My worst nightmare is coming true

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  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    My worst nightmare is coming true

    John Ritter is coming back to TV :F

    John Ritter has one simple rule for returning to Three's Company.

    "I want to play Mr. Furley -- and only if I can keep the outfits," says Ritter about Three's Company Revisited.

    Currently filming in Winnipeg, the CBS TV-movie documents the backbiting that went on behind-the-scenes of the smash sitcom that ran from 1977-84, with actors playing Ritter and his co-stars Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt.

    "I have a whole imitation (of Furley, the landlord played by Don Knotts). It's a lot of sniffling and me pulling at my belt. I always really thought he should have a pistol, but they never went for it. So I'm ready to go. But their people have yet to contact my people."

    More than 20 years after it debuted, Ritter admits he didn't foresee the massive popularity of the then-racy, disco-era comedy.

    "I never thought it would go beyond the pilot. I thought it'd be a one-joke show. Then eight years later, I was working on the spinoff Three's A Crowd, so it was a total of nine years. So, I wasn't exactly Nostradamus."


    That may or may not bode well for 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter. Both Ritter and his network have high hopes for the new sitcom which debuts Tuesday on ABC and CTV.

    The comedy, which co-stars Katey Sagal (Married with Children) as his wife, stars Ritter -- long past his days as skirt-chaser Jack Tripper -- as a sports writer coping with his three teens: two daughters (Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson) and a son (Martin Spanjers).

    "This show is off to the healthiest start I've ever seen," the 53-year-old Emmy winner says. "Every person is working for the whole and playing off each other like a really good baseball team that might make the playoffs."

    Which is exactly what ABC -- which lost 25% of its audience last year with the implosion of Dharma & Greg, Spin City and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? -- is counting on.

    8 Simple Rules has been given the Tuesday slot that has been historically occupied by monster shows: Happy Days, Who's The Boss? and Roseanne, among others.

    Ritter faces heady competition: JAG (CBS), In-Laws (NBC), That '70s Show (Fox), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (UPN) and Gilmore Girls (WB).

    But that hasn't stopped ABC execs from saying 8 Simple Rules is their surest shot at a breakout hit.

    Ritter, who returns to the sitcom genre after spending nine months on Broadway opposite Henry Winkler in Neil Simon's The Dinner Party, says the tender moments between the laughs drew him to the project.

    "I just liked the script -- it's so funny, but I loved that they put down the jokes for a few moments so we can take a rest and have some moments of real communication," Ritter says.

    "I was touched by a couple of scenes. One was where the father looks at his 16-year-old girl and sees her brokenhearted and he sees her as 10 years old and three years old.

    "That's what it's like -- all aspects of your children, existing simultaneously.

    "The sound of their laughter or an expression can catapult you back in the past. That happens all the time."

    Ritter should know. He has three children from his first marriage: Jason, 22; Carly, 20; and Tyler, 17. Ritter married his Problem Child co-star Amy Yasbeck in 1999. Together they have a daughter, Stella, 2.

    What his character, Paul Hennessy, goes through however, reflects creator Tracy Gamble's experiences (the show takes its name from the bestseller by W. Bruce Cameron), not his own.

    "Tracy has three children that are the same age, so I basically pay a lot of attention to what he's going through."

    Being a father in real-life, is altogether different from working with child actors.

    Again, it's something Ritter knows a thing or two about.

    "I came onto the show after the kids were hired and I was thinking maybe I'll be lucky and two out of the three will be OK, but there will be one who's either like the Problem Child kid -- whose attention span was shorter than a chimpanzee's -- or you're thinking, 'This kid is a mess.' But these kids hit their marks and they don't say their lines like mini-Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts people.

    "They make their lines sound real. You know, they're real kids. They get excited. They're very sweet and really, really fun and just normal kids.

    "Of course, I can see in year four, they're coming to work in a limo and there are people around them going, 'I'm his valet' and 'I'm her handler -- don't make eye contact

  • Lex
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Apr 2001
    • 27461

    I don't understand, what's your big hangup with ritter? He was pretty funny back then. Of course, my eyes were mostly on Suzanne and Joyce.

    "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer


    • Andrew Pratt
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 16507

      There's just something about him and Bob saget that make me quickly flip the channel...they're like finger nails on a chalk board


      • Uncle Clive
        Former Moderator
        • Jan 2002
        • 919

        Andrew, good, you're not alone my friend, add Mr. Sinbad to the list I'll be happy :f>'>


        HEY!! Why buy movie tickets when you can own a Theater?

        HEY!! Why buy movie tickets when you can own a Theater?


        • Burke Strickland
          • Sep 2001
          • 3161

          I agree -- John Ritter is major-league annoying and manages to make just about any character he plays insipid and obnoxious at the same time. But imagine if Pauley Shore or Carrot Top were in the same roles -- nausea would turn into a devastating illness. :>)


          What you DON'T say may be held against you...


          • George Bellefontaine
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Jan 2001
            • 7637

            Ritter ? Yukk !

            My Homepage!
            My Homepage!


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