LOS ANGELES, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- About 28 million viewers tuned in for the Season 9 premiere of the U.S. sitcom "Two and a Half Men" Monday night, CBS said.
The viewership marked the largest audience and highest adult 18-49 rating in series history, the network said.
Monday's episode was the first to air since star Charlie Sheen was fired for erratic behavior and drug abuse last spring. A funeral was held in the season premiere for Sheen's character, Charlie Harper, who was killed off-screen by a train.
New cast member Ashton Kutcher made his first appearance on the series Monday night, as well. He plays an Internet tycoon nursing a broken heart.