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The daily dish

New man on block...

Ashton Kutcher will play "an Internet billionaire with a broken heart" when he arrives as the new star of "Two and a Half Men" next month.

CBS Entertainment's Nina Tassler shared this tidbit about the much-anticipated cast change for TV's biggest sitcom during a session with television reporters Wednesday. Kutcher, of course, will fill the void left by Charlie Sheen, who made a stormy exit from "Men" last season.

Kutcher's character will be named Walden Schmidt, confided the CBS boss, who added that Schmidt has no family connection to the characters played by continuing stars Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones. They portrayed the brother and nephew of Sheen's departed character.

Tassler would not confirm or deny reports that the new season of "Men" begins with the death of Sheen's character, Charlie Harper, and a funeral.

"The mystery is part of the marketing," she said.

"Men" begins its ninth season Sept. 19 with the first of a two-part kickoff that establishes Kutcher's character.

Predictably, Tassler voiced excitement about the show's new star.

Kutcher, she said, "is an extraordinarily professional, talented, funny, gifted actor who comes with a tremendous amount of commitment and enthusiasm."


O'Neals in the news...

Authorities say Griffin O'Neal, the 46-year-old son of actor Ryan O'Neal, was hospitalized after a traffic collision in San Diego County.

Earlier Tuesday, Griffin's brother, Redmond O'Neal, was jailed in Santa Monica after police allegedly found heroin in his car during a traffic stop.

San Diego police Sgt. David Jennings says Griffin O'Neal was behind the wheel of a car heading east on San Pasqual Valley Road on Tuesday afternoon in Escondido when he veered into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle.

Jennings says O'Neal complained of pain and was taken to Palomar Medical Center.

Hospital spokeswoman Bobette Brown says O'Neal was listed in stable condition Tuesday afternoon and was released later Tuesday.


Landlord sues Dunaway...

A New York City landlord is suing Faye Dunaway, claiming the actress' rent-stabilized apartment is not her primary residence.

The suit also names the actress' son, Liam Dunaway O'Neill, as a subtenant of the Manhattan apartment.

The New York Times ( ) says the Housing Court suit was filed Tuesday.

The suit says the "Bonnie & Clyde" actress owns a house in West Hollywood, Calif., and has her voter and car registrations there.

Rent stabilization rules require tenants to use those apartments as a primary residence, not a second home.

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