[spoiler]The local radio station I listen to has the most potentially tacky ad spots for tonight’s show- standard mellow-voiced announcer asking us to join ABC for a very special night of television, yadda yadda, and an audio clip of John’s character saying something along the lines of “Always follow your heart. I followed my heart and never looked back.” Yikes.
AFAIK, they’re doing the standard off-screen death, with a story arc dealing with the funeral and aftermath and moving Katie Segal’s character to the lead, with no current plans for a male replacement. There are rumors of Henry Winkler doing some guest spots as an uncle, but 1) dunno how true those are, and 2) dunno if it would be long or short-term. [/spoiler]