Actor Angus T. Jones of 'Two and a Half Men.' (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
The half is back.
Angus T. Jones, whose future on CBS comedy Two and a Half Men was thrown into doubt in late November after he trashed his show on a viral YouTube video, is being welcomed home with open arms.
Men's creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre said Wednesday that Jones will be back shooting shortly. "He's coming back next week. He's part of our show. He's part of our family. We love him," Lorre said.
Speaking on the red carpet at the People's Choice Awards, Lorre said he spoke with Jones after his comments.
"I was concerned about him continuing with us, but he's entitled to his journey," he said. "He's a sweetheart. He's fine."
He continued: "He's 19, man. Cut him some slack."
Jones has played Jake Harper since the hit sitcom premiered in 2003, though he has had less screen time this season after his character enlisted.
In religious testimony given as a video interview with a small group called The Forerunner Chronicles in November, Jones said: "If you're watching Two and a Half Men, please stop watching Two and a Half Men. I'm on Two and a Half Men. I don't want to be on it. ... Please stop filling your head with filth." The video, recorded in his trailer on the Warner Bros. lot, quickly went viral.
Soon after he expressed regret in a statement: "I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that," he says.
Lorre joked Wednesday that he didn't disagree, at least partly, with Jones' earlier statement: "The show's kind of filthy. We work hard. We hope it's funny, as well."
In Jones' first episode back, his character, Jake, gets a new girlfriend.
"The episode we're introducing next week introduces his new girlfriend, an older woman with three kids, a tattoo artist, played by Jaime Pressly," he said.
Men relaunched in fall 2011 with Ashton Kutcher replacing the fired Charlie Sheen after his vicious public battle with Lorre. It remains one of TV's top-rated series in its 10th year, averaging more than 14 million viewers this season.
Lorre said the situation was in no means similar to the controversy with Sheen. "He is a beloved member of the cast," Lorre said of Jones. "He has been a great, great young man for 10 years."