Filming had just begun on the second season of the series in September 2003 when Ritter fell ill on the set and sought medical treatment.
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Burns played the striped-shirted host and owner of the cartoon dog named Blue—he'd talk directly to the young viewers at home, urging them to help him solve each episode's riddle or mystery by yelling things at their screens.
In 2002, after about 100 episodes, Burns decided it was time to leave the series.
Between the show's fourth and fifth season, star Phil Hartman was shot by his wife as part of a horrific murder-suicide.
Partly in order to complete enough episodes to sell the show into syndication, was picked up for another season anyway.
Weird, insecure, and wholly unqualified for the position, he was portrayed by Hartman's friend and Saturday Night Live costar Jon Lovitz.
While Lovitz is a great comic actor, he just couldn't overcome the sadness of looming over News Radio. vet John Ritter, who starred as cranky suburban dad Paul Hennessy, desperately trying to rein in his wild teenage children.
8 Simple Rules was not renewed for a fourth season.
Actor/musician Steve Burns beat out roughly 1,000 other actors in 1996 for the only human role on Blue's Clues, Nickelodeon's interactive, animation/live action hybrid show for preschoolers.
For the ninth and final season, the focus was back on the ensemble of paper company employees inside the office, with longtime cast member Ed Helms (as salesman Andy Bernard) ostensibly serving as the boss.