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CASTING CORNER
 
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
'8 Simple Rules' Premieres

Starting Tuesday night, ABC will air three episodes of "8 Simple Rules," completed before Ritterís shocking death. "Extra" learned exactly what it took to get the season premiere to air.

There was nothing simple about keeping this show on the air. First, ABC spoke with Ritterís widow Amy Yasbeck and got her blessing to continue the show. Then, the network had to convince advertisers to hang on. So far, no one is pulling out.

Entertainment Weekly's Jessica Shaw says there is good reason for everyone to have faith in the show. Shaw says, "I think people will want to pay tribute to him by tuning in."

After airing Ritter's final episodes, the show will go into reruns. The show will return with a more serious storyline as the Hennessy family deals with their fatherís death.

The first three episodes of the season will include guest stars Cindy Williams and John Ratzenberger. Henry Winkler, now a contender to join the series, was also about to guest star on the series.

Fans can witness the beginning of Ritter's farewell tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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