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Thursday, October 2, 2003
'8 Simple Rules'

Devoted fans have been standing by while the late John Ritter's devastated ABC family struggles with the fate of their hit sitcom "8 Simple Rules" without the comedy king.

Now "Extra" has exclusive information on the future of the show from ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne. Lyne says, "We are taking this a step at a time. The writers are working right now on an episode that will probably air several weeks after the final episode John shot that will deal with the death of John's character and how this family copes with it."

The special hour will feature a number of unnamed guest stars who will appear as extended family members and friends. But although Tony Danza and Henry Winkler have reportedly been discussed to replace Ritter in the series, "Extra" found out this wasn’t true.

Winkler says, "That is not even in my realm."

Lyne adds, "We have no plans to replace John or bring in a new father in this family. But I do think that part of the experience of losing a family member is all the people who come in to help fill the void."

Susan says that as long as "8 Simple Rules" remains on the air, Ritter’s presence will always be felt.

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