James Garner and David Spade joined the cast afterward.ABC cancelled the series on May 17, 2005 after three seasons because of low ratings.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.
The first three episodes of the show's second season had been completed when Ritter reportedly suffered an undiagnosed aortic dissection.
After Ritter had experienced discomfort during his rehearsal of the show in the afternoon of September 11, 2003, crew members took him to a nearby hospital, where he suddenly died that night following a misdiagnosis of a heart attack.
The show returned two months after Ritter's death, with a one-hour episode, "Goodbye", which was turned into a tribute to Ritter's character.
Subsequent episodes dealt with the family's reaction to his death and how they moved on from it. Garner and Spade later received starring roles as Ritter's replacement for the rest of the show's broadcast.
Though they are polar opposites; her need of stability is fulfilled with him, his need of optimism is fulfilled with her.
In several episodes, characters drink "Safeway Select" colas.
Original Episode # Prod # Air Date Titles _____ ______ ___________ ___________ ___________________________________________ Season 1 1.
1-28 20 May 03 Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman (2) Season 2 29.
The series' creator and showrunner, 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.
Gamble was replaced by Judd Pillot and John Peaslee, who had performed the same role in the final season of Spade's sitcom, Just Shoot Me! The Friday night "death slot" ratings took their toll on 8 Simple Rules.
2-15 24 Feb 04 Opposites Attract (3): Night of the Locust 44.