updated 05/11/2011 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/11/2011 AT 5:15 PM ET
While names like Rob Lowe and John Stamos have been tossed around as rumored replacements for the embattled actor, it wasn’t until Wednesday that a source revealed that Hugh Grant has been a serious contender for the role.
“The show was in talks with Hugh Grant to become the new lead,” the source tells PEOPLE. “And wouldn’t it be brilliant if it were so?”
While there is no official word on the status of Grant’s negotiations with the show, one thing remains clear: contrary to other reports, “Any actor brought in to the show will not [make] anywhere near [$1 million per episode].
Even if the deal falls through with Grant, 50, a replacement decision will likely be made very soon.
“It’s a week to the upfront and all signs are pointing to something needing to be done before [then],” the source says.
CBS presents its fall lineup to advertisers during upfronts on May 18.
The story was originally reported by Deadline.