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Topic: 8 Simple Rules: James Garner & Suzanne Pleshette, Two stars join after John Ritter's death< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

Tigger58 Offline

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Posted: Sep. 16, 2003 6:43 am/pm Quote

ABC Will Continue John Ritter Sitcom
published 05:06 PM - SEPTEMBER 16, 2003 Eastern Time
ABC news



ABC Television said Tuesday it will continue the sitcom that showcased the late John Ritter, showing his television family coping with the death of Ritter's character on "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter."

ABC executives said the show will premier next Tuesday as planned and that the network will air the three episodes Ritter filmed before his death.

After that, the show will go into repeats while writers retool the sitcom and production starts. No date was given for when the show will return to the air.

Ritter died last Thursday of an undetected heart problem. He was 54.

"We are going to stick with it," Susan Lyne, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a conference call with reporters.

Each of the first three episodes already shot will start with a special introduction, featuring the cast members. The next new show will deal with the death of Ritter's character, Paul Hennessy.

"Future episodes will take viewers into the Hennessy household as they experience the loss of a father and construct a new life together," said Lloyd Braun, chairman of the ABC Entertainment Television Group. "We will play out the situation as real life."

Executives said they considered a number of options, including canceling the show, but decided to continue the series.



Actors from left Amy Davidson, Katey Cuoco and John Ritter appear in a scene from the ABC network's pilot of 8 Simple Rules ...for Dating My Teenage Daughter' in this undated promotional file photo. Beyond the personal tragedy, John Ritters death Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003, left ABC executives with an unprecedented nightmare: the loss of one of their biggest stars a week before a new TV season is to begin. (AP Photo/ABC, Carin Baer/ File)


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Tigger58 Offline

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Posted: Sep. 16, 2003 6:52 am/pm Quote

ABC's "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" will continue despite star John Ritter's death and will show the TV family coping with his character's loss, the network said Tuesday.

"Everybody recognizes that John loved that show. ... He'd have wanted the show to continue," Lloyd Braun, chairman of ABC Entertainment Television Group, told a telephone news conference.

Braun and ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne said the sitcom will debut next Tuesday as planned and that the network will air the three episodes Ritter filmed before his death last week.

After that, the series co-starring Katey Sagal will go into repeats while writers retool it and production starts. No date was given for when the show will return to the air.

Ritter, making a TV series comeback 25 years after he starred in "Three's Company," became ill on the "8 Simple Rules" set and died Thursday of an undetected heart problem. He was 54.

It hasn't been decided if the death of Ritter's character, Paul Hennessy, will mirror what happened to the actor, ABC executives said.

Ritter's series, which premiered last year with solid ratings, was considered a key part of ABC's comeback effort and anchored its Tuesday night lineup of family comedies.

ABC knows it's facing a difficult task, rebuilding a comedy on a death and especially that of the series' star, network executives acknowledged.

"We're going to take it an episode at a time," Lyne said. While the idea of recasting Ritter's role was quickly rejected, new characters will be added at some point, the ABC executives said.

Although Braun lauded Sagal as a "fantastic actress" capable of taking on a greater role in the series, he said it would become more of an ensemble production.

Ritter's widow, actress Amy Yasbeck, and the series' cast and producers supported the decision to keep going, Braun said. An ABC News tribute to Ritter was to air Tuesday night.

A similar episode in television history came when comic Redd Foxx died in 1991, after making seven episodes of his comeback series on CBS, "The Royal Family." The show returned without him six months after his death, but lasted only a few episodes.

Comedian Freddie Prinze, star of "Chico and the Man," committed suicide in 1977 in the third year of the popular NBC sitcom. The network cast a new, younger Chico but the show was gone in a year.

The rarity of such occurrences makes it difficult to predict how "8 Simple Rules" will fare, Braun said. "I think it will be a show we'll be proud to put on," he said.

Each of the first three episodes already shot will start with a special introduction, featuring the cast members. The next new show will deal with Paul Hennessy's death.

"Future episodes will take viewers into the Hennessy household as they experience the loss of a father and construct a new life together," said Braun. "We will play out the situation as real life."

Executives said they considered a number of options, including canceling the show.

"This is a business," analyst Steve Sternberg of the ad-buying firm Magna Global USA said of the network' ;s decision. But it's a risky one, he said.

"Initially, the show could benefit from the publicity," Sternberg said. "But they will have to do it well. If they don't, it could flop quickly and ABC will look bad doing it."

___

AP Business Writer Gary Gentile contributed to this report.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Sep. 16, 2003 6:56 am/pm Quote

Thanks for the news, Nancy.

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dizneluver9 Offline

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Posted: Sep. 16, 2003 7:37 am/pm Quote

Here is hoping the show has a long run in its new form :)

RIP John Ritter


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Tigger58 Offline

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Posted: Sep. 16, 2003 9:36 am/pm Quote

Quote (RichKoster @ Sep. 16, 2003 5:56 am/pm)
Thanks for the news, Nancy.

You're Welcome!

I for one, am glad  about this!  
It just pays further tribute to Johns talent
and honors his memory!
I will definitely watch as I always have!


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 16, 2003 9:35 am/pm Quote

James Garner to play "8 Simple Rules" grandfather

Quick quote:
The producers of ABC's "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" have recruited one of television's most enduring stars, James Garner, to help shore up the series after the death of its lead actor, John Ritter, a network source said on Thursday.

Vowing to continue the series despite Ritter's shock death in September, ABC has asked Garner -- the former star of such hit series as "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files" -- to step in as father of newly widowed Cate Hennessy (played By Katey Sagal) and grandfather to her teenage children.

Ritter played sports writer Paul Hennessy, whose death will set off the new turn in the show.

The series will return to production next week and plans to return in an hour-long show introducing Garner on Nov. 4. Millions tuned in for the final episodes that Ritter filmed which were shown after his death.

[...]Garner's character will come to comfort his daughter and remain in the house.

Full details.
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 17, 2003 11:50 am/pm Quote

Pleshette to play granny in ABC's "8 Simple Rules"

Quick quote:
Suzanne Pleshette will join comedy "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" to help fill the void left by the death of the show's star John Ritter, ABC said on Friday. Pleshette, co-star of the 1970s series "The Bob Newhart Show," and James Garner, star of "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files" will appear as the parents of widow Cate Hennessy, played by Katey Sagal, and grandparents to her teenage children.

The grandparents are separated but put aside their differences to comfort the family after the unexpected death of Paul Hennessy, Cate's husband who had been played by Ritter.

Pleshette and Garner will join the show for a one-hour special on Nov. 4, the first post-Ritter show. Garner is slated to continue for at least the following three episodes.

Full details.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 20, 2003 6:36 am/pm Quote

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

Here's another story about Suzanne Pleshette being added to the show, news which we brought to you 3 days ago here on the Disney Echo.

Look for Pleshette and Garner on the show in a one-hour special on November 4th, the first post-Ritter show.


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Posted: Oct. 28, 2003 9:05 am/pm Quote

Tears on '8 Simple Rules' episode are real

The Orange County Register talked with James Garner who will be appearing on 8 Simple Rules as the father of Paul's wife, Cate.

Full details.


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Tigger58 Offline

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Posted: Oct. 29, 2003 5:21 am/pm Quote

yeah I cant  wait to see it!
I probably will be crying all over  again!

:cry:


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11 replies since Sep. 16, 2003 6:43 am/pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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