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The show's premise and title were derived from 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. The third season (after Ritter's death) took a creative turn, revolving more around cousin C. (David Spade) and grandfather Jim (James Garner), than the immediate Hennessy family, more specifically not revolving around the raising of the Hennessy girls.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.
He wants to take a more active role in the lives of his children so, when his wife Cate (Katey Sagal) returns to work full-time, he decides to stay home to take care of the kids.
The trouble is that they’re now a trio of independent teenagers — popular Bridget (Kelly Cuoco), brainy Kerry (Amy Davidson), and smart-aleck Rory (Martin Spanjers).
Production had already wrapped when the show was cancelled in May so the last episode ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. figures out that Cate may be rekindling her relationship with Principal Ed Gibb (Adam Arkin) who is currently away at a conference.
It debuted on ABC on September 17, 2002, and concluded on April 15, 2005.The next few episodes deal with his loss and how the Hennessy family moves on. Bridget was supposed to be in charge of the Ditch Day prank, in which she was to steal a rival school’s goat mascot.Cate’s father, Jim Egan (James Garner), moves in to help and Cate’s very immature nephew, C. (David Spade), moves in for additional comedy relief. There was initially a great deal of curiosity about how the death of Ritter would impact the show. She asks Rory to do it instead and Kerry, tired of being a “goodie two-shoes,” wants to be part of it. Cate comes home soonafter and she’s not happy about the four-legged houseguest either.After Ritter's death, it had slipped to 50th, but was renewed for a third season, in which ABC moved the show to Friday night at pm as part of its TGIF comedy line-up.
The series' creator and show-runner, Tracy Gamble, left the series for a time over creative differences prior to the third season, but he later returned as a consulting producer midway through the third season. Even before the third season finale's airing, rumors began circulating that 8 Simple Rules was facing cancellation due to Ritter's death and poor ratings.
The show was a moderate success, ranked 43rd for its first season on the air, and was renewed with an average of 10.85 million viewers. He’s not pleased and gets his revenge on Bridget by detaining her on the school’s unofficial day off.