ABC Television said Tuesday it will continue the sitcom that showcased the late John Ritter, showing his television family coping with the death of Ritter's character on "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter."
ABC executives said the show will premier next Tuesday as planned and that the network will air the three episodes Ritter filmed before his death.
After that, the show will go into repeats while writers retool the sitcom and production starts. No date was given for when the show will return to the air.
We are going to stick with it," Susan Lyne, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a conference call with reporters.
Each of the first three episodes already shot will start with a special introduction, featuring the cast members. The next new show will deal with the death of Ritter's character, Paul Hennessy.
"Future episodes will take viewers into the Hennessy household as they experience the loss of a father and construct a new life together," said Lloyd Braun, chairman of the ABC Entertainment Television Group. "We will play out the situation as real life."
Executives said they considered a number of options, including canceling the show, but decided to continue the series.