After much "introspection and discussion," ABC has decided to continue production of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter despite the sudden death of its star John Ritter. Instead of recasting Ritter's role, producers will write his death into the show. At a press conference today, ABC chairman Lloyd Braun announced that the network would air the three episodes that Ritter completed sequentially beginning with next Tuesday's season premiere. The show will then take a brief production hiatus and "future episodes, once we come back onto the air, will take viewers into the Hennessy household as they experience the loss of a father and construct a new life together." In a statement, Ritter's real-life wife, actress Amy Yasbeck, supported the network's decision. "John always dealt with anything that life threw at him with humor," she said. "He believed in this show and its message that a strong family can get through anything. He felt so lucky to be working with such wonderful people every day. They all had such a warm friendship, and I know John would want his friends to be able to continue doing what they love."
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