Veteran actor James Garner
has been tapped to play the father of Katey Sagal
's widowed alter ego in four episodes of ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
. Garner will first appear in early November, when the show returns with a special hourlong episode that will revolve around the Hennessy clan as they cope with the loss of John Ritter
's character, Paul. (According to sources, Dick Van Dyke
was among the contenders for the part.) The role of Garner's TV wife, meanwhile, is still being cast.