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The finale received a 3.9/8 rating share which gave ABC a third-place finish behind NBC's Dateline (5.8/11) and CBS's Joan of Arcadia (4.9/10), which starred Ritter's son, Jason.
Shortly afterwards, ABC officially cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005.
While 8 Simple Rules ratings were well above those of the surrounding TGIF shows during its third season, ABC cancelled it due to the perceived inability to sell reruns of the show into syndication (a fourth season would have given the show the 100 episodes necessary to enter daily syndication).
On July 11, 2005 (less than two months after ABC officially cancelled it), The WB network announced it would air back-to-back repeats of all 76 episodes of 8 Simple Rules from 4–5 p.m.
James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as, respectively, Cate's father Jim Egan and her nephew C. 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 kids.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.
After a hiatus, the series returned and continued without Ritter, with the producers having decided that his character Paul would also die. After three seasons, ABC cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005 due to low ratings.
8 Simple Rules (originally 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter for the first season) is an American sitcom comedy television show, originally starring John Ritter and Katey Sagal as middle-class parents Paul and Cate Hennessy raising their three children.
Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson, and Martin Spanjers co-starred as their teenage kids; Bridget, Kerry, and Rory Hennessy.
In mid-December 2012, 8 Simple Rules was removed from ABC Family's weekday line-up, only to be added back in September 2013.
The series was removed from the network's lineup in 2014.
In 2003, the show began airing in the UK on the Disney Channel, which was edited for children's viewing.