John Ritter: Father Doesn't Know Best

08/28/2002 11:50AM

ABC has high hopes for its new Tuesday night sitcom, "8 Rules for Dating My Teenaged Daughter," which premieres Sept. 17. Critics who've seen previews of the show, which stars not one but two established TV comedy stars -- John Ritter ("Three's Company") and Katey Sagal ("Married ... With Children") -- have already given it high marks. The new series is based on the book "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And Other Tips from a Beleaguered Father, (Not That Any of Them Work)," by W. Bruce Cameron. Ritter knows the part well. The actor, who turns 54 on the night of the show's premiere, tells the Associated Press he's perfectly suited to playing a father of three, since he has four children of his own ranging in ages from 4 years old to their early 20s. "He's trying to keep his kids safe," Ritter says of his TV character, Paul Hennessy, "and he's overly worried and overly protective and he doesn't trust any teenaged boy alive, except his son." As for being a real-life parent, Ritter, who has been married to his second wife, Amy Yasbeck, since 1999, says that like his TV character, he just can't relax, claiming to be "just as paranoid" as he's always been.

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