Starting next season, "8 Simple Rules" can be seen on Fridays at 9pm,
8pm central. It will be the Show's third season, and first full season without Ritter.
John Ritter dies at age 54.
Prolific funnyman John Ritter, who got famous playing a bumbling young
ladies' man and recently made a comeback playing the bumbling overprotective dad of two young babes, died suddenly of a previously
undetected heart problem, his reps said Friday. He was 54
Ritter, who would have been 55 next week, collapsed on Thursday night while
filming ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
The former Three's Company star was rushed to Providence St. Joseph
hospital in Burbank, California, across from the studio where he had been taping. But doctors at the hospital were unable
to save him, and he died shortly after 10 p.m., from a "dissection of the aorta," an undetected flaw in a main artery from
the heart, according to his publicist.
Ritter was accompanied to the hospital by the show's producers, coworkers,
his wife and Problem Child costar Amy Yasbeck and his 23-year-old son Jason.
What caused his death
Sudden death is always shocking, but there was something
particularly unsettling about the way actor John Ritter died last week. He suffered what is known as an aortic dissection,
an uncommon condition in which the major artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body basically tears
itself apart. More precisely, blood, which is propelled by the beating heart, gets between layers of the arterial wall and
pushes them apart, moving down the blood vessel like a run racing down a nylon stocking. As you might expect, if the tear
occurs close to the heart, death can occur in minutes.
I must say that I was a huge fan of John's and I know
that he will be missed dearly. Whether it was comedy, drama, or even horror, he was the best at what he did. I also must say
that as a person who has Cerebral Palsy, I am proud to say that John has helped me out a lot, and for that I thank him.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He may be gone, but TV viewers have
not forgotten John Ritter
Excluding the professional baseball playoffs, the actor's final TV appearance
on ABC comedy "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" was the most-watched program on television on Tuesday night,
according to early ratings released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research.
Tuesday night's show drew an average of 17.45 million total viewers and a
20 percent share of the 18-to-49 year old audience most networks consider key to the advertising community. A year earlier,
the Oct. 8, 2002 episode of the show drew 14.6 million viewers and a 16 share in the 18-49 audience.
Ritter died of a heart condition on Sept. 11, after shooting three episodes
of the second-year series that ABC was counting on to be a cornerstone of its prime time TV schedule this season.
After a few days of mourning, ABC said it would show the three episodes then
take a break and air reruns while the writers for "8 Simple Rules" craft new episodes that weave in the death of Ritter's
character and its impact on his TV wife and their three children.
Tuesday's episode of "8 Simple Rules" aired at 8 p.m., when many TV stations
in California were cutting away from prime-time programming to call Schwarzenegger's victory in the California recall election,
though it was not clear if those news cut-ins had any impact on the ratings.
Fox claimed overall victory for the night with a closely fought game between
the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins in the first game of their National League championship series. The network said the
game was up 53 percent over the first game of last year's series.
Contributed by Erica
Here I'll include some of the juicier stuff I hear. No guarantee of the accuracy of what you read in this column!
Be sure to let me know what you hear and I'll add it to this page!