Throughout the bitter public feud between Charlie Sheen and ... well, just about everybody connected to 'Two and a Half Men' earlier this year, Lorre remained silent.
Now, however, he has opened up to 'TV Guide' magazine about Sheen, Ashton Kutcher and where the show goes from here.
Lorre even admits that initially he didn't think Kutcher was the right guy for the job.
"I was completely convinced that we needed a forty-something co-star who would be a peer to Jon." But, he says, after meeting Kutcher and studying his work, "it was obvious my assumption was wrong.
Earlier this year Sheen and Lorre slung insults at each other with abandon. Lorre called Sheen "a degenerate," and Sheen responded with a whole bunch of slurs. He also insulted co-star Jon Cryer, calling him a "troll" and a "turncoat."
Cryer refused to discuss Sheen's insults and the huge meltdown that led many to question if he could survive personally or professionally. Now he says his big fear was that Sheen would die.
In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres airing on 'Ellen' later today, Cryer says that while he's "thrilled" that Sheen survived, he's still waiting for an apology. "We have not spoken. ... I will accept an apology both public and private. But again, it was in the heat of the moment I imagine when he said ... So I did not put a whole lot of credence in it at the time."
Because of ongoing litigation, Lorre isn't talking about the exact reasons for Sheen's exit, but does say that "there were many times I thought the show would stumble to an ignoble ending."
So, what saved the show from reaching that ignoble ending? Lorre says it was hiring Kutcher and getting him to play a character who's both funny and vulnerable. "I thought if we could capture that right out of the gate we'd be on our way to creating a really interesting, three-dimensional character."
In the upcoming season viewers will see Cryer's character Alan act as a mentor of sorts to Kutcher's miserable, love-lorn billionaire Walden Schmidt. But fans of the "OMG?!" moments in 'Men' needn't worry -- Lorre says it will still push the envelope.
"If, in the past," he says, "you enjoyed thinking, 'I can't believe they just did that raunchy joke,' you will not be disappointed in 'Two and a Half Men 2.0.''
'Two and a Half Men' Season 9 premieres Monday Sept. 19, 9PM ET on CBS.