Gary Susman
January 16, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

How many TV veterans does it take to fill John Ritter’s shoes? At least two. ABC announced Thursday that David Spade will join James Garner as a permanent addition to the ”8 Simple Rules” cast, playing the second member of the extended Hennessy clan (after Garner’s grandpa Jim) to come out of the woodwork in the wake of Ritter’s sudden death in September and the onscreen death of his character, papa Paul Hennessy.

Spade’s role is C.J., ne’er-do-well nephew to widowed Cate Hennessy (Katey Sagal). He’ll be seen getting into trouble and offering bad advice to the three Hennessy teenagers. Like Garner, the ”Just Shoot Me” alumnus was initially signed on as a guest star. But after shooting three episodes with Spade, ABC apparently didn’t want to say ”buh-bye.”

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