Stephen M. Silverman
September 19, 2003 10:40 AM

RITTER RULES: ABC announced that it will reshape its hit comedy show “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter” after last week’s sudden death of its star, John Ritter. The TV family will contend with the loss of Ritter’s character. Executives at the network said that all those associated with the show, including Ritter’s widow Amy Yasbeck, encouraged the show to go on. “He believed in this show and its message that a strong family can get through anything,” said Yasbeck, 40.

CASH TRIBUTE: Al Gore and musical heavyweights such as Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson filled the First Baptist Church near Nashville on Monday night to bid farewell to country legend Johnny Cash with words and music, reported Reuters. The “Man in Black,” 71, died of pneumonia last week after suffering for years with diabetes and other maladies. Gore said that when he spoke to Cash a few weeks ago, the entertainer said he had visited the grave of his wife, June Carter Cash (who died in May), and declared, “I’ll be with you soon.”

DESTINY REUNITED: Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams — collectively known as Destiny’s Child — will reunite in the studio to begin work on their first album of new material together in more than two years, lead singer Knowles told Reuters. “Destiny’s Child will be back in the studio in January,” she said. When last in a studio together, the Grammy-winning R&B trio put together “Survivor,” their top-selling third album, in 2001.

MADONNA’S ROSES: Turning up a full hour late — but looking great in short-sleeved black Prada — Madonna arrived at the Ritz Hotel in Paris Monday for the launch of her new children’s book, “The English Roses,” PEOPLE reported. The Material Author, 45, graciously but forcefully told reporters, “Come on, ask me questions about my book. I want to talk about my book.” Still, other queries did pop up. What about her supposed conversion to Judaism? Didn’t happen, she said, despite her passion for Kabbalah. “My personal feeling is that religions keep people apart,” she declared.

MONACO MARRIAGE: Monaco’s high-living Princess Stephanie married her boyfriend, Adans Lopez Peres, a Portuguese circus acrobat, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the principality’s royal palace. Stephanie, 38, and Peres, believed to be 29, were wed Friday in a private ceremony, palace spokesman Armand Deus told the Associated Press. German news reports said the couple married in Geneva, but Deus claimed to be unaware of where the ceremony occurred.

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