CBS signed on Ashton Kutcher to its hit show 'Two and a Half Men' just in time for the TV Network Upfronts, which start on Monday.
This is the networks' big chance to trot out their new shows and remind advertisers that returning shows have a devoted audience.
After quite a lull in ad spending, we should see a massive rebound this year -- with a record $9.5 billion dollars expected to be spent on Upfront ad sales.
The rebound isn't due to higher ratings -- in fact ratings are down -- but instead thanks to sky-high ad rates in the "scatter" market so far this spring. What happened? Last year advertisers held back and bought fewer ads, leaving a huge amount of volume to be sold later, and in the past few months ads have been selling at rates 40 percent higher than last year's Upfront rates. Rather than face such sticker shock, marketers would rather lock in prices now.
CBS securing Kutcher to star in television's top rated sitcom is meaningful -- the networks are now ready to showcase their lineups.