About 28 million viewers tuned in to the new season of Two and a Half Men last night to see just how the end of Charlie and the entrance of Ashton would be handled. It seems they were not disappointed!

Of the 28 million, at least 10.3 million viewers were reported to be  in the 18-49 age group. The viewing audience for this season premiere more than doubled last season’s ratings of 14.7 million.

The premiere episode opened with Charlie’s funeral where the audience was treated to a lineup of stars, including Jeri Ryan, John Stamos, Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson of “Dharma and Gregg” fame and more.

Ashton Kutcher’s “Walden Schmidt” is introduced when Walden is unsuccessful at trying to drown himself after being dumped by his wife. He meets Jon Cryer’s “Alan” when both wind up in Charlie’s living room (now Alan’s living room), with Charlie’s ashes spilled all over the floor by Alan in reaction to his shock at Walden’s soaking wet presence peering through the patio window.

The two characters vacuum up Charlie and ultimately bond over their losses and the new twist to the series is launched! Ashton Kutcher’s debut definitely boosted ratings – at least for the season premiere of the show. It is described as different but still very funny and still in keeping with the show’s wacky premise when Walden becomes the sexy beach house owner.

The difference is that his approach is that of a “boy in need” where Charlie played the “gotcha” playboy who knew everything about how to land a sexy girlfriend – and how to get rid of her quickly to make room for the next one.

Ashton Kutcher seems to be a welcome addition (or replacement) to the series, but it will be interesting to see ABC’s ratings for this show and other season premieres when they are released.