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The consistent refrain from the network and cast has been “This happens to families,” which is of course true.
It does not happen often, however, to light-hearted sitcom families, and incorporating the Ritter character’s passing is uncomfortable terrain.
ABC’s “8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter” in some ways carries on from where John Ritter left off 18 years ago.
Imagine if “Three’s Company” swinger Jack Tripper chilled out and started a family, and you get the idea of this Tuesday nighter, which safely and softly kicks off the net’s new comedy block.
An American sitcom starring John Ritter most popular before his untimely passing in 2003.
ran from 2002 to 2005 on the ABC in America, ABC1 in the UK and Channel 7 in Australia.
“The talk of parents nationwide.” —People magazine“Witty, wise, and excruciatingly on the money...
Cameron captures the angst that every father of a teenage daughter feels.” —Charles Shyer, writer/director of Father of the Bride I and II“W.
Retitled 8 Simple Rules after John Ritter's death.
Since then, however, there has been a vague ghoulishness surrounding the show, including big viewer tune-in for the remaining Ritter episodes and ABC News’ synergistic efforts such as Diane Sawyer’s interview with the actor’s widow, Amy Yasbeck.
Predictably, if morbidly, Tuesday’s one-hour return episode drew a vast audience, bolstering ABC’s sweeps bottom line.
For the most part, Sagal pulled off the most demanding aspects of the episode, even saddled with dialogue like ‘We don’t deserve this” as she questions God about the unfairness of life.
Yet just because she cuddled up with kids at the end doesn’t mean everything’s going to be alright. Bruce Cameron’s book, the series hinged on Ritter’s deft exasperation dealing with his teenagers.
And now, one suspects, the show will pretty quickly fade.