John Ritter Remembered
Cynthia Littleton, deputy editor of the Hollywood Reporter, says ABC is desperately trying to save its hit show. Littleton says, "They really have a huge challenge ahead of themselves in dealing with this. Now they are deciding, ‘Do we air the existing episodes? Do we write the death into the series?’ It is an enormous challenge."
Inside sources tell "Extra" the options include making Katey Sagal the show's centerpiece or bringing in a new male lead. Word is that TV veterans Tony Danza and Henry Winkler are both being considered. Winker was a close friend of Ritter and was even on the set filming a guest appearance the day Ritter died.
Tuesday night, "8 Simple Rules" will be replaced by a one-hour tribute special to Ritter.
Diane Sawyer visits with Ritter’s "Three’s Company" costar Joyce De Witt, Martin short, and other friends of Ritter's, including Kaley Cuoco, his TV daughter.
De Witt says, "The part of John that he used for Jack Tripper was the part of him that wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time."
Cuoco says, "We are just so lucky we got to see this person every single day. For every day for the rest of my life he will be in my heart, always."
Ritter's recent television family spread far and wide. Scott Speedman worked with Ritter on an episode of "Felicity." In a chilling coincidence, he gave an emotional performance as Speedman's dying father. Speedman says, "It has been hard for me to take in. He was a very close friend to me, so it is hard for me to talk about."
Ritter was also TV dad to both Zach Braff and "Ed's" Tom Cavanagh, who were both set to shoot with him this week on NBC's "Scrubs." Cavanagh says, "I’m like everybody in America watching this guy. He’s too young to be gone and he’s too good."