.) "I said before we started writing the last episode that we didn't need to worry about loss of dignity, because we never had any," jokes Lorre, who penned the finale with cocreator Lee Aronsohn and executive producers Don Reo and Jim Patterson. "There will be twists throughout," Patterson teases, "and a lot of guest stars will return."

Could one of those stars be Charlie Sheen, who was very publicly fired from the sitcom in 2011 and replaced by Ashton Kutcher? Lorre will only say that the finale will feature "the important elements that have driven the series since its inception, [including] the scandal. You can't ignore it; it's woven into the DNA of the show."

Sheen has recently adopted a conciliatory tone, telling us last fall that he hoped to return before the series ended. Costar Jon Cryer is mum on whether Sheen will be back but admits, "There is still enormous gratitude and good feelings toward Charlie."

As for Cryer's Alan–who earlier this season staged a sham marriage with roommate Walden (Kutcher) in order to adopt a child–the jury is still out as to whether or not he will ever grow up. "For a long time I harbored some hope that Alan would leave the house," Cryer says, "and that he would blossom and have some semblance of independence. I don't see that happening." As the series comes to a close, Walden and Alan's fake union is dissolved, and both characters are left pondering their futures.

But Lorre says Two and a Half Men ends exactly the way he had hoped it would. "The people who have chosen to dislike what we've been doing will probably continue to do so," he says. "We have to make a show that we love and we laugh at. This is a celebration. Twelve years is staggering. That's a lot of show to wrap up."

Two and a Half Men, Series finale, Thursday, Feb. 19 9/8c, CBS